Companies that don’t measure the impact of Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs will not see improvements in satisfaction and may even see declines. The Contact Center Pipeline reported those findings in its 2019 report on VoC. The survey found that some companies still lack in these crucial areas for measuring VoC:
- Explicit inclusion of the quality function as a key part of the team.
- Creation of a specific revenue-based business case in the content of the VoC presentation.
- Expansion of the range of data included in the VoC to go beyond touchpoint data.
- Use of specific measures of VoC impact, such as percentage of issues raised that are resolved.
Where Surveys Fit Into VoC
Will surveys solve all of your VoC woes? Of course not. A VoC program is a comprehensive research method that “captures everything that customers are saying about a business, product, or service and packages those ideas into an overall perspective of the brand,” according to HubSpot. “Companies use VoC to visualize the gap between customer expectations and their actual experience with the business.”
HubSpot identified 12 methods included in a VoC program. Surveys is certainly a key part. Many companies turn to surveys as a key function in a VoC program. And while surveys should not be the be-all, end-all for a VoC survey program, it can be a key function. “Data from surveys, customer contacts, social media, operational data and employee input must be gathered across the end-to-end customer journey including marketing, sales and customer onboarding,” researchers John Goodman, Silvi Demirasi and Thomas Hollman wrote in the Contact Center Pipeline report. “The differences in the data’s representativeness must be reconciled so that all the data can be integrated into a single picture of the customer experience that is accepted by every corporate function.”
Companies that try to take a broad look into customer pain points likely won’t be successful, they found, because they are “inactionable.” These researchers suggest that at least 40 to 70 categories for customer pain points are required to support prevention and mitigation plans.
QuestionPro officials said there are several type of Voice of the Customer surveys, such as:
Knowing Your Audience
Before you formulate your voice of the customer survey, the questions should depend on a few factors, according to Allan Borch, founder of Dotcom Dollar.
- Your line of business.
- Whether you are B2B or B2C.
- The type of product or service you sell.
- Who your customers are.
“VoC programs help develop better products and processes,” Borch said. “Asking the right questions ensures customers get the kind of customer insight they’re looking for.”
Related Article: How Thoughtful Surveys Generate Valuable Customer Feedback
Customer Satisfaction, Website, Customer Service Survey
Questions First, Feedback Later
Finn Cardiff, CEO and founder of ecommerce surf company Beachgoer, said one thing that has helped improve his company’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) score is when it started to implement a feedback loop. “For those who have given us a lower score, we follow up on them to know the reason behind and we use such Voice of the Customer to improve our customer service,” Cardiff said. “For instance, we learned to sell creatively but softly.”
Some of the questions his customer experience teams ask include:
- Did you find your online purchase easy?
- Did our customer service agent help you with your needs?
- How satisfied are you with the product that you purchased?
- How satisfied are you with the shipping service?
- Would you recommend the product to your friends?
- Would you recommend our website to your friends?
- What can we improve in terms of our service? Website? Products?
Thinking of Surveys from Touchpoint to Journey
While knowing how a customer experiences digital and physical touchpoints, some CX practitioners are thinking about surveys more from a journey sense. In a Forrester report on CX professionals success in April, principal analyst Maxie Schmidt discussed how one practitioner went from thinking about touchpoint journey surveys to experience journey surveys. The practitioner considered brand promises and governance and used tools like journey mapping to create the new paradigm. She also mapped employee journeys to help.
The practitioner “built on her love for change and her inherent curiosity. A voracious reader, she applied lessons and made them relatable to stakeholders.”
Looking for some great examples? SurveyMonkey, which provides survey and customer experience management software, offers these example VoC questions.