Collecting customer feedback is a waste of time.
OK now I’ve got your attention let’s qualify that statement: collecting customer feedback without having it as part of a program that ensures action is a waste of time.
It’s great that so many companies have Voice of the Customer programs but it’s an unfortunate fact that for many of them, the data gleaned from customers will only be cursorily looked at or get summarised and go onto a dashboard where it will be swamped with other information. And that’s it. A month later, it happens again.
If the goal of an organisation is to become truly customer centric then just listening to customers isn’t enough. You actually have to do something with what they’ve told you. There needs to be a process created around customer feedback that ensures insights are extracted and acted upon. It needs to be part of a defined program that not only collects the data but analyses, synthesises and socialises it as well. In other words, glean insights from what customers have told you, tell the story of the data, and get it into the hands of the right people at the right time.
Having feedback as part a broader interconnecting network within a business is what makes it useful. There needs to be procedures set up around its receipt to ensure the maximum benefit is gained from it and, indeed, that it achieves the goal of the organisation in collecting it in the first place.
The four main reasons that organisation collect feedback are: complaint management, product and process improvement, business reporting and employee engagement. Ensure that you clearly recognise your actual purpose and create action plans, assign responsibilities, and define the metrics you’re going to use to measure success. Then, in order to maintain a continuous improvement cycle, close the loop on your change management process. And it’s so important to close the loop with the survey respondents! Let them know their voices were heard and tell them what you’ve done with what they told you.
One of the unique benefits of CentraCX is that it operationalises feedback within a business. The features of the platform (including Tribal Analytics, machine learning classification and workflow) help create the processes necessary to embed the voice of the customer in companies’ day-to-day operations.
Voice of the Customer is not a platform and not an activity, it’s a system of management. Having processes around feedback so that it is part of a broader continual improvement system is what makes it useful. The risk of not making customer feedback part of your operating rhythm is falling back into old habits, failing to transform, and ultimately negating the reason the organisation sought to collect the voice of the customer in the first place.