With nearly 90% of customers reporting experience is as important as a company’s product or service, a strong customer experience (CX) is now table stakes. The best experiences are driven by deep knowledge of your customer and employee needs and preferences. Without this understanding, it’s impossible to create the kind of experiences that will keep your company ahead of the pack.
Tightly intertwined with your CX, employee experiences are equally as important. As recruitment and retention issues continue to challenge our workplaces, it’s becoming even more critical to listen to your team, especially the people serving your customers on a daily basis. In fact, capturing and analyzing customer and employee feedback on a continuous basis is vital to your company’s success.
Voice of the Customer and Voice of the Employee Programs are two of the best ways to gain a view of your brand through the eyes of these important people.
What is a Voice of the Employee Program?
Often managed by HR, a Voice of the Employee (VoE) Program uses feedback mechanisms to gain relevant information that will help improve employee experiences. By gathering and analyzing key employee insights, your company can uncover valuable information, including potential pain points during the customer journey. VoE programs can include employee surveys, active listening sessions, and job engagement activities. They also include reward programs that incentivize employees to participate in feedback sessions and motivate them to engage with customers in more meaningful ways. Asking your employees what gets in the way of delivering a positive customer experience in a VoE program can be helpful to understand what needs to be optimized to provide a better customer experience.
What is a Voice of the Customer Program?
Voice of the Customer (VoC) Programs dive deep into understanding your brand’s current customer experience from a holistic perspective. They provide a strong structure for the way your company gathers, analyzes, and responds to customer feedback with the goal of improving the overall CX. When executed well, a VoC program helps uncover your customers’ strongest needs and most painful moments along with important interests and common behavioral patterns.
VoE and VoC Programs Benefit Your Organization
VoE and VoC programs provide structured, effective ways to gather feedback across every major touchpoint in your customer journey and your employees’ experiences. The information from feedback loops created by VoE and VoC programs can significantly enhance your company’s customer and employee experiences.
Voice of the Employee programs can help identify training needs, improve operations, and increase employee engagement, resulting in greater job satisfaction and lower turnover. Voice of the Customer programs in turn can provide data to help close the gaps between your customers’ expectations and their actual experiences.
6 Steps to Building Effective VoE and VoC Programs
The best VoE and VoC programs combine clearly defined goals and a thorough review of the data sources and channels available. They offer a proven structure for gathering and analyzing the right data surrounding employee and customer needs and expectations. This powerful information is the key to avoid brand-wide issues, improve key employment metrics, strengthen processes, and strategize around new products and services.
Implementing effective VoE and VoC programs can be challenging. To ensure that everyone interacting with your brand will benefit, the experts at Avtex have identified six primary steps to building effective, game-changing VoE and VoC programs.
1. Review customer and employee information. The first step in building any type of voice program includes identifying key information types and making sure that relevant, accurate data around customer and employee experiences is being gathered consistently. From the customer perspective this can include top contact types, customer types, and interaction metrics. For employees it can include retention and engagement rates, training and operations data, and other feedback on workplace elements that impact their internal experiences, and their experiences with customers.
2. Design surveys and other feedback mechanisms. Based on this information, the next step is to create the tools you need to capture the information. This may include field and program surveys (and the questions included in those surveys), active listening sessions, job engagement programs, direct feedback, and others. At this point you should also decide how to manage and house this information, including the technology you need to support that decision.
3. Identify key metrics and create customized dashboards. Transforming information into actionable data requires the right analysis. Once the correct metrics have been defined, dashboards should be based on user type, and customized to meet the needs of each person using the tool. Remember, conducting effective training on these dashboards is critical to ensure that information is being used in the right way, at the right time, and for meaningful purposes.
4. Create closed loop processes. Closed loop processes give brands the ability to identify, act on, and respond directly to feedback. They’re an important component of VoE and VoC programs, and help demonstrate to customers and employees that their feedback is being heard. They also provide an opportunity to resolve issues immediately while improving experiences in the long-term. Obviously, it’s key to choose the right questions to “close the loop on” based on the goals of the overall program.
5. Report on data in a planned and careful way. While dashboards provide an immediate view of what’s happening right now, deciding on a regular reporting structure will ensure action is being taken and continuous improvement is happening in the long run. To create the right reporting structure, you must determine who needs to see specific data (and when they need to see it), define the frequency of meetings, and identify key report templates that can be customized to meet each person’s needs and preferences.
6. Identify and track fixes. VoC and VoE program require strong processes and rules for deciding which problems need to be solved when, and how those changes will be tracked within each area of the organization. This information is then integrated into dashboards and reports so that information is updated continuously, and data analysis remains accurate and timely.
Of course, choosing the right technology solutions that include tools like data analytics, machine learning, and intelligent automation helps with building and implementing these programs. Technology implementation for VoE and VoC programs is not a single step, but an ongoing process that supports each step as it happens and elevates the overall success of these initiatives.
Implementing a VoC program will help you learn and address the needs of your customers and pave the way for a proactive customer experience. At the same time, VoE programs increase employee engagement, reduce turnover, proactively solve problems, and keep a pulse on company culture. Conducted effectively, Voice of the Customer and Voice of the Employee programs can close the gaps between current and desired state, and create a total brand experience that puts you permanently in front of the competition.