We live in a world where negative online reviews can bankrupt a business. A dissatisfied customer can lead to loss of current and potential customers, loss of market share and reputation damage.
Companies [firms] worldwide are becoming aware on the importance of reputation in the pressure of today’s extremely competitive market.
Maintaining a good reputation has proven not only to increase revenues but that sometimes it is more important than the quality of services itself. There are different ways firms can manage their reputation, but the one that has proven to be successful is to listen to the Voice of Customers (VOC).
Avoiding bad customer experiences will certainly have a positive impact on your firm, because one bad experience can spread through the power of the word-of-mouth and impact your firm negatively.
As far back as 2013, Oracle conducted a research that showed that “businesses can lose 20% of revenue from poor customer experiences.” The study also shows that although 91% of the businesses wish to be considered a customer experience leader in their industry, only 37% of them have a formal initiative in place.
One important fact from the study points out is that the voice of customers is becoming louder through social media, yet executives still underestimate its power on customer behaviour.
Voice of customer analysis, also known as VOC, is a market research technique that focuses on customers’ (and prospects’) wants and needs, then prioritizes them into a hierarchical structure before prioritizing them in terms of relative importance and satisfaction with current alternatives. VOC is a way to describe your customers’ experiences with and expectations for your products or services.
A Gartner research recently discovered that collecting customer feedback can increase upselling and cross-selling success rates by 15% to 20%.
In today’s era of immediacy, clients are more demanding than ever. To keep up with customer/client expectations, brands are increasingly investing in Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs that employ a closed-loop process.
Why is a customer/client important?
Customers/clients are now smarter, more skeptical, and have more options than ever before. This combination makes it harder than ever to retain them. At the first sign of a bad experience, customers/clients can and will jump ship to a different option.
Keeping clients and increasing their lifetime value to your business has always been a key ingredient of the most successful firms. In a COVID-19 economic climate it becomes even more important.
By focusing on the following key factors, you can successfully establish organization-wide customer centricity.
Establishing a customer-centric culture starts at the very top. Without top-level buy-in there is a low probability of creating maximum impact for any customer-centric initiative.
You’ll also want to garner the support of lower level leads to truly move the needle on improving the customer experience. Leaders set the tone for their teams, so if a leader decides that the client is important, their direct reports will follow suit.
Your vision for VoC needs to be specific so that everyone within the organization can easily understand the common goal. Start by focusing on the language and messaging you’ll use to convey your vision.
A short and simple vision statement to help you increase understanding and buy-in from leadership is recommended.
An engaged workforce is vital for the long-term success of a customer-centric firm. As employees become more engaged, cross-functional collaboration and synergy will create more impactful and successful client initiatives.
To truly engage your workforce, you have to understand them. The most tried and true method for doing so is by implementing a formal employee experience program.
A systematic method for monitoring and collecting customer/client feedback is key to improving the overall experience. Because customer/client feedback can be gathered via multiple channels it’s important to build any listening program on a robust platform that can pivot with customers/clients as their feedback preferences change.
As much as it pains firms to hear this, building a world-class customer/client culture is not an overnight exercise – nor is it one that can be completely outsourced.
Like it or not, the most successful customer-centric organizations in the world are built in an iterative fashion over a number of years – customer culture is slowly altered, collection practices are refined, analyses are increased in complexity, and action becomes widespread and aspirational.
All along this journey, leadership must demonstrate patience and commitment to the process and vision.