“We already know our customers.”
A common phrase we repeatedly hear from our clients. And of course they do – to some extent. For most client web projects, we regularly recommend implementing a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program to take “knowing your customers” to a deeper level and use it to drive better business results.
First, a VoC plan establishes key baseline measurements such as Customer Satisfaction, Task Completion, Net Promoter Score, etc. to see how well you are delivering to your customers’ expectations. These are definitive metrics that determine a baseline level of satisfaction across website or digital experiences and attributes, such as look and feel, content, and more.
Second, a VoC plan reveals valuable low-hanging fruit, as well as more complex or long-term initiatives for improving customer experience. It helps to prioritize which ones to address, or perhaps not to bother addressing. VoC metrics, teamed with open-ended feedback, answers the question, “Which are the initiatives that have the most potential to move the needle on improving my customer’s satisfaction?”
Third, VoC insights provide focus and direction that an entire team can rally around. Direct customer feedback, delivered as data, insights and recommendations, provides solid grounding around customer needs, preferences and sentiments. Teams can evaluate the insights against business objectives to determine a roadmap for customer experience improvement tied to increased business results.
If available, we will synthesize VoC insights with web analytics, your website visitors’ actual behavior. In other words, do your visitors’ perceptions and expectations match their behaviors? Why or why not? Together, these datasets become a powerhouse to understand and measure website improvement and drive more desired behaviors.
When implementing a client VoC program, we recommend starting with 2 approaches. First, provide your visitors an opt-in/opt-out website intercept survey, capturing direct, real-time feedback. The intercept survey is designed to be unobtrusive with your visitors’ visit and tasks. We tailor a set of baseline metrics for your business that match your business objectives, and we measure against industry benchmarks where possible. We suggest running the survey until we capture a sample size that is representative of your visitor population and an adequate sample for statistical analysis.
In the above example using interceptjs.io, the intercept survey appears at the top of the page for a random sampling of website visitors. For visitors who opt-in, the survey opens in a new window and indicates to begin the survey after their visit is complete. For visitors who click to opt-out, the invitation goes away and doesn’t return for a pre-set number of days. Or, ever.
Second, we recommend providing a subtle yet accessible feedback button available from every page of your site to allow customers to submit comments at any time. Comments tend to be actionable and often reveal unknown site issues and real-time site performance issues and bugs.
Once the first phase of VoC is complete, we recommend ongoing customer listening through the feedback button and a post-enhancement or ongoing satisfaction survey to assure your initiatives are driving the desired results and behaviors.
Now is the time to build on your knowledge of your customers, to better understand how you can improve their experience, while also meeting your business’ critical website goals and performance. VoC will definitely help get you there!