You need to ensure those who interact with your brand get the best customer experience possible.
Surveys allow you to collect feedback at each stage of the customer journey and interact with your customers better. Making data-driven decisions will help you win over new customers, but also retain them. Remove the guesswork once and for all and start asking what your customers really want.
Customer Education Specialist
Nicholas: We’ll be talking about Voice of the Customer today and how important it is to leverage customer feedback to deliver a great customer experience. All types of businesses can benefit from improving the customer experience. The better CX your provide, the better your retention rates, the number of positive recommendations and recurring customers.
Tom: We’d say that customer experience translates directly into money. 67% of customers say they’ll pay more for a great customer experience. And to make sure you deliver it, you need to act on the voice of the customer feedback.
You need to pay close attention to what your customers are saying and understand the customer’s perspective. And surveys can do at least part of the job for you.
Nicholas, will you introduce the agenda of the webinar?
N: Sure thing. We’ll talk about:
1. What’s VOC and what does a VOC program consist of?
2. Types of feedback you can collect with surveys
a) Solicited (structured) feedback – CSAT, NPS and CES metrics
b) Unstructured feedback
3. The most crucial touchpoints in the customer journey
4. How to capture VOC and capitalize on it – four real-life scenarios
What’s VOC and what does a VOC program consist of?
T: Let’s discuss what’s Voice of the Customer. What role do surveys play in capturing the Voice of the Customer?
N: VOC is a research method used by businesses to better understand their customers’ needs, expectations and requirements. It captures every sentiment that customers are expressing about a product, service or brand. These sentiments make up an overall perception of the brand. Simply said, it’s any comment or piece of feedback given by a customer to your company.
T: Questions you should be asking are: why your customers need you, what you can do to help them, what they are looking for, why your customers behave the way they do and what their interests are?
It may seem challenging to you, but truly understanding your customers and delivering a fantastic customer experience is not so difficult. There are methods you can apply that will help you get reliable data.
You can capture VOC in numerous ways, for instance by conducting customer interviews, collecting social media feedback, having an onsite-chat, tracking website data, studying call transcripts, having a dedicated feedback form on your website, or researching customer reviews.
However, we’ll focus largely on customer surveys.
N: Surveys are just one of the ways you can use to receive feedback. They’re by far the most effective method as they provide actionable insights and you can react to them in the moment.
T: Of course, for your brand to be successful you need to make sure you capture the entire the voice of the customer. Surveys, are a good starting point, though.
Let’s discuss what types of feedback you can collect with surveys.
Solicited (structured feedback)
N: In general, surveys can be divided into solicited (structured) and unsolicited (unstructured) feedback. When it comes to solicited feedback, this type of feedback is collected by means of a rating or likert scale. Your organization should pick a metric that will help you measure how your customers are feeling about your company and brand. We’ll now discuss the three most basic customer experience metrics – CSAT, NPS and CES.
T: Customer Satisfaction Score is a metric that allows you to track customer satisfaction at a specific touchpoint, it’s interaction-based. Please note that satisfaction is not equal to happiness.
N: Exactly. So they might be satisfied with how your customer service handled their issue, but they might not be happy with your brand overall. They might not be happy with the fact they had to contact your customer support in the first place.
T: It’s important to not make the assumption that high CSAT scores result in customers’ loyalty. Because they don’t. A customer may be satisfied with your product or service at a specific point in time, but still buy from your competition.
N: Companies that use exclusively CSAT scores see higher churn rates than those that combine the tree metrics together.
Customer satisfaction measures whether your product/service meets or exceeds buyers’ expectations. CSAT surveys work best when used after interactions with your business – your support team, blog or marketing material. These are some natural pausepoints at which you can measure customer satisfaction. They don’t indicate the sentiment of your entire customer base, only the selected portion.
T: We said CSAT doesn’t measure customer’s loyalty, whether customers will buy from you again or not. Well, this metric – Net Promoter Score – does. Especially if combined with other metrics, you can get a holistic understanding of your customers’ sentiment towards your brand.
