This is chapter two of our free guide: How to Launch Your Own “Voice of the Customer” Program
If you are ready to launch an effective Voice of the Customer program, then you need to understand which feedback to act on and which to ignore. As your business grows, you’ll hear many opinions from your customers, and although each comment or complaint is valuable, not all of them should be immediately acted upon.
So, when receiving a wide variety of feedback, how do you know what’s relevant?
At the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their opinion, however when it comes to customer feedback, you should keep these points in mind:
- Leverage your customer support team – Your customer support team will be one of your best sources of feedback, because they’re always talking to customers and hearing their opinions and ideas. Go to them regularly and give them a way to share that feedback with you. Not only will you get great feedback, but your customer support folks will feel valued too, which will increase their motivation to help your customers.
- Share known issues – If there are known issues with your products or services, then make sure your customer support folks know about them – and make sure they know how to communicate those issues with your customers, including what’s being done to fix the issues ASAP.
- Stay organized – Without a system in place to collect and organize customer feedback, it will fall through the cracks. Use a tool such as Trello to keep customer feedback in a single place that all of your employees can access and contribute to.
“Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.” – Lisa Stone, CEO of BlogHer
Before you build your VoC program, you’ll want to understand what makes these programs so effective. What is it that successful businesses have in common when implementing their own strategies? Regardless of your approach, make sure you:
- Collect information from a variety of channels – The best VoC program don’t just focus on direct forms of feedback, but also indirect channels. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about where they’d be most likely to share feedback in a way that’s convenient for them. When planning your strategy, consider sources such as customer feedback surveys, social media, feedback forms on your web site (or perhaps you’ve a blog) and a customer service line.
- Keep it simple – The ultimate goal of your VoC program is to use feedback to grow your business, but you should always put your customer’s needs first. That means designing your VoC program in a way that’s simple for them to understand and easy for them to participate in. For example, go for 3 questions over 25. Don’t use confusing terminology and don’t make them jump through hoops to share feedback.
- Have an end-goal in mind – Before you start, you should ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve by launching a VoC program. In order for your program to be effective, your objective needs to be clear from the get-go. You should think about which metrics you’re trying to improve (such as Net Promoter Score) and how you’ll measure the success of the feedback you receive – both in terms of quantity and quality.
- Track the impact of changes -As you start to collect and act on customer feedback, make sure you can measure the impact along the way. You might choose to focus on customer retention or lifetime value (LTV), but make sure you’ve got a way to continually assess whether the changes you’re making are having a positive or negative effect on your business.
- Give yourself enough time – A great VoC program is something that can take a few months to bare fruit. You need to collect feedback, decide which feedback you’ll act on, actually make the changes and then take some time to see results in the metrics you’re tracking. Realistically, it will take 3-6 months to notice a positive change in your metrics, so be patient and realize a VoC program is a long-term commitment.
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