Tag Archives: VOC

When VOC Calls – Listen

I don’t know about your newspaper, but mine seems full of bad news today. Housing prices are sinking, the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas says the economy is near stall speed, and Reddy Ice Holdings is in danger of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

Real downer, dudes and dudettes. But do not let these types of goings on rattle your cage, especially if you are about to cast an eye at slashing customer support. You have a gold mine there in case you don’t know it.

Your customers are feeling the pinch, just like you. Ask yourself, do I feel like making any cash outlays right now? Or would I like to know my vendor has my back until things stabilize but making sure what I already have keeps working right and that I learn about any great deals quickly?

These are the same feelings your customers have. And you should be able to tell from the feedback you get whenever one of them contacts your organization. If you are doing it right, customer service and customer support are putting some valuable information into the customer service management system.

By finding out how often and why people are calling, you can target incentives, sales collateral, and good karma toward your existing customers. These are the ones you want to stay around until things are more flush. It’s fun to get new customers, sure, but expensive. The ones you already have deserve your undivided attention for remaining loyal.

Get your system to tell you the trends in parts replacements, problems, requested features or products, and where all this is coming from. Make sure you are alerted as early as possible about customer dissatisfaction so you can catch them and fix it before they go to a competitor. Work with them so they know you understand their situation so that, even if they leave, when they feel more able to afford it, they will come back.

You can’t find all these things out if you don’t listen. The Voice of the Customer shouldn’t just blow in the wind. Even now your have information that you can use and you can find out more by adding some feedback management to your customer service and support.

Just like you can’t fix what you don’t measure, you can’t improve if you don’t learn precisely what is needed from the very people you need to keep your company afloat.

Managing the Customer Experience: CEM vs VOC vs EFM

Customer Experience Management

Marketing and customer service have started talking about the “Customer Experience” as an initiative. It seems a very nebulous term without any way to measure your progress or level. As always, the nomenclature for customer experience management has yet to settle into place. There seems to be multiple names for it with the typical alphabet soup of aliases.

As a service to you, the CXO, I present a brief list of definitions by Syed Hasan in destinationCRM:

  • CEM:
    • Customer Experience Management
    • Comprehensive business improvement and brand-building strategy
    • Encompasses strategic planning and operationalization
    • Envision desired experience
    • Collect, manipulate interpret all forms of customer experience data
    • Use intelligence to improve offerings, business planning, customer facing practices, and service delivery
  • VOC
    • Voice Of the Customer
    • Market research programs designed to discover customer requirements and needs
    • Differs from CEM: Less to do with day-to-day customer experiences
    • Used more for long term business improvement
    • Ensures customer needs are part of product development and service delivery strategies
  • EFM
    • Enterprise Feedback Management
    • Includes all customer feedback technologies including automated survey technologies
    • Consolidates organization wide surveys onto a single platform to centralize the information and create efficient processes for managing the submission and manipulation of large volumes of survey data.
    • NOT just data mining

Unfortunately, even now multiple platforms and services claim to any and all of these and claim to cover the total of customer experience management. The field is slowly finding universal definitions but the best way to know what practice is really being discussed is to take a deeper look into each service or product.

Mr. Hasan advocates “cutting to the chase.” You want to solve problems not write definitions. What you need to be looking at:

  • Customer retention
  • Customer feedback (who cares by which acronym)
  • Satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy measure by meaningful metrics

Keep those three bullet points in mind when the customer experience promoters come to call. It isn’t that they aren’t right. It’s just that you, as CXO, need to help them understand what you need to know.

And it isn’t a jumble of letters.

Cross posted from The Successful CXO:Committed to Customer Service

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