N: Simply said, NPS is a CX metric that surveys customers based on one question
“On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?”
Promoters give scores of 9-10, passives scores of 7 or 8, and detractors 6 to 0.
T: NPS is a valuable metric because it takes into account all experiences and interactions a customer has had with your brand.
It’s called a brand or relationship metric.
N: Customers are prompted to recall all their experiences, not just the most recent one, so it’s a growth metric. It allows you to anticipate how many repurchases and referrals you’ll get – it’s a good indicator of that.
T: You can pair NPS surveys with open-ended questions such as “What’s the main reason for your score?”. You can obtain useful quantitative feedback to help your company grow across all teams – Product, Support, Marketing. Let’s discuss another metric – Customer Effort Score.
Customer Effort Score
N: The CES survey asks customers how much effort they had to put in to have their request, issue or challenge resolved. You can get your customer to respond to the following statement:
“The company made it easy for my to handle my issue”. The available responses can be:
Strongly disagree / Disagree / Somewhat disagree / Neutral / Somewhat agree / Agree/ Strongly agree
It can also be presented on a numerical scale just like the CSAT survey, with 0 being difficult and 7 very easy.
T: It’s a way of measuring the customer’s experience with a product or service. It allows you to gauge usability and ease of use of your products.
The CES survey is helpful in identifying struggle areas and removing obstacles. You may discover there are some aspects of your product your customers find frustrating. You’ll be able to fix those aspects and improve the ease and the customer experience as a whole.
N: The CES survey tells you how difficult or easy it is for a customer to complete a desired action. It’s interaction-based, CES survey can be sent out after a support interaction, or you can put it in your Help Center. Let’s discuss unstructured feedback now.
T: This type of feedback aims to answer questions such as “What do your customers really want to tell you, how and when do they talk about you and to you”?
It’s any piece of feedback that comes directly from the customers but is unstructured, unfiltered or unframed. Sentiments like that can be expressed on social media such as Twitter or Facebook.
N: That’s a good example, but the term unstructured feedback applies also to surveys. Try asking open-ended follow-up questions within your structured survey.
Be sure to leverage any comment made or sentiment expressed by your customers. You’ll be amazed at how insightful remarks they can share with you. Make sure to share the most critical comments with the rest of the team so you can make improvements.
T: Always ask how your product or service makes your customers feel. Solicit top-of-mind feedback, try asking questions such as: What is the first word or phrase that comes to mind when you see or hear our brand? Ask a lot of open-ended questions, be direct.
This will allow you to collect unbiased, first-thought feedback. You’ll be able to find out what really stands out in the minds of your customers and you’ll be able to double down on success factors or improve on areas you’re struggling with. Many companies make the mistake of acknowledging only the positive feedback and ignoring the bad. Don’t make that mistake.
Here are some effective VOC questions:
“’If you could change just one thing about our product/service, what would it be?”
This question is awesome in terms of finding out what are your customers’ pain points. It also shows your customers that you care about their opinion and their voice is important to you.
“What can we do to improve your experience with us?’
It’s about making it easy for your customer to tell you what you need to do (or stop doing) to keep their business
The most crucial touchpoints in the customer journey
T: Surveys present a huge opportunity for driving loyalty and increased sales. In order to obtain complete information about your customers’ preferences, satisfaction and behavior, it’s advisable to use various channels of communication and run surveys at different touchpoints. All teams and departments should be involved in gathering and acting on the insights.
N: It’s important to realize that not every customer touchpoint is equally important. Some touchpoints may be worth improving on urgently, whereas some others may not be so essential to your business. You need to find out which touchpoints your customers say are your biggest advantages or disadvantages, and don’t waste your resources surveying people about the others.
As an example, if you’re a B2B SaS company you should be looking to establish whether the resources your offering (product pages, knowledge base) are informative and helpful enough, not whether an unimportant query about the accuracy of an invoice was handled well.
You need to establish what can help you win over new customers, and then strive to excel at these areas and constantly improve.
