It's a simplistic concept but arguably nothing can build culture and revenue with a company quicker than a universal strategy to focus on the customer. Oftentimes in business it is easy to sidetrack yourself by focusing on tasks that are far removed from the customer. Fortunately for those that work in marketing research, customer experience (CX) or voice of customer (VoC), not an hour goes by within the customer being at the forefront of your duties.
Whether it's a telephone interview, analyzing a customer's response in your survey platform, or writing a script that can best explore what's really important to your customer, everything you do is customer-centric if you are in this line of work. The impact of the work is realized both short-term (case-by-case interactions with customers) and long-term (a customer-centric mentality and movement within an organization.) Center your strategy and company direction around the customer and his or her needs.
Here are 4 reasons why CX and VoC work is important to business and why it is critical prioritize this work through an in-house department or by hiring a marketing research company:
Prove to customers they are your priority.
Being a customer-centric organization means your priorities center around one group of individuals: your customers. Customer needs and wants guide your strategy. Changes and decisions are made in the best interest of the customer. All of your work in CX and VoC is dedicated to working on your customers' behalf and converting this feedback into your company's vision and strategy. In essence, you are the vehicle to ensuring the customers sits at the very top of your organizational chart.
Knowing your customers makes you valuable.
As a person who works in CX and VoC you may not carry as strong as a personal relationship with your customers as your sales team but your type of interaction is different. There are many great salespeople that work as a listener and advisor to their customers' needs but through VoC this is your sole job with no threatening sales pitch. The "research only" component of your work allows customers to freely express their thoughts and opinions through a third-party-like source. You have access to data from all of your customers in aggregate and you can truly be the voice of your entire customer population rather than listen to the opinions of one or two. "What will our customers think about this product?" "What can we improve about our current offerings?" "How do our customers make decisions?" These are answers that make you invaluable across all levels of the organization.
Ability to identify and defuse conflicts.
Through CX and VoC, you hear the good and you hear the bad. Oftentimes, customers do not voice negative feedback. I've come across statistics such as "96% of customers do not complain about poor experiences" at conferences and online articles. We all have. If this is true you have to use a CX or VoC channel to proactively reach these dissatisfied customers. If you conduct follow-up transactional surveys, you can obtain this negative feedback almost immediately and handle it before the customer can think seriously about switching to a competitor. Being a CX and VoC professional allows you to identify conflicts that would otherwise go unnoticed without any efforts through customer research. Uncover and act, turn a negative experience into a positive one, pretty straightforward.
The customer is always right, be on their side.
This is one of the best cases for using CX and VoC within an organization. Because the customer is the center of your business, you act as a consultant to them and a messenger to bring this data to your company. To paraphrase a famous quote from the late Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, "Your customers are your only boss. And they can fire you at anytime by taking their business elsewhere." It becomes easier to drive strategy with facts and data after doing research with your customers. If your strategies are guided on improving the customer experience derived from feedback from your own customers, it creates a lucrative path to financial success built by the same people that are buying your product or service. What do happy customers do more of? They buy more, tell others, and are more loyal. As a result, this simplistic concept can have powerful impacts on your business internally and externally.
This article was loosely based on a customer service article from the Muse. Drive Research is a VoC and CX market research company in Syracuse, NY. For more information about our market research services, visit this section of our website. Call us at 315-303-2040 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.