This is chapter four of our free guide: How to Launch Your Own “Voice of the Customer” Program
Now that we understand the basics of launching your VoC, let’s look at a simple step-by-step process that will allow you to reach your goals. If you’ve never done VoC before, you may be tempted to rush in and start collecting data from every possible source.
Although enthusiasm is great(!!!), your efforts can be futile if you don’t have a good solid plan in place first. The key, as I mentioned earlier, is to start small. As you streamline one or two channels of feedback, you can then expand and add additional channels as you go and when you understand the volume of feedback you’re receiving.
Step #1: Create Your Strategy
Most of the decisions you make within your business will be part of a broader strategy. Ask yourself these questions:
- What is it that you hope to achieve over time?
- What are your long-term goals?
- Why are you creating a VoC program?
- How will you measure your success?
To start, highlight your weaknesses – what would you like to improve? Perhaps your costs are too high, or you’d like to drive cultural change within your business. Whatever your key issues are, you can build a VoC program that focused on those problems and creates better solutions via feedback
Within your strategy, include:
- Business goals
- Metrics you’ll measure
- Customer feedback channels you’ll use
- How you’ll respond to feedback
Step #2: Ask Questions That Give You Actionable Feedback
Vague questions like “How can we improve?” generally lead to poor feedback from your customers. The key to creating a successful VoC program is to ask questions in a way that provide you with actionable feedback.
For example, instead of asking “did you like our customer support?” ask “What can we do to improve our customer support?”. Always word your questions in a way that get your customers thinking of solutions, not simply responding with “yes” or “no”.
Step #3: Ask For Feedback At The Right Time
Ditch the formalities and speak to your customers casually. If you want their feedback on something, tell them why and reassure them you’re listening. Most people are getting way too many emails and way too many surveys, so to cut through the noise, avoid the “corporate speak” and just be yourself.
If you’re sending a survey via email, you should send it during the week at around 10am, according to this very detailed post on Mailchimp’s blog. That will give you the highest open rates and therefore the best chance of your customers actually completing the survey and sharing their feedback with you.
Step #4: Review and Prioritize
Over time you’re going to receive a lot of feedback from your customers, so make sure you review and prioritize the feedback that will help you improve the metric(s) you initially created your VoC program to improve.
The point here is, you don’t want to hum and haw over possible changes. Identify real issues and rapidly execute a solution to fix them. It’s really that simple.
Step #5: Don’t Over Think It – Just Start
The best way to launch your VoC program is to (in the words of Nike) just do it! Start with a single feedback channel and keep the entire process simple for you and your team. As you collect more feedback, you can start to implement tools and systems that help you manage, review and prioritize the feedback, but you don’t need any of those to get started.
Our advice? Create a simple customer feedback survey that you send to all of your customers once per quarter or twice per year.
Include questions like these:
- What do you like the most about our product/service?
- How likely are you to recommend our product/service to your friends?
- What’s the one thing we can do better as a business?
- How would you rate the quality of our customer support?
- Did we live up to your expectations? If not, why not?
As you kick off your Voice of the Customer program, remember what Robert Allen once said:
“There is no failure. Only feedback.”- Robert Allen
Good luck and get to it!
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