Voice of the Customer — Scope

Voice of the Customer — Scope

What is the Voice of the Customer (VoC)?

The biggest driving force that continuously propels an organization forward in its growth and efforts, is their constant will to satisfy their customers' needs and keep delighting them. On that note, Voice of the Customer (VoC) is the systematic process of gathering customer feedback through dedicated efforts and from multiple channels, studying the insights thus collected (whether positive or negative) and using them to improve organization's services and processes continuously.

While the end goal of VoC may look like just running customer satisfaction polls, it's not merely the act of putting out these surveys. The end goal of VoC is much deeper— it is about listening to your customer and valuing their thoughts. VoC is where you put a process in place to collect data about a customer's needs, expectations and wants, analyze feedback and finally (more importantly), act on the data gathered. Therefore, VoC as an entire process, stands for all of these steps put together:
  1. gathering data (from customers about their needs, thoughts and expectations)
  2. making a thorough analysis of the data
  3. acting on the insights.
This action thus taken using these feedback points could result ultimately in more than one effective result — including customer satisfaction, refinement in internal processes, improved product/service offerings, better communication loops and much more.

Why is VoC important?

Consider this quote by Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club:
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

So ultimately, if you want to keep your customers from "firing" you, and make them happy, you have to really understand what they want, their emotions, sentiments and suggestions.You have to listen to them. Sometimes, we get too busy and lose ourselves in day-to-day operations that we fail to actually reach out to customers to see what they need. Therefore, effective and consistent communication is the key to understanding what your customers want.

That is where Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs enter the picture. By following VoC as a process, you are not only improving your own processes and products, you are also showing your customers that you value their feedback, which in itself goes a long way in retaining them. Once you implement their suggestions, they will know that they are being valued and that is a strong reason for them to stay, apart from good service and products.

The following are some key reasons why you should take VoC seriously.

Build a customer-centric business model

Implementing a good VoC strategy will help you build a strong customer-centric business model, where you focus on creating products and services catering to what your customers really want. VoC will empower you with the knowledge on customer preferences, likes, dislikes which will automatically result in better quality products and services, which you can deliver with confidence.

Stay relevant in competition based on customer experience

In today's business world, characterized by immediacy, customers are known to have instant emotions with a product or service offered. They take to social media, phone calls or emails to let others know what they feel. Companies will compete based on the greatness of the customer experiences offered by them and for this, VoC will prove to be crucial.

Improve NPS scores

NPS or Net Promoter Score is simply a single-question based survey that is designed to find out how much a customer is likely to recommend a business to others. This will measure how satisfied or frustrated they are with your services. Implementing VoC strategies will help you equip yourself with exact knowledge of what your customers want and deliver it to them, so that they find your business worth recommending to others— which will subsequently improve your NPS scores.

Increase process efficiency

VoC is not just about your customers alone — it is also about you. From the feedback collected from customers, you can identify exactly where you have loopholes in your system. Whether it's a marketing message gone wrong, or a customer support ticket unattended to for ages, or a quality failure— you stand a chance to know everything that's wrong with your processes and fix them. Therefore VoC results will send a message across key teams of an organization including Sales, Marketing, Customer Support, Leadership, Product/Engineering and Public relations.

Also, as a matter of fact, VoC is a subject in the Six Sigma DMAIC Process (Define, measure, analyze, improve, and control). Six Sigma training focuses on quality certification by minimizing errors and defects in processes—all the more reason to implement VoC.

The Key Challenge with the VoC process

The VoC process typically consists of three stages — gathering feedback, analyzing data and acting on insights.


Gather feedback— This is the first stage. There are many ways by which you can reach out to customers to gather their feedback. Popular methods of collecting feedback include customer satisfaction surveys, email campaigns, social media campaigns, focus groups and events.

Act on insights — This is the final stage. Once you have collected the feedback and made your analysis, you are empowered with knowledge on what is required and you have a direction to work on. It's about executing the insights next, which is more of an implementation challenge. You are no longer kept in the dark. You know what exactly your customers think from your analysis of their suggestions and emotions. You can quickly implement subsequent steps.

