Published on August 26, 2021 by Avinash Saxena
Unlocking organisational success with the Voice of the Customer programme (an 8-part series) This is part 8 of 8 our comprehensive series of blogs on the Voice of Customer.
In this final edition of our VoC series, we look at the importance and ways of maintaining the momentum of VoC surveys. Keeping up the momentum is key; several organisational initiatives often start with much fanfare but quickly fade when the momentum is not maintained. The VoC programme, too, has to run efficiently, but with the agility to adapt to changes. The following guiding principles could help an organisation do so.
The inner loop and the outer loop need to be well integrated
Follow-ups and interactions created in the inner loop provide rich inputs for the outer loop, but this information has to be duly consolidated and disseminated effectively. The point of integration between the loops will bring together the stakeholders involved in each area of concern. There may be an empowered committee of a cross-functional nature including senior LOB representatives that helps decide order of priority, allocate resources for resolution, set deadlines, monitor progress and remove organisational roadblocks. Hence, this committee would ultimately drive the organisational and structural change agenda that aims to boost promoter numbers.
Robust technological enablement is essential
Today’s CX platforms are powerful enough to help organisations build processes, analytics, dashboards and reporting frameworks. However, these have to be aligned with the dynamic needs of each organisation. Thus, a tech solution that provides the agility and flexibility to implement customised needs has to be adopted. Automation features for aspects, such as, alert generation and emails should also be taken into account. Many organisations would want to integrate their VOC systems with CRM or other data platforms to view all customer details at once.
Focus on employee engagement
While organisations would try to deploy their best resources for pivotal roles, it is equally vital that all stakeholders, including frontline employees and leaders, have an ongoing focus on their expected contributions. Diligent customer follow-up, escalation, reporting and communication need to move together consistently and sustainably. Employees could also signal emerging trends/pain points. Thus, they need to be given a platform or medium to share their observations and suggestions.
Cover the entire customer journey
It may be impractical to begin a VOC programme for the entire customer journey in one go. So, organisations can gradually add customer lifecycle stages or journey touch-points. While all interactions are important, accurately identifying the “moments of truth” that really make or break a customer’s opinion of the organisation is critical.
Communicate with transparency
Whether feedback is good or bad, it is about facing the reality of what customers think of the organisation. Hence, areas in which it is faring well and areas for improvement should be communicated well within the organisation. Similarly, customer feedback should be acknowledged and customers made aware of how their concerns are being addressed. If it is not possible to do this individually, it can be done through newsletters or message broadcasts. In addition, it is important to be transparent with customers about what can be addressed and what cannot. Most customers appreciate transparency and being given reasonable explanations of a company’s decisions.
Obtain leadership sponsorship
“Customer experience” is increasingly finding its way into boardroom agendas, but it should not just be one metric in the presentation. Organisations need to have backing and support from the very top if they are to drive the programme successfully. This is especially true for large and complex organisations, where it is challenging to run cross-department programmes.
Don’t wait for a permanent fix or perfect strategy
Organisations should not fall for the endless loop of analysis. There is no permanent fix or perfect strategy for addressing all issues. Merely starting a VOC programme, enabling a technological platform and setting up a reporting framework will not solve all problems. Instead, it has to be a positive feedback loop, where small changes start getting reflected through satisfied customers, encouraging all organisations to raise their standards. Small steps will add up to a giant stride.
These suggestions can help organisations sustain a successful VOC programme, but as stated above, we should not consider it a one-time project. As customers’ experience in their professional and private lives shape their expectations, more suggestions would keep finding their way into feedback. Thus, VOC has to be an ongoing programme, just like any other business function.
This blog concludes our 8-part series on “Unlocking organisational success with the Voice of the Customer programme”. We sincerely hope that the suggestions and insights outlined in these articles help you build a successful VOC programme in your organisation. We would love to hear from you. Please reach out to us if you have query or suggestion.
How Acuity Knowledge Partners can help
Acuity Knowledge Partners has been providing research and insight support to diverse stakeholders in the technology sector — tech corporates, tech advisory firms and tech-focused investors — for nearly two decades. Equipped with a 360o view, we understand how customer data can be captured and analysed, and how the story emanating thereof can be leveraged to achieve better business outcomes. We help Fortune 500 technology corporations, mid-tier firms and start-ups leverage customer feedback on people, products and processes to remain flexible and better serve their customers.
About the Author
Avinash Saxena, Delivery Manager, Consulting Practice, has over nine years of work experience in consulting, market research, and project management. Before Acuity Knowledge Partners, he has worked with Capgemini, Infosys, and Persistent Systems. His expertise areas include business strategy, emerging technologies, innovation for the financial services sector — particularly banking, payments, and FinTechs. Currently, he is a strategic consultant for one of the leading global financial solutions provider firms. Avinash has done MBA from NMIMS Mumbai and B.Tech. from VNIT Nagpur.