I listened in on a webinar by a CX analyst at Forrester Research about how to leverage Voice of the Consumer (VOC) to increase customer loyalty. He talked about the lifecycle of VOC programs:
listen -> interpret -> react -> monitor
He highlighted the importance of collecting unstructured, even unsolicited, feedback because it takes you from the ‘what’ to the ‘why’ of your customers’ behavior. How you present the feedback to internal audiences is also of vital importance – make it relevant, actionable, and contextual (we’re talking real significance, not statistical significance).
That is valid and valuable, but what really stuck with my from the presentation was his commentary about the importance of Voice of the Employee (VoE) analysis.
First, employees are on the front-line, interacting with customers and contributing in a major way to the overall CX of your business. They are, therefore, in a prime position to provide you with customer observations and improvement suggestions.
Second, far more companies track Net Promoter Score or some other top-line measure of customer satisfaction and loyalty than track internal satisfaction and loyalty. Companies that track both see a strong correlation between the two. When they see a drop in employee happiness in March, customer happiness falls in April.
Third, a key element of the “react” step is to close the feedback loop. If you ask employees and customers for feedback, provide evidence that you listened and reacted. This enhances your relationship with both groups, improving loyalty and encouraging future engagement.
Finally, there are two ways to shift company culture toward greater emphasis on CX. You can appeal to employees’ rational side by tying VOC to compensation. You can also appeal to their emotional side by breathing life into your VOC research, so employees feel connected, accountable, and bonded to delighting customers.
As Mr. Walmart so astutely noted:
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company, from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money elsewhere.” – Sam Walton