While the above stages are vital, it is the second stage, which is analyzing data, that could make all the difference and therefore, is the most challenging.

Analyzing data: It is this stage of analyzing data that is the most challenging and crucial, as this could make or break your VoC process. The analysis stage is also what marks the difference between simply conducting a survey and an actual end-to-end VoC process. Unlike a feedback survey, here you don't stop with collecting data, but you need to analyze the data to receive any useful insights from it. Any intelligent analysis takes time, but the main challenge here is, by the time you derive such insights you may have lost some customers already.

The Solution (from Zoho)

This is exactly where data intelligence and machine learning come into the picture. With the help of state-of-the-art VoC platform providers, you will able to reduce the time spent on analysis of customer feedback by using the power of artificial intelligence, which can make the analysis for you and bring accurate indicators for you to work with.

According to the latest findings from a Gartner Study , “Already, too much customer insight remains locked in databases, and increasing that amount of unused knowledge will not help. VoC providers must continue to improve their capabilities for how data and insights can be conveyed in usable ways across client organizations.” This is exactly where Zoho CRM stands.

Zoho CRM's VoC is powered by data intelligence capabilities and is designed to help you conduct your Voice of Customer programs in a more efficient way by replacing people with intelligent systems in the data analysis stage of VoC process.
Availability
The Voice of the Customer dashboards are available only for the following kinds of organizations:
  1. Organizations in CRM Enterprise, CRM Ultimate, CRM Plus, and Zoho One with 15 user licenses or more.
  2. Organizations that are registered for the early access program in EU, AU, IN, and US DCs.
Permission required
  1. Voice of the Customer tab permissions are automatically enabled for administrator profiles by default. For other profiles, it needs to be manually enabled.
  2. View: Users with this permission can only access and view the dashboards. 
  3. Manage: Users with this permission can view, configure, reorder charts and initiate the computation of dashboards.
  4. View record level insights: Users with this permission can access and view insightful charts in eligible records from the modules for which VoC dashboards have been created. 

How it works

Zia, Zoho's in-built data intelligence platform, is trained to conduct Sentiment and Intent Analyses, Keyword extraction, emotion & root cause analysis, customer trend analysis and predictions. Using these methods, Zia can offer you a summary of what your customers think about you by giving you suitable keywords and highlighting the emotions that need your attention. With Zia's quick and accurate analysis as the first step, you can truly discover the voice of your customers and derive further decisions to act upon.

Zia will present several accurate dashboards in your CRM account, which will directly tell you what your customers are saying about your business, about your competitors, what is they emotion in their emails, surveys and customer support tickets and so on. You will have consolidated dashboards — that is a summary of these interactions from all customers.

You will also have detailed VoC information contextually — that is, each customer record in the CRM will be equipped with associated VoC data, so that you know what one specific customer feels on the said email, survey or support ticket for that matter.

1) VoC Dashboard with consolidated data based on "Sentiment"


2) Contextual VoC dashboards based on a single customer


3. Highlights/Conversion Based Analysis
The VoC dashboard on the Contact detail page will display the highlights of the contact with regards to the sentiment and intent of the contact voice.
The percentage of positive and negative responses from the contact are displayed in this section. Based on the purchase patterns and the responses from the contact, the contact is labeled under the following categories. 
  1. Churned out
  2. Pitched to competitors
  3. Positive customer
  4. Negative customer

4. Conversion Based Analysis
The latest keyword uttered by the contact before the conversion from a Contact to a Lead is displayed in this section.

5. Deal Based Analysis
The following are the highlights of this section in the dashboard.
  1. The deal name during the time of conversion
  2. The deal status
  3. The keywords spoken before the deal status
  4. The latest keywords spoken after the deal status
This information will help you understand the reason for the deal status and help improve the marketing standards based on the deal status.

Summary

Therefore, it is important to first of all have a VoC process in place and secondly, you need to make sure that the time you spend on the analysis of customer feedback is not going to be the cause of even more frustration and dissatisfaction. To make sure you act on time, do explore using the in-built VoC program in Zoho CRM, which comes with the power of data intelligence and machine learning.

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