T: What Nicholas meant to say here is that there are so many touchpoints at which you interact with your customers. You need to make sure they’re happy along their entire customer journey.
Because whenever you deal or engage with your customers, it can prompt them to leave a positive or negative review. They can either make repeat purchases, or leave for good to never come back. Here are some of the touchpoints:
a) when they first discover your brand – whether they like your branding, how you position your product (which market you’re in), the value your product can potentially deliver, your values, how you get the company presented.
b) as they research your product – if they’re happy how with how you reply to their pre-purchase queries, whether your customer service is up to scratch, whether your resources (help center / product pages) are informative and helpful enough
c) when they’re in the buying process and make the actual purchase
d) when they implement and use your product
e) any post-purchase experience they have and how they see your brand
N: We’ll now try to put that knowledge into practice and discuss some real-life scenarios of how to capture the voice of the customer and respond to it with surveys.
Responding to VOC – improving CX
T: Always make the customer feel heard and update them on whether you’re planning to take any action on their feedback. If you are ready to listen, your customers are willing to share. That means some real benefits for you company. Actioning feedback will help you increase repeat business, improve your word-of-mouth marketing, make product improvements, and much more.
Let’s discuss some real-world examples of how to capture VOC and respond to it.
Turning customers into loyal advocates of your brand, increasing referrals, improving word of mouth marketing
N: Not many people realize you can capitalize on the Voice of the Customer, get more product reviews and increase social proof.
1) Set up an NPS survey with Survicate. Send it to your customer base.
2) If someone gives you a score of 9 to 10 (turn out to be promoters of your brand), use survey logic and ask if they’d like to submit a review.
3) Route them to an external page with reviews so they can do it.
4) Send NPS scores to your CRM/In-bound marketing tool to follow up later.
1) Set up an NPS survey with Survicate. Send it to your customer base.
2) If someone gives you a score of 9 to 10 (turn out to be promoters of your brand), send their NPS score to your CRM/In-bound. Tag them as promoters.
3) Run a delayed campaign asking them to provide referrals (leave a review) whenever you see fit.
N: Tom, which method you think is better? Ask them for a review right away, or hold off for a while?
T: I say do it head on. I suppose folks will be more likely to submit a review when you ask for it immediately, because the positive sentiment triggered when they were scoring you high is still fresh in their minds.
Improving product research, making more informed, data driven decisions
N: Surveys afford the rare chance to validate your product roadmap. You can get an in-depth knowledge of your users’ expectations, needs and requirements.
T: You can ask questions such as:
“What product or service features do you wish we had?”
“What’s your biggest challenge in… [..]?”
To deliver a high quality experience you need to anticipate and foresee customers needs or wants.
T: By asking these two open-ended feedback questions, you’re letting the Voice of the Customer shape your roadmap and customize products and services by taking into account the requirements of your customers. Ask about their challenges to learn about the greatest pain points your customers are struggling with.
Producing more personalized content
Ask a question to the effect of “How helpful is this content?”
N: You won’t be able to tell just from quantitative data whether all that effort you put into producing content pays off. Whether your blog articles really appeal to your visitors.
Use a rating question, and then an open-ended one. You’ll find whether your articles have genuine value to visitors.
Uncovering features that build up customer loyalty
T: Again, start actively listening to your users. No-one knows what a customer likes best and what’s your greatest competitive advantage than the customer themselves.
Uncover features that are likely to build up customer loyalty. Ask questions such as:
“What is it what we should never stop doing?” – this is more likely to trigger immediate energetic responses than the good old “What do you like about us?”.
Your customers will be able to give answers like “Never stop the free onboarding” and you’ll be able to capitalize on your success factors and double down on them.
Another example would be “What made you pick our service/product over our competition?”
You’ll be able to effortlessly gain insights into what your competitors are offering, how you’re different from them, what’s their pricing is and how they’re marketing their product.
You’ll be able to use information like that to your advantage and tailor your offer to the needs of your customers.