The way that businesses reach customers might have changed considerably over time, but the role of the customer opinion on how business is delivered has not. If the previous year has taught businesses big or small anything, it’s that no matter if they trade in a brick and mortar store or operate solely online, the customer experience is a huge driving force for revenue. It may all take place in the digital realm, but word-of-mouth is still the most valuable marketing tool that any business owner can have.
It can also be a great way to tank a new business too. A poor customer experience makes for a review that spreads like wildfire, and it doesn’t take long for potential customers to consider other options off the back of other customer’s dissatisfaction. A new business can live or die on the strength of initial customer feedback. As well as a means to gauge if your company is going in the right direction, customer satisfaction (told through word-of-mouth) also drives revenue and acts as a great advertisement for your business––provided that the voice of the customer is listened to. According to a recent Neilsen Study, 92% of people involved in the market research stated that they trusted advertisements when they came from someone they knew. Therefore, if you can tap into what your customers say to each other about your business, then you can really grow.
Voice of the Customer, Ears of a Business Owner
Good businesses thrive when they take customer feedback on board, but the best businesses are those that learn from it. Not all of your initial insights are going to be positive, but your response will define how your customers will grow to see you. Taking the criticism as constructive and using them to influence how you mold the customer journey is the most effective way to both grow as a business and in the eyes of potential customers.
How do you garner these customer insights from which to grow? The best way to listen to the voice of the customer is through specially designed tools and software that can help bridge the gap between what they are saying and actionable insights that you can actually use.
How To Hear the Voice of the Customer
There are plenty of ways to hear what a customer is saying, but to then deliver their needs after this is a different story. One cannot simply ask all of their customers what the business is doing right and where the areas to improve are. Plus, asking every single customer to complete a questionnaire is unrealistic. Many simply won’t have the time or see the need to. Asking for online reviews tends to be a little more successful, but these are sporadic at best, and they generally only happen when a customer’s insight isn’t very positive.
Luckily, there are tools that can capture the voice of the customer (VoC) and translate the customer insights into workable data. VOC tools are analytics that asks the right question at the right time and in a manner that is convenient for the customer answering the survey. They also automatically aim across all demographics, keeping the VoC data reflective of the global customer base that your business works to supply.
Online VOC and Marketing
As evident in how social media marketing for health products has led to a growth in supplement usage, most advertising can cast a wider net when it is based online. The same can apply to asking for customer feedback, in that regardless of what medium delivered your business to them, their response should be gained online. Directing your customers and potential customers to a website where they can leave feedback or simply browse your products is half of the task for growing your business. The other half is delivering a great service that heightens customer retention and growth.