Net promoter score results aren't enough to gain a clear understanding of what your organization needs to do to build healthier and longer-lasting relationships with key clients. Instead, it's important to develop an interview and feedback system that integrates into overall account management so your KAM team has a strong relationship with each client that continues to develop over time. HubSpot emphasizes the importance of this approach:
According to research by Qualtrics, offering a strong customer experience is all but guaranteed to improve your sales. 94% of consumers report that they are likely to purchase more from a company with "very good" CX.
You can do this with a Voice of Customer (VOC) strategy. In this article, we'll explore what VOC strategies are, their benefits, and how to implement them.
What Is the Voice of Customer?
The "Voice of the Customer" (VOC) is the feedback customers may give you regarding their entire experience with your brand. The communication can encompass:
- The problems and pinpoints they need solved
- The expectations they have for your services and company at each stage of interaction
- The experiences they had with different departments or employees in your organization
- The experience they had with your products and services
VOC processes are the precise strategy and implementation techniques your organization can use to gain valuable feedback while still focusing on relationship building and customer services. Your repeatable VOC process helps you gain a clear understanding of in-depth customer expectations, aversions, and preferences. Because the collected feedback is more comprehensive, your organization can gain a deeper understanding of process improvement and even product improvement.
Voice of Customer is comparable to Net Promoter Score (NPS) processes. However, rather than getting in-depth feedback and data regarding potential improvements, NPS data just focuses on whether a customer is likely to recommend your products or services. They use a series of survey questions to have users rank a product or interaction on a scale of one to 10 based on how likely they are to recommend it to someone else.
However, that data is very limited. A multitude of different factors can impact the degree to which a client would recommend your products or services. It also doesn't provide insight into what customers enjoy about your organization or what they would want to see done differently. Even worse, NPS processes don't build relationships; they're just another task for your clients to complete.
VOC processes are more advantageous than NPS data. Not only do you get more in-depth insights, but you can also use the VOC interview process to build stronger ties to client contacts. With the right KAM software and in-depth client records, such as an org chart, your account managers can also easily determine the right client contact for the most robust insights.
Why You Should Create a Repeatable VOC Process
More than creating a VOC process, your organization should focus on creating a repeatable VOC process. With a standardized process for identifying the right client contact for an interview, similar or identical questions and conversation processes, and a consistent schedule for reaching out to clients again, you can gain clear insight into your client's perspective without negatively impacting the customer relationship.
Benefits of a repeatable VOC process include:
- Longitudinal insights: If you repeat the VOC process with the same client at fixed intervals, you can identify if your changes are positively impacting the client over time.
- Insight into your clients' needs and wants: As a result, you can better craft service packages, offer upsells, and manage the account over the short-term and long-term perspectives.
- Finding new opportunities: You can identify more risks and opportunities to add to your SWOT analysis.
- Strategic partnership: You can create a more holistic account plan that tightly fits each client's expectations and forecasted needs. This transforms you from a reactive vendor into a strategic partner that's essential for your client's future plans.
- Consistency across the book of business: When you create a plan for VOC processes, all of your account managers have a script, or at least a template, for gathering insights. This results in more value across the board and ensures you can provide the same excellent experience to new clients in the future.
How to Create a Repeatable VOC Process
Now that you know the value of repeatable VOC processes, it's time to start building one. This is something a team leader or key account management director can create alone or construct with input from the entire key account management team. Every organization is slightly different, so it's important to create a process that best fits your market and niche. You may also revise your processes over time.
Follow these three key steps to craft your repeatable VOC processes:
1. Collect Data
First, determine what data you want to collect and what mechanisms you want to use to collect it. For example, organizations with hundreds or thousands of clients might use online surveys as the default mechanism for collecting feedback. These same organizations can use direct interviews for key accounts, accounts above a certain revenue threshold, or accounts with a specific trigger that indicates the need for in-person VOC data collection. Kapta provides tailored questions based on your objectives and your clients' needs so you can obtain the feedback that matters most.
Organizations can also collect direct, inferred, and indirect data that feeds into AMs' understanding of account health. Through our KAM software, your team can monitor accounts holistically by incorporating all of the data collected over time.
2. Analyze Data
By inputting the feedback into a smart key account management program like Kapta, the results can quickly be integrated into an existing view of your client's health, SWOT analysis, and goals. You can use both quantitative and qualitative data to gain a deeper understanding of your client's motivations. Kapta will also maintain a record of past interviews so you can measure progress over time and easily document the entire process.
3. Use Results to Make Changes
Once you have feedback from your clients, you can start determining what changes you can make to the services or experiences they receive. After you implement those changes, you can have a subsequent interview to assess the results of the changes and what your next steps should be.
Build Your VOC Process With Support From Kapta
Implementing a VOC process is a strong practice for learning more about your client accounts and positioning yourself as a strategic partner instead of simply a vendor. At Kapta, we provide a wide variety of organizational tools, templates, and resources through our key account management software. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help support your growth.