Service organizations looking to make more informed decisions on customer experience (CX) investments and improvement should implement a cohesive voice-of-the-customer (VoC) strategy, according to Gartner, Inc. This will allow customer service and support leaders to gain deeper insights into customer motivations, impressions and experiences.
“VoC is an essential component of a successful CX program as it helps establish a better understanding of customer needs and perspectives,” said Deb Alvord, senior director analyst in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice. “However, the VoC data that a lot of organizations already collect is disparate and disorganized making it difficult to effectively use it to inform CX enhancement initiatives.”
Organizations that use free survey tools to measure customer satisfaction often fail to capture important CX insights, such as perceptions and emotions, as they have access to only the binary feedback data captured through these forms. Such tools end up creating customer feedback data silos spread out across different reporting systems.
Other organizations with a VoC platform in place may also struggle with gathering and operationalizing customer feedback due to a misaligned implementation of the platform with the selected use case. This results in the absence of a unified view of customer feedback, which derails the process of gaining insights for CX improvement projects.
Gartner recommends that customer service and support leaders take the following six actions to implement a VoC solution for CX:
- Define top use case. Starting a VoC implementation project without a clear goal could impact the credibility of the VoC solution and impacts the budget available for the project. To ensure long-term executive and organizational support, choose a use case that is high-priority, not too complex and can produce tangible results.
- Validate journey map and define key performance indicators (KPIs). To gain from a VoC solution, validate and update service journey maps that are focused on understanding how customers perceive issue resolution as they move through different service channels. For each moment of customer feedback identified on the customer service journey map, define a metric tied to a KPI that measures the experience of the customer.
- Define feedback collection methods. Once the service organization has defined the requirements of the VoC solution that explain what to measure, it is important to define the methods for feedback collection.
- Implement VoC Output Integrations. To manage customer complaints, integrate VoC solutions with a dashboard or a case management system with functionalities, such as assigning, tracking, following up and closing a case.
- Deploy and support the VoC solution. The VoC solution is ready for deployment when all data integrations are complete and customer feedback collection is validated in preview environments.
- Leverage customer feedback. The key to leveraging customer feedback is constantly mapping the outputs with KPIs and journey maps to ensure that reports and dashboards accurately measure the organization’s efforts in delivering better experiences.
“To establish a better understanding of customer needs and perspectives, service organizations need a cohesive VoC strategy that focuses on generating insights for CX initiatives that address the most relevant customer issues,” said Ms. Alvord. “A well-conceived VoC strategy can produce a VoC program that improves the value and use of customer data while reducing risks and delivering better CX outcomes.”
Gartner Customer Service and Support Leaders clients can learn more in the report "Building a VoC Strategy for Measuring Customer Experiences in Service".
About Gartner for Customer Service & Support Leaders
The customer service and support function is vital to maintaining customer loyalty and influencing brand perceptions. Gartner for Customer Service & Support Leaders provides indispensable insights, advice and tools needed to achieve service and support leaders’ mission-critical priorities, specifically improving the customer experience while managing costs. Gartner’s research, advice and best practices equip customer service and support leaders to design an optimal service channel strategy; measure and reduce customer effort; and hire, develop and retain high-potential frontline talent.