A Voice of Customer program gives your customers an opportunity to communicate their feedback directly to you - and that data can generate useful insights. Regardless of whether you sell a service or a physical product, it pays to commit resources to obtain subjective customer feedback.
The basic idea of Voice of Customer is simple: Your customer is invited to give feedback directly at the point of sale (POS) because their memory is still very fresh at that time. The customer can complete the short survey directly using their own smartphone or you can provide tablets. These surveys usually consist of questions to rate your services or products on a scale from one to five and an open text field. After completing the survey, customers can receive a small incentive.
Feedback and customer incentive to return
For service providers or retailers, Voice of Customer has many advantages. On the one hand, sellers receive up-to-date feedback, which is clearly reported on a platform, and on the other hand, there is an opportunity for repeat sales through the incentive. For example, the incentive can be a discount coupon for the next visit. Omni-channel vouchers are also very popular: after doing the survey after a store visit, the customer can receive a voucher for the online shop.
Robert Hauser, ISC-CX’s Head of Product Development for Voice-2025 , describes a further advantage in that negative feedback is not communicated externally. Robert says, "If you offer customers their own platform, they are more likely to give feedback there than on public platforms such as Google Review." There is also the option of an alert system, which means that the customer can decide with one click whether they would like to be contacted by the service provider or retailer directly after the feedback. The store manager can, for example, react quickly to complaints and counteract them with targeted measures.
Rapid program activation and applicable for all industries
A Voice of Customer program can be implemented within a few days. It is only important that you are clear about the objective of the program—which we listen to carefully. Then, our survey experts set up a template and the program can start. According to Hauser, however, it is essential to understand that activating the survey does not guarantee high response rates: “Customers must be actively made aware of the opportunity to give feedback.” Placing a sign in the corner is not enough. The program can be used in all retail and service sectors: restaurants, supermarkets, mass merchandising, luxury or even for conferences. Feedback is also crucial for e-commerce, for example, to give feedback about online check-out or after delivery.
One mistake to avoid after setting up a Voice of Customer program is to evaluate your selling or customer service teams based on the score. "One shouldn't forget that Voice of Customer programs are subjective feedback and not a review of company standards," says Hauser. Mystery Shopping programs are more suitable for judging employee performance. The reason for this is that trained Mystery Shoppers, Evaluators how they are called in ISC-CX, give detailed feedback for a full set of questions in which the standards are precisely defined. Mystery Shops and Voice of Customer programs complement each other very well, as Hauser notes: "If, for example, as a retailer I define a standard for my Mystery Shopping program but this aspect is never mentioned by my customers in a Voice-2025 project, this is a clue that this standard may not have value for my business."
Ideally, both programs are run and integrated, so the service provider or retailer gets a 360 degree overview of how their store is perceived by their end customers - and team members receive incentives for what is important to continuously improve the customer experience.