One way that companies take a more strategic and coordinated approach to understanding and engaging customers is through a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program or initiative; some larger B2C corporations may even have a formal team in place.
Many VoC programs involve running a formal customer survey that solicits structured feedback in order to improve products and services, but also may involve collecting, comparing and processing data from other sources such as interactions in your contact center, website feedback, web analytics and more.
Generally, a VoC team or VoC initiative will focus on:
- Understanding customers and their needs, opinions, frustrations, moments that delight and behaviors
- Engaging those customers in order to provide valuable data and feedback
- Analyzing the data to drive insights that will lead to improvements in customer experience, new products and services and more impactful touchpoints with customers.
How Sitecore can support a VoC program
Executing a successful VoC program that leads to deep customer insights can be complex; it may require sustained effort and some resourcing to be able to do this properly. Naturally, there are also some challenges, particularly around the siloes that can exist around existing customer data and feedback in different systems owned by different teams. We recently wrote about this in a post about how Sitecore can help reduce your customer data silos.
But Sitecore can be used in different ways to make a VoC program both more insightful and sustainable. Let’s explore five ways this can happen.
1. Use Sitecore Forms
Sitecore Forms is a sophisticated forms solution that can be used to gather customer feedback from your website that can feed into your VoC program. While you may want to use a dedicated survey tool for a more in-depth customer survey, Sitecore Forms is a great choice when you want to integrate either the display of the form or experiences off the back of the completion of the form with Sitecore’s personalization and marketing automation capabilities.
Sitecore Forms has been through various recent improvements, for example in the 9.3 upgrade with in-built bot detection and a ‘Confirm Email’ field, and better support for GDPR in Sitecore 10. Using Sitecore Forms is a good choice to collect ongoing feedback, post-sales experience comments or where a specific campaign has a call to action designed to get customer comments.
2. Use automation to respond to customers giving feedback
One of the challenges around a VoC program is being able to respond quickly to customer feedback, not only to acknowledge their contribution but also to let them know how their feedback is being used. This can be a resourcing challenge for smaller marketing teams.
Generally, customers want at least some quick validation that their feedback has been worth it and isn’t going into a “black hole”; here Sitecore’s marketing automation can allow teams to put customers minds at ease that their feedback has been received and will be used, for example by sending a targeted email that will resonate with different customer segments. Then marketing teams can respond later with a personalized email letting a customer know how their feedback is actually being used. Here marketing automation makes a VoC program more manageable and keeps customers engaged.
3. Use personalization to engage customers giving you feedback
You may also want to apply Sitecore’s powerful personalization features to drive segmentation to those responding to your feedback. For example, you may want to send a different email to someone who has given feedback more than once or you may want to formalize elements of the VoC program into a customer community or panel. In these cases, experiences that show they are more welcome and their contribution is valued can help drive engagement.
4. Mix data from your VoC program with insights from Sitecore
Sitecore is a highly sophisticated platform that delivers deep insights into segments of your customer base as well as individual customer behaviour. Although it’s important to remain compliant with GDPR and data privacy regulations, there is considerable scope to compare Sitecore data with the data that comes from your VoC program. Here you can start to uncover a deeper understanding of the correlations between how customers feel and how they interact with your digital channels and content.
5. Make your VoC insights actionable
A Voice of the Customer program is only worth doing if it actually results in actions that will make a difference, such as a tangible improvement to the customer experience, removal of customer pain points or improving sales or leads. Working with the Sitecore platform and its array of digital marketing capabilities and analytics is a great platform to be able to take VoC insights, make changes, measure their impact and demonstrate the success of the VoC. A Digital Experience Platform (DXP) like Sitecore can make your VoC insights actionable, and also validates the success of those actions. Demonstrating this kind of success also helps with the wider objective of driving a customer-first culture across your organization.
Using Sitecore with your VoC program
Sitecore and Voice of the Customer programs suit each other and can be considered two components to drive a better customer experience. If you have a VoC program or are considering setting one up and are considering how Sitecore could play a role, then get in touch.