Using VoC Data: How to Improve Customer Surveys

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Using VoC Data: How to Improve Customer Surveys

Customer surveys are meant to be a measure of the Voice of the Customer (VoC). If executed correctly, they can validate the things you are doing well, and expose areas for improvement. Surveys can be a valuable tool in measuring customer satisfaction, however, as the number of channels continue to grow, it is important to constantly evolve your customer survey to gather the right information.

In order to meet this challenge, there are some key steps that you can take to ensure you are gathering the data that will give the clearest view of your customers. 

Identify Your Goals
Identifying your goals and what you hope to achieve with the information you are gathering is essential in determining how to form your survey and what questions you will need to ask. Think about what information is important in making strategic decisions that will impact customer service and sales. Identify your key operational metrics, taking into account the metrics that are vital to the performance of your program. Additionally, focus on the data that is going to be most important to you in gauging the health of your program. Remember, surveys are not one size fits all, and what works for you may be completely different than what works for your competitor.

Ask The Right Questions
Seems rather simple, but often times surveys fail to capture the data needed to achieve the desired results because the survey is not focused on asking the right questions. Your survey questions need to be clear, concise, and properly timed. The longer the survey and the more complex the questions are, the higher the abandonment rate will be (Vovici). It may take a bit of trial and error to see what works best for you, so feel free to experiment with the types of questions you are asking and when you are asking them. A pre-experience survey will provide different information than one administered after an interaction. This data could prove to be valuable, depending on your goals.

Understanding Channels
Understanding the channels your customers are using will help you identify where you may be able to most effectively implement a valuable survey program. For example, live chat is similar to phone, you can deliver a survey after your interaction with the customer is complete, but different in the format you will administer the survey in. Social media requires more creativity. There is greater dialogue and multiple interactions going on that are not necessarily happening one-on-one with your brand. In these social spaces, you will need to conduct different types of surveys through listening and monitoring. Before searching out a technology platform that can allow you to collect social data, perform a test and explore the social spaces for yourself. Search keywords you are interested in and that are associated with your brand name. You will be able to identify the types of customers you have that use these spaces, along with what they are saying. Once you have a sense of who is out there, determine what chatter is important to you and measure that. You may find the most candid VoC information sitting in a social public space may not have been gained through a traditional survey.

Follow-Up
Create value with your data by implementing changes to your program based on feedback, and as you gain more insight into your customer, don’t be hesitant to introduce and focus on other metrics/insights. Determine if the format of your survey is the most effective method of gathering information from your customer base.  Ask yourself, are they being completed at a high rate? Are they completed accurately? Are they easy to complete? Are they filled out only in response to negative experiences? Make your surveys as concise and convenient as possible, testing different methods to understand what works best for your customer, and what provides you with the most valuable data.

Surveys provide a method to collect data that can help to measure VoC and in turn, customer satisfaction. Optimize your surveys, go multichannel, test delivery methods, condense your questionnaire, and most importantly continually evolve.

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