Bizrate Insights· Author
Thanks to social media and third-party review sites, the customer relationship hasn’t been private for decades. Instead of an unsatisfied consumer quietly choosing to walk away after a negative interaction, they can write a review to share their negative experience with the world and encourage everyone they know to do the same. And when 95% of consumers read reviews before they make a purchase, this can turn a single bad experience into a major blow to future business.
Modern consumers know they hold this power and wield it to demand what were once considered stellar experiences. Customer expectations have evolved to where convenient, personalized, responsive, and intuitive interactions are the norm, and if you don’t provide them your business is at risk. Negative customer experiences impact your online reputation, your brand, and your bottom line.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to providing the ideal CX for ecommerce shoppers, voice of customer software is a guaranteed way to ensure you cut through the noise and focus on what matters most to your current and prospective customers. If you don’t have a dedicated VoC program yet, keep reading to find out the key voice of customer benefits, why they’re so critical, and how easy it is to get started optimizing your CX with the right VoC software.
What is voice of customer?
Voice of customer, or VoC, is a term for collecting user feedback in an effort to better meet the needs of consumers. VoC programs refer to company-specific initiatives that leverage insights to foster loyalty, goodwill, and ultimately higher sales.
There are three general stages.
- Collect feedback directly from your customers.
- Analyze the VoC data you collect to identify common requests that point to gaps in your CX.
- Develop guidelines and implement changes to the customer experience based on your data-backed insights.
Did you know? With Bizrate’s VoC software, you can collect multiple forms of feedback in several points of the buying journey. This includes the Online Buyer Survey (which collects quantitative and qualitative feedback and reviews at the point of sale and after fulfillment) and the Site Abandonment Survey (which collects shopper intent, general feedback, and reviews before abandoning your site).
Benefits of Voice of Customer Programs
When leveraged efficiently, VoC programs can impact everything from marketing and PR (attracting target customers and improving your brand reputation), to sales and lifetime customer value (reduced cart abandonment, more sales, higher customer retention, and more engaged customers).
These critical business metrics are all connected and contribute to the phrase all executives want to hear: revenue generation.
To understand how a simple process like customer feedback can impact every facet of an ecommerce business, let’s go over a few key benefits of VoC programs.
1. Gain a Deeper Understanding of Your Customers
Site engagement metrics are a piece of the CX puzzle that identify, for example, which pages attract customers, where shoppers bounce, or what page layouts convert best. These are all crucial considerations, but quantitative data can only take you so far.
When you leverage a voice of customer solution that enables you to collect feedback directly, you can arrive at data-based conclusions. Instead of assuming why customers aren’t returning to make a second purchase, you can just ask, “What would make you return to make another purchase?” Maybe you’ll find out that poor product quality was the reason. Or an issue with over or under-marketing.
With VoC data, you no longer have to guess why a customer performed an action because they can tell you themselves.
Related Case Study: How Lehman’s solved site abandonment issues with VoC software.
2. Provide Proactive Resolutions and Nurture Your Relationships
In addition to understanding your customers, VoC programs allow you to nurture that relationship by checking in at critical junctures.
For example, right after checking out, a consumer might say that they’re likely to shop with you again. You have a great UX, offered free shipping, and the process was seamless. But what happens after fulfillment? Was there a shipping delay? Did the product not meet their expectation? Opinions change. If they’re disappointed, they could immediately blast you on social media, or they can respond to the email survey you provided, in hopes for a resolution.
By asking about a consumer’s experience before they have the chance to complain on a review site, you are doing much more than preventing negative press. You are demonstrating that you value them by giving them the opportunity to share feedback, and you are one step closer to earning their loyalty by resolving their issue quickly.
3. Access Data To Fuel Your CX Optimization
A Price Waterhouse Cooper report found that one in three consumers would walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience. You may be thinking, “Are ecommerce businesses really being held to near-perfect standards?”, but I think at this point, you already know that answer is yes.
There are many elements that make up a customer’s experience with your ecommerce brand, so to help your team reach those high standards, you need to know explicitly how to meet your customer’s expectations.
For example, when 1,000 shoppers tell you that your clunky site navigation made them leave your page without making a purchase, your team knows exactly where to allocate resources when planning your quarterly budget. Instead of spending time and money fixing an issue that isn’t bothering shoppers, you can use their feedback to drive efforts that will move the needle as much and as quickly as possible.
4. Make Informed Decisions
By now you can see that the benefits of voice of customer programs are significant and reach nearly every facet of the ecommerce business. The impact on your customer relationships is a benefit in itself, but let’s zoom out and think about how access to this valuable data will give your team the ability to make informed business decisions. Rather than being consumed by analysis paralysis (being overwhelmed with options leading to making no decisions), your team has a clear path forward.
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Use Bizrate Insights To Power Your Voice of Customer Program
A voice of customer solution is more than a business tactic, it’s a direct reflection of the respect you have for your customers. When you dedicate resources to creating a stellar CX and streamlined online shopping experience you are telling them one thing: We value you.
An intuitive website demonstrates that you value their time as they shop. Convenient fulfillment options show that you understand their desire to get their items soon. And a multi-touch follow-up and feedback process assures them that you want to continue to improve their experience with your brand.
Learn more about how you can implement Bizrate Insights’ voice of customer solution to empower your team with the VoC data you need to understand your customers, make data-driven decisions, and continually evolve your CX to deliver the best-in-class experience your customers deserve.