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The Voice of the Customer Improves Workforce Optimization

January 09, 2017

Do you know what your customers want? You may think you do. They probably want a fair price, fast service, reliable products and a good customer experience. The problem is, that it’s hard to know what “a good customer experience” means. Does it mean great self-service? Does it mean a friendly agent? Does it mean a fast call? Does it mean a properly resolved chat session?

Too many companies today are guessing when it comes to determining what customers want in a customer experience. They may be relying on outdated customer surveys, results from research companies or competitors’, anecdotal evidence or even guesswork. When you’re not exactly sure of what your customers want, workforce optimization becomes difficult if not impossible. How do you plan to support something when you don’t know what it is?

In a recent blog post for NICE, Robert Zoch wrote that the voice of the customer, or VoC, is key to grasping customer expectations. Your customers know what they want, even if they can’t articulate it in a once-a-year customer survey. Once you know what’s most important to customers, you can begin altering your workforce optimization to help attain it.

“VoC enables brands to demonstrate that customer feedback is both welcome and valued; customer input can be used to improve customer-facing processes, and inform coaching (as well as performance bonuses and other initiatives) for frontline employees,” wrote Zoch.

VoC, however, is no longer about simply listening to a few customer calls. After all, more than 90 percent of customer journeys today involve more than one media channel, whether it’s a call that begins with a Web search, or a session on a mobile app that leads to a chat session. VoC solutions must be equipped to cope with this omnichannel approach to customer support.

“Competitive VoC technologies gather and construe customer feedback from a number of mechanisms, such as interactive voice response (IVR), email, web chat, Web site, SMS (text) and others,” wrote Zoch. “Measuring, however, is but the first key step in building a transformational customer experience strategy.”

It’s important to study not only the customers and their voice, but all facets of the customer experience: customers, employees and overall company strategy. It’s also critical to capture information from direct sources, such as “pushed” customer surveys, but also indirect sources such as call center recordings, online chat, and social media. Advanced text and speech analysis can help companies understand trends in the moment and ensure that customers with the most immediate needs are attended to properly (which is helped by reporting and alerting features that make it easy for managers to monitor customers’ voices in real-time).

The end result of a great VoC program is a deep understanding of customer needs and they journey customers are taking to interact with your organization. Real-time results help you make changes on-the-fly to attain precisely the kind of experience your customers are looking for.

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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