What’s the “Ultimate Question” for your Voice of the Customer Program?


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VOC Program questions and metrics

Andrew McGuiness from Forrester Research wrote a recent blog asking readers: “What have your experiences been like with NPS*? Is it really your ultimate question? Has it helped you make improvements and drive financial results?”

This prompted me to think about the questions our customers ask when assessing their customer feedback programs:

  • What are the key metrics to use in Voice of the Customer programs?

There are many different viewpoints on this.  "Likely to recommend" can be very valuable, but has its limitations as a single metric, and does not work equally well in all industry sectors.  Joe Camirand, VP of Research and Consulting Services for MarketTools, talked about this in a recent blog post on the Secure Customer Index, originally developed in 1996 by D. Randall Brandt, PhD.  This index combines "Likely to recommend" with "Likely to repurchase" and "Overall satisfaction" metrics.  These additional measurements provide deeper insight into customer loyalty, allowing businesses to analyze Top Box scores (percent of respondents who choose the highest options in your rating scale) and perform segmentation analysis using the Apostle Model, which correlates overall satisfaction with likelihood to repurchase.  Whichever method you use, we always advocate performing analysis beyond the top level score to understand which segments and key drivers provide the greatest opportunity for driving meaningful improvements. Equally important is sticking with a set of key metrics that you can trend over time.

  • What is the connection between technology and change management in Voice of the Customer programs?

Andrew’s post noted that “following a high-level metric won't help you change anything”, and I couldn’t agree more.  Our customers find that by using Enterprise Feedback Management technology, they can gather customer feedback in an objective way that promotes fact-based decision making.  The right technology can help business leaders quickly identify the best opportunities for investment.  From there, however, companies must take action and initiate programs that improve the customer experience.

  • What is the value of 1:1 follow-up with customers?

We are huge believers in the value of closing the loop with customers through 1:1 follow-up.  Organizing this effectively through a combination of email alerts, case management, and case analytics helps businesses get the maximum return from valuable sales and customer care resources.  Often customers will turn out to be more loyal after an issue is handled well than before the issue occurred at all.  And correlating 1:1 follow-up actions with resulting new business and customer saves can help you quickly show ROI on your investment in a Voice of the Customer program.

We’ve seen MarketTools customers like Wind River and American General Life look beyond the metrics to use customer feedback to identify changes in business processes that drove improvements in customer experience, and resulted in a positive impact on the bottom line.  I’d love to hear feedback from others that have successfully tied financial results to their Voice of Customer program — please post your comments here!

*NPS is a trademark of Satmetrix Systems

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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