This is chapter one of our free guide: How to Launch Your Own “Voice of the Customer” Program
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates
Listening to your customers, no matter how uncomfortable it might be at times, is something all great business owners do. Their feedback will tell you what to change, how they’d like you to support them and most importantly, which additional products or services they need to help them.
Before you take any action, you’ll want to understand the true benefits of launching your own VoC program.
Put simply, a Voice of the Customer program is a process that effectively captures your customer’s overall experience, as well as their expectations when dealing with your company. By analyzing their preferences and feedback, you’ll be able to directly improve products and services, which mean happier customers and more revenue.
At the end of the day, business is tough, so you’ll need to come at this with thick skin. Some days you’ll have unhappy customers who make you feel as though you’ve failed. You might even feel like what you’re doing isn’t worth it and want to give up. But the key is to take all feedback on board and focus on continual improvements.
Once you open yourself up to the power of this process, you’ll truly evolve as a business owner. Build a program that’s customer-centric and you’ll create an opportunity to learn and grow – both as a person and for your business.
Here are some of the many benefits associated with launching your very own VoC program:
1. Remain Relevant
Whether you’ve been in business for 2 months or 10 years, customers continuously change their habits and behaviors. If you don’t adapt to these changes, then you’ll no longer be as relevant to them, potentially losing their loyalty. As you gain start to collect feedback from your customers, you can implement their suggestions, remaining both relevant and top of mind for them.
What once worked when you were starting your business may no longer be relevant. When you’ve got a structured program in place, it takes the guess work out of your growing business, allowing you to make more informed decisions.
2. Crush Your Competition
No matter what industry you’re in, if you’re experiencing some level of success then competition will follow. In a study conducted by Oracle, most businesses see the value in creating a VoC program, yet very few have actually done it.
In fact, a whopping 93% of executives said that improving the customer experience is within their top three priorities to be addressed in the next two years. Based on these stats, however, it appears that they’re falling short in terms of execution. According to the information collected, only 37% have implemented any sort of VoC program.
For the most part, your competition is underestimating the impact that a VoC program can have – and you can (and should) use that to your advantage. In a world when great customer service is the exception not the rule, you can use your competitors’ weaknesses here to create a competitive edge.
3. Increase Sales
A Voice of the Customer program helps you hear about small issues before they become a big deal, giving you the feedback you need to make changes quickly. If you act on the feedback you receive, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with increased sales.
According to the same Oracle study, brands can lose up to 20% of their revenue based on poor customer experiences. This means that if you don’t take the opportunity to listen, you’ll be the one missing out. Customer loyalty is a huge driver of ongoing sales, as we’ve written about previously on our blog.
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