Guest post by Brooke Cade.
Monitoring customer feedback is more important than ever. In the past, word of mouth was fleeting and temporary. Now, with the Internet, it’s easy for a single review to severely damage or ruin a company’s reputation. Negative reviews can tank a product, or even a whole product line, leaving businesses struggling to move inventory. With the permanence and ubiquity of online content, a single person’s comments can inform millions.
There’s an upside, though. It has never been easier to understand and respond to customer needs. Data on what customers really want is easier to collect than ever, and products can be entirely designed around the desires of intended consumers. That’s why Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs are so valuable, and every business that has the infrastructure to do so should implement one. Here are three reasons why.
1) Companies Compete With Customer Experience
In the age of Amazon reviews, customers are more educated than ever about products and services businesses offer, and access to alternatives is only a click away. Many businesses have come to grips with this reality, and the vast majority of companies believe that competition is now waged primarily on the battlefield of customer experience.
It’s not enough any longer to have an innovative product. Customers want to be treated well, and bad experiences will drive them away in droves. Consumers expect companies to hear them on social media: 25% of consumers who complain about products on Facebook and Twitter expect a response to their gripes within one hour.
2) Using VoC Increases Revenues and Customer Retention
Businesses aren’t the only ones aware of the shift towards customer experience. Consumers are also more aware of the options available to them and are making choices accordingly. In fact, 55% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. That translates directly into increased revenues for companies that have VoC programs. What’s more, those businesses are also keeping their customers: they enjoy 55% greater retention rates than their competitors.
3) Using VOC Improves Development and Design
Actively collecting customer feedback, and then using that data to make informed business decisions, can make or break a product or service. Look no further than companies like Charlie and Dropbox to see how implementing customer feedback can improve design and make a business successful. With the tools that marketing technology affords us now, there is almost no excuse for failing to incorporate consumer feedback into strategies and designs.
Acting on Research is Key
The critical decider in CEM success is whether strategies like a VoC are used as more than lip service to improving customer experience. It’s true that 65% of companies are counting on VoC programs to improve CX, but only 29% are utilizing the data that is being collected in their designs and processes.
To help both with VoC programs and the implementation of the data they collect, more and more CX professionals are turning to technology platforms that automate and centralize VoC activities. That’s where Customer Feedback Management (CFM) comes in. Be warned, though, not all CFM platforms are created equal. Choosing the right CFM platform is critical, because it can mean the difference between successful implementation, and “in one ear, out the other” VoC. So as you pursue an improved customer experience, keep your eyes open for the tools that will help you get it done.
About the Author: Brooke Cade is a freelance writer who is committed to helping businesses and sales professionals build stronger connections with their customers. In her spare time, she enjoys learning more about InMoment.com—her CX platform of choice, reading books/articles on industry news, engaging on twitter, and exploring her local neighborhood coffee shop.