Last month we featured customer journey mapping as a foundation piece in maximising customer experience. This month we look at a Voice of the Customer (VoC) Program, where an organisation has an embedded program of putting customers coming first.
A recent CMO article, “Is your Voice of Customer Program disruptive enough”, provided some great insights into the importance of a VoC program. Essentially, there are four core elements to creating a successful program: CEO sponsorship, understanding your customers, employee engagement and business alignment.
A successful VoC program is based on an overarching strategy championed by the CEO. It’s no surprise therefore, that to achieve an organisation-wide and ingenuous approach to customers, requires commitment from the CEO and the Executive team. A top-down approach is imperative for success. While your Chief Marketing Officer or Chief Customer Officer can manage the operational aspects of a VoC program, the CEO and Executive will execute their activities through the lens of the customer and importantly use staff interactions to reinforce the principles and benefits of the program.
Another critical aspect in creating a successful VoC program is in understanding your customers. In addition to conducting formal customer research, customer journey maps are a great way to understand the critical touch-points in your customer’s journey as is customer feedback data (i.e. Net Promoter Score, Customer Effort and Customer Satisfaction) and operational data, such as transactional and purchase data. Moreover, capture what your customers are saying to your front-line staff including your contact centre, sales force and back office staff. Take on board all the feedback no matter how confronting, your genuine approach to want to hear and integrate what your staff are saying will generate greater buy-in to the program.
The Sears Model, developed back in the 80’s, proposed that happy customers was a direct result of happy and engaged employees. It still applies today - if your staff are motivated and enjoy coming to work then their enthusiasm will cascade to your customers. To ensure success with a VoC program, there needs to be a concerted effort to improve employee engagement. So, the employee engagement program should run in parallel or integrated with the VoC program.
Finally, business alignment is essential to ensuring all aspects of the business align to customer excellence. For example:
Are your recruiting practices reflecting the right attitudes and behaviours for new staff?
Does a new cross-functional project have its objectives aligned to putting customers first?
Is the pending implementation of a new IT system going to maximise customer experience?
Do your staff communications include customer success stories?
Do you celebrate great customer successes and reward staff accordingly?
To find out more how Exceed Global can assist you in creating a Voice of the Customer program, visit our website, download our Capability Statement or call 0407 889 987.