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Vovici Highlights Seven Voice of the Customer Trends in 2011
Taking action on feedback collected through social media, mobile, and text analytics are at the top of the list.
Posted Dec 2, 2010
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Vovici, a provider of online survey management and enterprise feedback solutions, is encouraging companies to ‘take action’ in 2011 to create a customer-centric culture that directly improves satisfaction, loyalty, and profitability.

“Over the past five years, the focus on establishing voice of the customer programs has grown exponentially,” states Nancy Porte, vice president of customer experience at Vovici. “Debate has ensued about which department is best suited to develop the program, whether the leader should have a seat at the executive table and how to calculate ROI for the effort. These are still questions many organizations are wrestling with, but the main result of this movement has been the harnessing of customer data to improve the customer experience.”

Vovici has collected 28 trends identified by six different sources and looked for the common elements. Vovici examined reports from Forrester, Gartner, and the Temkin Group, as well as articles from Loyalty 360 and Customer Management IQ, supplemented by Vovici’s own ongoing Customer Experience IQ research.

Key findings from the combined research include the following observations for 2011:

  1. Social Media – Five of the six sources explicitly mentioned social media, but it is clear that most organizations took baby steps in 2010 in their experimentation with social media. For 2011, major brands are turning to social media as an authentic and extensive source of the voice of the customer.
  2. Text Analysis – Four of the six sources mention that the high-volume of social media content is leading many firms to text analysis, which provides an excellent method of analyzing the unstructured feedback gathered by voice of the customer listening posts.
  3. Employee Engagement – Employee engagement is an important part of customer loyalty, and many organizations are looking at ways to bring the voice of the employee into the voice of the customer, leveraging the observations and insights of employees when building a better understanding of the customer.
  4. Employee-Specific Reports – Publishing filtered customer feedback to the hands of front-line employees, supervisors, and mid-level managers, helps employees learn from their specific customers. Nothing prompts change better.
  5. Closed Loop Feedback – Half the sources discussed the need to build closed-loop processes that gather feedback, act on it, track it, trend it, and repeat. A great part of this is case management, where feedback that indicates dissatisfaction is immediately escalated to service and support organizations, so that individuals can take action to directly improve satisfaction.
  6. Feedback Consolidation – Most organizations have very decentralized approaches to the collection and analysis of voice of the customer data. Large companies are creating or expanding their central customer insight departments and are looking to  customer relationship management, enterprise feedback management, and mobile device management to centrally manage the data.
  7. Mobile Feedback – The rise of mobile feedback is the ability to capture the customer’s opinion as close to the customer experience as possible: at the point where a decision has been made, a product purchased, or a service experienced. It enables organizations to reach consumers as they go about their daily life, rather than when they are at home on the phone or in front of their computers.

“With loyalty built upon consistent, repeated successful interactions, the goal in 2011 will be to leave no interaction to chance and provide closed-loop feedback to measure the pulse of the customer,” says Jeffrey Henning, Vovici founder and vice president of strategy. “With the combination of engaged employees and targeted customer programs, companies can achieve dramatic changes to customer retention and thereby increase profits.”

For more details behind the top seven trends, visit the Voice of Vovici blog: http://blog.vovici.com/blog/bid/48906/Voice-of-the-Customer-Trends-in-2011

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