Article

Categories

Making The Most Of Your Customer Feedback

Trustpilot studied how businesses such as Schuh, Tesco Mobile and AXA are using customer voice.

The customer voice has never been stronger. As a result, businesses have to become more customer-centric by dedicating time and resources to collecting and responding to customer feedback, using the insights uncovered to improve and evolve the customer experience.

It’s not just customer service departments that are looking to customer feedback for guidance; marketers and ecommerce professionals are using this data to help acquire new customers and drive change across their business. This has led to a surge in ‘Voice of the Customer’ (VoC) programmes, in which businesses gather customer feedback from a wide range of sources before analysing it to capture actionable insights.

Gartner forecasts that VoC programmes will be one of the most significant strategic investments businesses make over the next five years, and estimates that the VoC market is set to grow 30 per cent annually. This is not surprising given the findings outlined in a recent report by the Aberdeen Group, which estimates that those businesses embracing VoC programmes could generate an increase in annual revenue of over 10 per cent.

So what makes a great VoC programme? This depends on a number of factors such as the type of business, its relationship with its customers, the aims to be achieved, the businesses’ own brand and ‘voice’, and the creativity it can bring to such a project. Nevertheless, there are certain principles which are common to every successful VoC programme.

Trustpilot studied several leading initiatives from companies including Schuh, Tesco Mobile and AXA Insurance to find out how businesses are using the customer voice. Here are the three key areas we identified:

Listen

The first step towards implementing an effective VoC programme is to ensure that as much feedback data is being collected as possible.

As customers already talk about businesses online — regardless of whether or not they are asked to — it makes sense to be proactive and provide customers with a range of platforms to publicly share feedback, such as social media and online reviews.

When this is combined with feedback captured via traditional channels such as feedback surveys and contact centres, businesses can gain a wider ranging and accurate view of customer opinion.  It’s also important to integrate this with customer behaviour data from CRM and ERP systems to link these insights more closely with customer behaviour.

By ensuring they have collected information from as many avenues as possible, businesses can begin to unlock the insights within it.

Measure

When setting up a VoC programme, it is critical to track and quantify the impact of customer feedback on business performance. This can be done by measuring factors such as ratings, social media engagement, customer satisfaction surveys and the sentiment of customer reviews, before linking these to business objectives including revenue, customer acquisition and retention. This enables businesses to make a clear connection between VoC strategies and their return on investment.

Of course, there is limited value in measuring VoC if the data is not being effectively shared with departments across the business. Therefore, it is essential that the information is digested and analysed with the wider business in mind.

By doing this, companies can make sure that everyone has the ability to use the data to their advantage while ensuring a coherent VoC strategy across all departments. For some businesses, this will continue to remain a challenge until business silos are broken down.

Act

Armed with these insights, it is vital that businesses consider acting on trends that have been identified and agree amongst departments how best to respond. In order to do this, ownership of VoC initiatives should be centralised or at least well-orchestrated across departments.

For example, if there are frequent complaints about product quality, this can be addressed by manufacturing, whereas delivery complaints can be addressed quickly by the distribution department. By making sure senior execs are brought in at an early stage, or establishing a senior role dedicated to the voice of the customer, organisations can ensure the necessary structural changes are made.

However, VoC initiatives are not just about helping businesses do a better job of responding to problems. Ideally, they should also be used to help organisations identify opportunities to achieve a competitive advantage. For example, by leveraging insights to better understand consumer behaviour, and make improvements to the path to purchase journey on websites.

Although VoC strategies are still in their infancy, it is important that businesses act now to ensure they are prepared for its growth. By listening, measuring and acting on customer feedback, companies will be in a great position to make the most of their customer data in 2015.

Read More on Digital Doughnut.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
The New '4Ps of Marketing'

The New '4Ps of Marketing'

Neil H. Borden, in 1964, gifted the world with the 4Ps of the Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. This concept has been a cornerstone of business marketing. However, there are new 4Ps of Marketing – just as powerful and just as game changing as Neil Borden’s.

Daisy Kent
Daisy Kent 18 May 2017
Read more
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
How To Calculate Marketing ROI

How To Calculate Marketing ROI

Calculating marketing ROI is an exercise in patience and accuracy. The formula to calculate basic, short-term marketing ROI is simple: ROI = (Incremental Profit – Campaign Cost) / Campaign Cost. But marketers know that the formula—while accurate—is far too often misapplied to their efforts.

James Loomstein
James Loomstein 16 May 2017
Read more
Forget SWOT, The Pareto Rule Holds The Secret To Your Online Success

Forget SWOT, The Pareto Rule Holds The Secret To Your Online Success

One of the most important principles I've learned is the so-called Pareto Rule. This principle holds particular importance for aspiring online entrepreneurs. If you are a Blogger, Digital Marketer, Amazon Seller, AdSense expert, then Pareto’s Rule applies to your business. Understanding it is vital to your success.

Alex Papaconstantinou
Alex Papaconstantinou 17 May 2017
Read more