Voice of the Customer (VoC): Is Your Brand Flying Blind?

Suppose you’re a pilot who’s preparing a flight plan. For the sake of safety and efficiency, you need to understand current weather conditions and how weather patterns are moving and changing.

Here’s the catch: only 3% of the weather map is visible to you.

Incredibly, this is how many brands fly. Or wing it, I should say. They rely on traditional voice of the customer (VoC) programs for a mission-critical view of the contact center: what’s working, what isn’t, and what can be done to improve customer service. When customers receive customer satisfaction survey (CSAT) requests, only 3% of them respond (if that).

Then, brands do something incredibly risky: they use that 3% to draw conclusions, make changes, and develop new strategies.

When it comes to brand health and profitability, this is quite a gamble.

Don’t Bet It All on a 3% Voice of Customer Response Rate

With a response rate hovering close to zero, you’re not getting the whole story. In fact, you’re probably getting a very distorted picture. Your happiest and angriest 3% are letting you have it, but the 95% of customers in the middle—those who might be brand neutral or have mixed feelings about the service experience—aren’t communicating with you.

So be it, right? You just have to go with the data you have.

Here’s the problem with that. Let’s say you decide to discontinue or introduce a particular initiative based on what 3% of your customers are telling you. These changes might not resonate with (and may even alienate) the “silent majority” your service teams have engaged.

In other words, by responding to the extreme 3% without understanding the impact on customers in the middle, you could lose more brand equity, customers, and revenue than you gain—a net loss for your company.

What About a Response Rate 10× Higher?

Imagine a response rate to customer feedback requests of 30% or more. Now that would be a game changer. With data that’s far more representative of your customer base as a whole, you could draw meaningful conclusions about your customers’ preferences and your agents’ performance. You could supercharge your QA and you can use the feedback loop to better motivate your front-line team. And, as a brand, you’d begin to see strategic opportunities your competitors (many of whom are stuck at 3%) may be missing.

At this point, you might be asking, Is 30% even possible?

Absolutely. When it comes to capturing the voice of your customer, you don’t have to settle for 3%. Nor should you. Competitively speaking, you really can’t afford to.

On the other hand, if you get 30% or more of your customers talking to you, you won’t just reduce the risks to your brand. By leveraging the data across your organization, you’ll climb faster and higher than ever before.

Just Ask These Leading Brands About Their Voice of Customer Programs

After instituting agent-level customer feedback programs, companies like Travelzoo, UncommonGoods, and Jet saw huge increases in their survey response rates. The gains they’ve achieved since, both operational and competitive, couldn’t have been possible without customers in the middle weighing in and front-line teams learning and drawing inspiration from the results.
Curious about agent-level feedback, and why so many customers can’t resist responding to survey requests?

Find out how Stella Connect can help.