Great digital VoC – like great CX – starts with great questions


Share on LinkedIn

Do your digital VoC strategies uncover highly actionable nuggets of information? Do these strategies then enable you to drive improvements against broader business objectives – such as increasing revenue and ultimately loyalty? If not, it could well be because you’re asking your customers the wrong questions.

Great digital VoC programs lead to great CX. But great digital VoC programs start with great questions.

So how do you know if you’re asking these great questions that generate great actions? Or, more appropriately, how do you know if you’re asking the best possible questions that generate the best possible actions?

Customer-initiated digital feedback is a great VoC tool to determine what questions to ask as well as being a great vehicle for asking those questions.

Great questions are integrally aligned to business objectives

As a CX professional, do you know what the primary objective of your business is? Is it to grow revenue and increase market share? More than likely, yes. But how does your organization expect to achieve this goal? And how does this relate to your specific role? And, digging even deeper, how can you harness your digital VoC program to drive improvements against this goal?

Don’t feel badly if you don’t know the answers to all these questions. In an ideal world, you’d be crystal clear on your main business objectives, your role in delivering on them, and how you personally impact them. And – beyond that – how to measure the impact of your efforts. But none of us lives in an ideal world.

However, it’s important you quickly come to grips with this. Any digital VoC program needs to ladder up to bigger organizational goals.

Digital feedback is VoC that tells you what to measure

A good digital VoC program will enable your customers to leave feedback in their own words. These comments are a great source of ideas if you don’t know what to measure. Or don’t want to make assumptions about what matters to your customers.

You’d be surprised to learn just how many companies design segments of their digital experiences with a single purpose in mind. But, instead, their customers use (or want to use) it for an entirely separate purpose.

When it comes to digital VoC feedback, you should start by asking your customers for their open-ended comments. Why? This is how you gain insight into aspects of the customer experience that you never knew were important. You may even find out about stuff you never previously even thought to measure.

To develop questions that drive action, you then need to cross-reference this information with your business objectives. And then ask yourself: “What are we, as a company trying to understand?”. All the while you need to be thinking about maximizing bottom-line impact.

Use digital VoC to optimize touchpoints

If you want your organization to be a CX leader, you have to think in terms of touchpoints. And by this, I mean each moment of truth in your customers’ journeys. You then need to define clear ways to measure each touchpoint – so that you can actually track improvement.

What specifically about a given touchpoint do you want to improve? Or what do you know your customers want improved, based on what they tell you? All these considerations should be integral to the information you seek to get out of your digital VoC program to ensure it is as actionable as possible.

Customize digital VoC questions to specific touchpoints

Ask yourself: how do we as a company define success when it comes to each digital touchpoint? Maybe it’s your customers adding a product or service to their basket, logging into their account or requesting more information. Whatever these measures are, they will be unique to your business and larger customer journey.

If you have existing criteria in place for defining this success, translate it into a specific question that can be asked via your digital VoC program. What will follow is a bunch of highly specific diagnostic insight that will enable you to optimize each critical touchpoint.

By transforming success metrics into questions with discrete response types, you also establish a baseline  – a barometer for you to track on and measure against in the future.

Tailor your questions to specific points in the journey

Diagram of typical retail customer journeySo now we’ve explored in detail the voice of customer questions you should ask. But you also need to think about where exactly in the digital customer journey you should ask them. And in the context of digital VoC, this means the point of interaction – typically an app or site page.

Companies often want to ask a specific question across all pages and interactions. The problem with this is that it involves making assumptions about your customer’s individual experiences. Assumptions that mean you don’t personalize the questions you ask in the right way. For example, we see companies ask things like:

  • “What do you think of checkout?”
  • “What do you think of tool X?”
  • “How does our new site compare to the old site?”

These questions – if placed in the wrong point in the journey – alienate your customers. Their natural response is likely to be “I haven’t checked out yet, and I’m actually just here to browse” or “this is my first time on your site, so I don’t know even know what the “old” site was like.”

Simply put, make sure your questions and the responses they provoke make sense given where they manifest themselves or appear in the digital journey. This will optimize how actionable the responses you generate are.

The three A’s define whether your digital VoC program will be successful

When you’re thinking about the questions you want to ask your customers as part of your voice of customer process, you need to think about the three A’s: alignment, accountability, and action. How will the responses you get align with the various teams across your organization? Who will be accountable for listening to them? And how will these people be empowered to act on the insight that these questions provide?

If you want your feedback to inform your organizational processes, policies, products and services, you need to empower your employees to make feedback-driven decisions. The most effective digital VoC programs foster cultures in which the entire company listens and responds to the voice of the customer.

Benchmarking progress is pointless without action

Let’s assume that you have identified your business objectives, identified specifically what you want to understand, and how you want to measure it. Before you even think about asking a question along these lines, ask yourself:

“Who on our team or in our organization will be responsible for owning this feedback?” (or in other words, who is going to actually use the feedback associated with the questions you want to ask)

This isn’t simply a question of identifying who will be accountable for responding to specific types of digital VoC feedback. This is about the importance of thinking strategically about how you plan to move information throughout your organization to create greater collective visibility into what your customers have to tell you.

If you don’t have a system in place for assigning responsibility to relevant “feedback stakeholders”, then you are setting yourself up for failure. You will capture insights into the customer experience that may never even get a chance for consideration – simply because they won’t make their way into the hands of the right people who can affect change.

And ultimately, no one leaves feedback for their own good – they do it because they want whatever it is they experienced through your digital touchpoints to change. So make sure you have the right digital VoC processes in place to do this.

If you want to know more about how to optimize your digital VoC feedback for improved business results, consider downloading the OpinionLab ebook: 7 strategies to improve CX with digital feedback.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Terry Anderson
Terry Anderson is a Senior Analyst on the OpinionLab Insights team. She's been working with the biggest brands to improve their customer experiences for six years, the last four of those at OpinionLab.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here