There is no questioning it; we are living in the age of the customer. Shar VanBoskirk, an Analyst at Forrester Research, stated that, “Only marketers who are customer-obsessed and adapt to consumers’ changing behaviors …will succeed.” This means that marketers need to better understand customers and shift to a customer-centric mindset. The only way to understand your customers’ intentions, needs and experiences is through a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program.
“VoC is now being viewed as a must-have strategy,” says Jim Davies, research director at Gartner. But there are still many misconceptions about VoC programs.
There are many misconceptions about Voice of Customer analytics so to set the record straight let’s take a look at five VoC myths and debunk them.
Myth 1 – ‘A Digital Voice of Customer solution is a nice-to-have’
This is one of the biggest misconceptions. “It is just not mission critical at the moment”, “I need to improve the return on my current initiatives”, “I need more customers”. But the bottom line is that Voice of the Customer data is critical to the success of any business especially in today’s customer driven and digitally connected world. If nothing else, it will measure the effectiveness of your current initiatives and measure the progress you are making, showing you are making a difference.
According to Gartner, 89 percent of companies expect to be competing primarily on customer experience by now. But in order to compete based on customer experience, companies need to deliver a better experience. A Voice of the Customer solution is critical to being able to achieve this. Only by listening to the voice of your customers can you pinpoint the gaps in the experience you are currently providing.The reward for implementing a VoC solution – According to a recent Forrester report customers are 4.5 times more likely to pay a premium when they have an excellent experience versus a poor experience. Also CX leaders experience 5 times the revenue growth of laggards.
Myth 2 – ‘You don’t need Voice of Customer data – Web analytics is enough’
Web analytics data is the cornerstone of digital marketing strategies, but it only tells half the story. Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist for Google and bestselling web analytics author, said that, “It [Web analytics] cannot, no matter how much you torture the data, tell you WHY something happened.”
Without Voice of Customer data, you can’t know why your conversion rate is only 1 percent or why 90 percent of visitors are leaving your site after looking at one website page. To understand the reasons behind visitors’ behavior you need to have a VoC program in place. You absolutely need to ask your website visitors! Digital strategies need to be anchored in customer centricity and the critical component is understanding the WHY behind the WHAT.
Myth 3 – ‘Using a digital VoC solution affects conversion’
Too often people say that collecting VoC data can hurt conversion. As most VoC solutions use a survey to collect customer feedback, many believe this competes with other call-to-actions on the website.
This is a complete misunderstanding of why you have to collect VoC data in the first place. In reality, it is only by understanding what is working and what is not from your customers’ perspective that you can increase conversion.
Furthermore, at iPerceptions we have collaborated with many e-commerce clients to test if there is any impact on conversion while running an on-arrival survey. Our tests have showed that there is no negative impact on conversion. The key is how you engage visitors for feedback. Being upfront, polite and providing customers with a clear and easy way to opt out, ensures you can collect VoC data without it impacting your bottom line.
Myth 4 – ‘I don’t have the internal expertise or resources to run a comprehensive VoC program’.
This is a common problem but a first-class VoC solution provider should provide access to a dedicated team of experts who can help you run a comprehensive VoC program. This team usually can manage the diverse aspects of a digital VoC program, from implementation to data analysis. Also this team should be able to scale based on your needs to ensure you get a return on your investment. For more infomation getting experts to run your VoC program, check out our blog post – 5 Reasons You Should Consider A Fully-Serviced Voice of the Customer Solution.
Myth 5 – ‘Voice of the Customer data is not actionable’
Every VoC solution claims to provide actionable data. Unfortunately, many fall short. Most solutions have reporting tools that can be used to find actionable data. But this puts a lot of pressure on your internal resources who might not have the time or expertise to go through and analyze the data.
But VoC data can provide actionable insights when it is coupled with a team of seasoned experts. Leading VoC providers will have a team of seasoned analysts you can lean on to analyze your VoC data and pull out nuggets of actionable insights.
These are some of the main misconceptions I have come across over the last 20 years in the industry.