The consumer voice has never been stronger.

The internet has created a massive increase in the volume of customer feedback data. 

Social media, product reviews, customer ratings, online surveys, net promoter score… all these communication channels mean that companies are increasingly having to make their businesses customer-centric.

Managing customer experience is key in driving loyalty, retention and high CLV, however it’s the most progressive businesses that have taken the insights from feedback and used it to acquire new customers and drive change within functions of the business outside of customer services.

This is according to our new report Voice of the Customer: Listen, Measure, Act, produced in partnership with Trustpilot.

The report is based on interviews with senior executives working for a range of brands. It explores a range of questions including: ‘What does VoC currently mean to businesses?’ ‘How are brands implementing VoC?’ ‘Which key tactics are businesses employing to gather VoC data?’ and ‘What are the best practice approaches for building VoC?

Here are some key takeaways from the report, which point towards three main areas where businesses embarking upon a VoC programme need to take the next few steps: listen, measure and act.

Listen

Tools that provide the ability to listen to the customer are absolutely vital, otherwise you won’t have anything to measure and therefore act upon. VoC data however can be difficult to collect and it’s often unstructured and unpredictable.

How do you collect this data? You can directly ask your customers for feedback via an online survey. This shows them that you value their opinions. This data can then be shared across the business, to help improve products improvements and optimise the customer experience. 

Don’t forget that customers will often talk about your business across multiple channels without directly addressing you, which is why it’s vital to monitor your brand on Twitter and other social channels.

Measure

According to our interviews, measurement is one of the most lacking areas. Measuring the impact of VoC programmes is integral to establishing a link between VoC and ROI.

As multichannel communication becomes more prevalent and customers increasingly interact with businesses through online and offline channels, building a single customer view (SCV) can be much more difficult.

It’s important that this huge amount of data from all these various channels is pulled into one place, and that the data is used in a meaningful way. By building a fuller, personalised picture of the customer and their journey, a business will have a more insightful guide to improving future sales and make improvements to future customer interactions. 

Act

As soon as trends are identified, escalate them internally, decide how best to respond and act timely. It’s critical that customers are responded to quickly so they feel they are being listened to and taken seriously.

Responses must also be ‘human’. When dealing with so much data and analytics it’s easy to forget that real, honest relationship building is the goal of any VoC programme.

The personal touch can be incredibly valuable when building customer loyalty.

Improving the customer experience will also lead to many business rewards. We asked our respondents “what do you see as the business benefits of an integrated customer experience?”

For lots more in-depth insight, download Voice of the Customer: Listen, Measure, Act