Monday, December 28, 2015

The "Voice of the Customer" is a Key Organizational Driver

To better serve customers and markets, organizations must first understand them

One of the key drivers for any marketing initiative is to bring to market products or services with the needs of the customer in mind to build awareness, loyalty, and relationships. This entails a strong understanding of the requirements and desires of customers and/or market. Capturing the "Voice of the Customer" (VOC) isn't accomplished through guesswork or management having a hunch on something. It involves an integration and analysis of survey data, focus group findings, web insight (including research, social media and analytics), and any other insights that can be obtained. By looking closely at data it and combining it with other analysis, an organization can sharpen their processes and better serve their customers and their market.

Looking at isolated data points will not provide the complete picture needed to make key decisions

A key component to obtaining the VOC is having a regular process in place by which to capture and aggregate data. Most marketing tools have built in dashboards that can be accessed at any time. These tool-specific insights do a nice job of focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of the marketing initiative the tool is supporting. But those insights tell a fraction of the story. The challenge is to identify the key analytics the tool is presenting, and combine it with key analytics from some of the other tools that are available. Setting up dashboards that aggregate this data in Sharepoint or Excel and keeping these updated can be a great place to begin. There are business intelligence tools available as well that can help aggregate data. But data derived from any database is only as good as the data that went into it. It's important to be as thorough as possible when setting up dashboards and fields so you can splice as needed.

Survey's can help capture the "Voice of the Customer"

A regular survey program or process can also help determine the needs of the customer or market. But relying on surveys alone to glean market or customer insights can be dangerous because response rate might be low. But a carefully worded and analyzed survey can provide the insight needed, and this insight can be combined with other data captured can be extremely useful.  

In conclusion

The "Voice of the Customer" can determine messaging, process improvements, and new product or service releases and updates. It's important to have enough data on hand for analysis, and not to rely on one source for capturing the customer's voice. Developing processes to capture data and actionable dashboards to aggregate data can help understand the VOC.

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