In today’s business landscape, businesses are more focused than ever on differentiating themselves from the competition by focusing on providing a positive experience to all customers. In order to achieve this, everyone within a business, not just customer support, has to be keenly aware of what the customer’s expectations are.
A customer will interact with a business in a variety of ways, and managers must be able to provide a consistent experience through each touchpoint in the customer journey. The customer journey begins way before the first sale, and long after the sale ends.
The best way to maintain a consistently positive customer experience is to be as empathetic as possible at every stage of the customer journey.
To be empathetic means to be able to understand and share the feelings of another person. More than just being sympathetic to someone’s situation, empathy means being able to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and view the situation from their point of view.
While there are some people who are more naturally empathetic than others, the good news is that empathy, like any other skill, can be taught. Which is where Voice of the Customer (VoC) technology comes in.
What is VoC?
VoC describes a type of customer data that can be used to understand a customer’s expectations, their likes and dislikes, and what they value most about a particular business’s product or services.
You can gather this data from a variety of ways: from interviewing customers directly, conducting focus groups, or simply going through complaint logs. The goal of all of these exercises is to understand how a customer (in their own words) views your brand.
Once this data has been collected, the challenge then becomes how to identify the key insights from it and make them available to the rest of the business. It’s this understanding of the voice of the customer across an entire organisation that is the key to scaling customer empathy at any business.
Enter Text Analytics
Text Analytics is the process of converting unstructured text data into meaningful insights for analysis. With proper use and reporting by an analyst or researcher at your company, everyone from customer support staff all the way up to management can have an understanding of what customers want and, most importantly, how they view the company at large.
The research and insights gathered from VoC data and text analytics can be invaluable in helping a business understand their target market; specifically, how they feel, and what pain points they’re experience.
By having everyone within the business be more empathetic with their customers, it provides a universal understanding for all employees of what customers are going through and helps create a real human connection to those customers. It also provides everyone with a common goal to work towards, and ensures that everyone’s vision is aligned directly with the customers’.
VoC, Empathy, and the Customer Experience
These days, being able to empathise with your customer is no longer optional — it’s mandatory if you’re serious about growing your business. More than just simply improving your customer support, business leaders now have to ask themselves how they can improve their brand as a whole.
A recent study by the Aberdeen group found business that regularly employ VoC tactics grow faster and enjoy nearly 10 times greater increase in annual revenue compared to those who don’t.
Through using VoC analytics, businesses now have a data-driven approach to improving their relationship with the customer at every point in the customer journey.
VoC analytics gives a business the ability to detect what the early warning signs are for when a customer is frustrated, and allow the business to take action before the issue becomes critical. It also gives the organization’s top-level managers concrete information about how customers are doing, and therefore allows them to make business decisions based on data instead of conjecture.
By being more empathetic and providing a better customer experience, businesses are 5 times more likely to generate lifelong customers. That’s an incredible statistic, especially when you consider that it is far easier to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one.
There are a multitude of benefits to understanding what your customers are really saying about your business. VoC analytics is changing the way companies are addressing their customers’ needs and concerns, and the companies that take full advantage are reaping the rewards.