Pumping Up the Volume on Voice of Customer

Voice of Customer (VoC) technology presents as a digital loop closer for many of the systems which interact with the customer and produce data for driving better customer experience (CX).

With the rise of CX as an aspiration and a concept, VoC solutions have followed in their wake as a practical way to obtain, analyze and measure customer feedback across multiple channels. Many of these solutions can be automated and integrated across other systems and solutions.

Making Data Sing

Forrester has looked at this space in a 2018 report on Customer Feedback Management (CFM) systems, which shows how much organizations are spending in this area.

In 2011, according to Forrester, vendors in the CFM space reported revenues ranging from between USD 10 million to USD 30 million, and this increased to between USD 50 million and USD 250 million by 2018.

It is hardly a juggernaut, but merely an indication of the increasing attention that organizations are paying to VoC’s potential.

The significant barrier to progress is, unsurprisingly, internal. According to Forrester, 40 percent of CX professionals cited a lack of cooperation across their organization as a critical challenge in getting projects implemented and making improvements.

Nearly 25 percent pointed to a lack of CX measurement data, and 65 percent said there are other teams in their organizations that are also focused on VoC, a duplication which often results in other technologies being used and resulting not only in higher costs but confusing outcomes.

Nevertheless, some organizations in Australia and New Zealand are enjoying wins and making progress.

Taking Off on the Right Note

The Virgin Australia airline, for example, has been implementing VoC technology on its mobile app and has had such success that it will now implement the capability across the other digital channels.

The carrier picked a solution from Usabilla as it sought to improve customer satisfaction for its mobile app and to understand customer pain points better. 

When addressing customer feedback, and particularly complaints, the company is now able to access a screen capture of what the customer sees at the time of logging.

The result has improved customer satisfaction ratings because the product managers were able to have a more direct line to the customer.

Changing the Customer Beat

In the financial industry, foreign exchange currency provider OFX is using VoC to both close the loop on the customer experience and gain insights for driving product development.

Their choice has been a Qualtrics survey solution plugged into the existing Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform, which already collected data on the customer journey.

Data comes from three interaction points from the private client business to product teams on a real-time dashboard, where previously they were only delivered reports on a semi-regular basis.

Automaker Hyundai has been another company to implement VoC, and this has coincided with it lifting itself from the ninth to the second position in the closely watched JD Power survey for customer service in Australia.

In the case of Hyundai, the company made a call to renovate its CX approach and implemented a solution from InMoment, which connects with an existing Siebel CRM platform.

Along with upgrading other aspects of its digital operation, such as enabling customers to book services online for the first time, Hyundai now automates the dispatch of customer surveys via email and SMS. Meanwhile, VoC analytics use data from the Siebel system to understand the relationship between CX activities and customer satisfaction.

Becoming a Leader Board Hit

As success starts to come from these projects, it is inevitable that VoC and the more significant CX area will become board level priorities.

For many organizations, this presents a challenge. Is there a dedicated CX officer, and to whom does this person report?

In many cases currently, the direct line is through the CFO, but it can also be through the CIO and even the CDO, where it might be a more natural fit. There is also a natural overlap in the remit of the CMO.

A recent Gartner survey of 209 organizations and their CX executives found that the majority already have a dedicated CX team, with one in five reporting directly to the Chief Executive.

“The increasing direct level of CEO oversight for CX activities in organizations shows the importance of CX to the bottom line,” the Gartner report said.

Wherever he or she sits, the CX role is becoming increasingly important in the modern digital organization.

The Forrester research shows that while VoC solutions implementations are at an early point, we can expect more to come from this developing but increasingly effective digital technology.