Today’s technology means every single customer has a voice – a very loud voice. And what they have to say is likely to be heard round the world. A customer’s complaint today can go on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere else – immediately – to be read by countless people. It’s insanity in today’s tech world to think you can ignore anything negative that people are saying about your brand and not have it impact your business. (Think Toyota). The upside, of course, is that when good things are happening, those positive pats on the back are also there for the world to hear.
Voice of the Customer (VOC) includes,1 among other things:
- satisfaction and loyalty
- how your brand is viewed
- how customers use your brand
- customer input (future wants)
- word of mouth
Your goal should be to actively seek to listen to the right customer voices to search for insights on how to "impress customers, contribute to their experiences and steal an advantage over the competition."2
To find out if you’re listening to the right customer voices ask yourself the following:
Are you targeting the right customers?
You can’t be the end all be all company for all people. If you find yourself constantly struggling to build a loyal customer base, and the endless stream of complaints is getting you down, you either need to improve what you offer and how you’re offering it, OR, you’re marketing to the wrong people. You need to find the customers who want exactly what you have to offer –so make very sure you know what kind of customers make a good fit for your company and vice versa.
Are there customers you should dump?3
If your employees (customer care) are spending all their time trying to grease a few of the squeaky wheels, consider total wheel removal and replacement. Your time and resources are better spent on nurturing that customer base that already loves you.
Are you "Talking" with your best customers?
If you haven’t linked to your best customers via Twitter and other social networks, or other avenues where they hang out, do so now. Your best customers will help you profit and will talk you up without encouragement because what you have is exactly what they want and need.
Don’t get so lost in your marketing that you are not listening to those people who really matter – your customers. If you sell, just to sell, then you are bound to have a higher level of customer dissatisfaction. And to facilitate better customer relationships and VOC listening, your marketing department and customer care need to be part of each other through regular communication and input. The bottom line is, good customer fit means everyone wins.
- How Voice of the Customer Got Its Groove Back (and How to Stay in Tune)
- To Hear the Voice of the Customer, Listen Outside the Box
- Why You Should Fire (Some of) Your Customers