New Year’s resolution: Listen to the “voice of the customer” and take action

Today, it is impossible to read an article or blog on managing customer interactions without seeing the term “voice of the customer”. It has become a key component of a dynamic corporate strategy. Every interaction your customers have with your company, whether through social media channels or customer engagement platforms is an opportunity for you to learn more about their experiences and gain valuable feedback that can be used to better your products. Are you seizing these opportunities? Is your company really listening by acting on customer insights? As another year comes to a close, consider setting a new year’s resolution that will greatly contribute to your business success. Start 2011 by committing to listen to the “voice of the customer” and take the right steps to develop and deliver products that will keep your customers loyal and happy. Now there’s a new year’s resolution worth keeping!

How to develop an effective “voice of the customer” program

Every business needs to have a “voice of the customer” program that lets customers collaborate with key resources, so that their opinions and feedback are considered and incorporated into each stage of the product development process.

In order to ensure your company is well represented on the web you need to listen and collect real-time data that reveals information about online patterns or trends related to your organization. An effective “voice of the customer” program consists of your team managing feedback from social media channels and customer portals which can then be used to take further actions.

When developing a “voice of the customer” program consider the following:

1. Provide customers with a social platform to voice concerns: Engage with your customers to discover their specific needs and wants. Empower them by providing a platform from which they can express concerns or complaints about products, ideas they may have for improvements or recommendations for future products. You can then use this actionable feedback to deliver excellence.

2. Collect and respond to customer feedback quickly and on an ongoing basis: Since consumer opinions and perceptions change quickly, your ‘voice of the customer’ program must be designed to regularly and continuously collect, incorporate and respond to feedback in an effective and timely manner.

3. Take action: Responding and acting on gathered customer feedback builds strong customer relationships and ensures high levels of customer satisfaction. A well designed “voice of the customer” programs has the right tools for key resources to take immediate action.

4. Align customer insights with corporate strategies: In order to maximize ROI, design your “voice of the customer” program so that customer insights can be used to align current and future business goals and strategies.

Use tools to develop your “voice of the customer” program

There are several social software programs that claim to listen to the “voice of the customer”. However, while these programs may allow you to gather data related to customer insights they may not provide essential tools to turn feedback into actionable results. We at OneDesk consider customer feedback to be a necessary component for building quality products. Our “voice of the customer” program combines listening capabilities with tools to provide your team with the ability to take action and develop superior products that give you a competitive edge in the marketplace. OneDesk goes beyond just listening and provides the tools to engage with the social web so that you gather, elaborate and rank valuable feedback with the active collaboration of your customers. A suite of enterprise “voice of customer” management capabilities allows you to engage with your customers so you can build better products and offer them more value. The community site feature provides your team with the ability to interact with customers to clarify and elaborate their suggestions and ideas.

Add a customer community to your site to increase engagement by capturing the “voice of the customer” and discovering what they think of your products.
voice of the customer

Related blog posts:
Community Ideas: Share your ideas and make a difference

Give feedback the easy way
Social businesses: Connecting the dots
Community response: Stronger voices
Customer community: Best practices
Design innovation principles

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