Independent Contact Center Consultants: Bridging Strategy, Technology and Operations Since 2004

Where’s the Customer in the “Voice of the Customer”?

Voice of the Customer (VoC) – a.k.a., Customer Experience Management – is a hot topic. After years of process initiatives to save a penny here, a nickel there, everyone is jumping on the VoC bandwagon to find out what their customers’ think of their organizations and products. I’m a big advocate.

Ideally, the organization administers VoC surveys shortly after the interactions in the customers’ media of choice. They ask a limited number of questions to understand each customer’s perspective on agent knowledge, courtesy, speed and accuracy of service, issue ownership, and overall experience. Then they assess results at the center and individual agent levels, celebrating successes and taking action on issues. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

frustrated customerRecently, I got a call from a VoC specialist who wanted my feedback on a 2-minute interaction that I’d had a week earlier. As I tried to recall the conversation, my intrepid surveyor jumped right into the first question. No “would you be willing to…” or “do you have time to…” It was full speed ahead. When I stopped him to ask how long it would take, he said – and I’m not exaggerating – 10 minutes. A 10-minute survey for a 2-minute interaction?!? When I shared my story with colleagues, I found that they’d had similar experiences with other companies.

In our zealousness to pursue the voice of the customer, we’ve forgotten to use common sense and consider our customers. VoC must balance our needs with the level of effort we ask of the folks who generously offer their insights.

I’ve written other blog posts covering VoC best practices and VoC technology choices. I encourage you to give them a quick read. The following VoC tips bear repeating:

  • Survey within 24 hours of the completed customer interaction
  • Survey in the customer’s preferred medium
  • KEEP IT SIMPLE: 5-10 questions taking no more than 2-3 minutes
  • Link the survey to the specific agent for follow-up coaching
  • If the customer had a bad experience or requires further assistance, escalate to management for immediate action

Let’s keep our customers happy before, during, and after our contact with them!