Voice of the Customer: A Dozen Do’s and Don’ts

Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC) has experienced something of a revolution over the last few years. The days of running a generic NPS (Net Promoter Score) program on websites and bulk email surveys should be behind us, with more focus on gleaning real time, actionable insight, across a range of contact channels.

Although it was once acceptable to simply generate a clutch of NPS data… Now, we need to tailor VoC programs to deliver a range of customer feedback, across voice, web, email, chat, social media and even face-to-face channels. And we need to make sure our programs are dynamic, comparable, engaging and, most importantly, provide actionable insights.

Here’s a list of 12 ‘Dos and Don’ts’ to help you meet the new VoC challenges:

1. Don’t rely on generic website and bulk email surveys.

Do: Embrace post-interaction surveys. Whether your customers are contacting you across voice, email, web or chat channels, look to pass them into a post-interaction survey. This provides much more relevant and immediate feedback, across channel.

2. Don’t just use the same standard survey month on month.

Do: Mix it up. Have a range of surveys, with differing questions, across channel, team and agent. Use surveys that match up to the type of enquiry and nature of contact. Prepare surveys for special events, such as new product releases or campaigns and glean relevant feedback.

3. Don’t just ask 3 standard questions, with 1-10 scoring.

Do: Use appropriate scoring parameters and options for each specific question. If you’re asking a closed question around resolution, capture a Yes or No response. If there could be a subset of responses, use multiple-choice options. Use a scale that matches the required metric, whether that may be 1-10 (for NPS) or 1-5 (for customer effort).

4. Don’t just use NPS because everyone else does!

Do: Sit back and review the nature of your enquiries and decide on the most relevant metric to capture. If the enquiries are relating to customer service, then potentially asking a question around customer effort may be more appropriate. Or if you’re looking to measure customer loyalty, potentially look at capturing a NetEasy metric.

5. Don’t ignore the value of verbatim comments.

Do: Look to ask open questions and capture free text comments, wherever possible. Scores and multiple choice answers may be easier to analyse and report on. But, verbatim comments can be the richest source of customer feedback available, highlighting issues that you weren’t even aware of.

6. Don’t just say ‘Thank You’ when you receive a poor survey rating.

Do: Use dynamic routing in your survey design and structure. If a customer scores poorly on the first question, do not simply continue with the standard survey – look to understand more about the customer issue. Empathise with the customer and ideally look to provide an option to speak to a supervisor (immediately).

7. Don’t pass up an opportunity to compare agent performance.

Do: Use unique identifiers for each contact centre agent. If it’s a post-call voice survey, make sure you are tracking scores by agent and with digital channels use a unique hyperlink for each individual agent. This provides a rich source of comparable insight across a team of agents, identifying both top performers and potential training requirements.

8. Don’t just review your metrics on a weekly / monthly basis.

Do: Track VoC in real-time. Monitor questions scores and customer comments, across channel, in real time. Any sudden swing in question scores needs to be understood immediately and by streaming customer comments in real time, we can often identify issues quickly and respond proactively to address and rectify the problem asap.

9. Don’t alienate your agents from the VoC program.

Do: Engage your agents in the process. Install a real-time wall board, tracking individual team and agent performance. Recognise your top performing agents on a daily and monthly basis and motivate other agents to improve. Look to highlight a maximum survey score for an agent or stream positive customer comments to recognise great service.

10. Don’t just accept a low take-up percentage on surveys.

Do: Experiment with a range of encouragement and incentives to improve up-take. Post-interaction surveys and ‘warm’ transfers greatly increase take-up vs a generic web or bulk email survey. But, also look to experiment with different encouragement, phrasing and even providing some sort of incentive to the customer.

11. Don’t ever allow agents to ‘cherry pick’!

Do: Take away the control of ‘which’ customers are transferred into a survey from agents. It’s human nature for an agent not to want to transfer a poor interaction into a customer satisfaction survey. So, we must control which contacts are transferred (i.e. by percentage) and have accountability through an audit trail to enforce the policy.

12. Don’t run disparate programs across channels.

Do: Coordinate all of your VoC programs, across each contact channel. Make sure there is always at least one common question and metric that can be easily compared across voice, email, chat and social channels. Ideally, use the same platform to capture VoC across channel, so channels, teams and agents can be easily monitored and compared.

There’s your dirty dozen of dos and don’ts for a multi-channel VoC program. Please let us know of any others that we may have missed or contact us via our contact form to start doing VoC the right way!