• September 1, 2014
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

When VoC and VoE Combine

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within the company buy licenses and run it on their own. "You usually get a customer advocacy group within the company, but then marketing, operations, customer service and support, and even HR come on board," he says.

And the technology has greater segmentation capabilities today as well. With Verint's solution, for example, users can segment and survey employees based on attributes, such as demographics, management level, department, location, and tenure to create employee personas and gain more targeted insight and actions.

Whose Voice Is It?

So who, then, should own the VoCE insights? It really doesn't matter, most experts agree. "You can still have separate organizations, but they should share the information and the applications," Cottle says.

"You can tweak it for specific use cases, but everyone should be on the same basic platform," Haggren adds.

Karine Del Moro, vice president of marketing at Confirmit, suggests implementing a VoCE program across the entire company. It shouldn't be solely an HR initiative, she says, but an integral part of the company culture.

"The most effective program has cross-department ownership," Maughan adds. "It needs buy-in from all over the company, and the key to this is that teams need to work together."

Solutions also need to work together. The collection mechanisms should be the same for VoC and VoE feedback, and gathering feedback should occur with the same frequency. "You should be ready, willing, and able to collect employee feedback at any time," Cottle says. "You should allow that dialogue to happen all the time."

Naturally, companies can't collect employee feedback all the time; after all, they want their employees doing the jobs for which they were hired, first and foremost. "But you can survey employees after specific events, finding out what they saw, what they heard, how they felt, what they think they could have done to improve the customer experience," Haggren says.

He suggests having an open, easy-to-use Web surveying platform where employees can go when they have a few minutes of downtime.

Maughan says companies can also require contact center agents to fill out quick surveys after every call. The surveys can be as simple as one or two questions. "If you keep it simple, it won't take a lot of time to complete, maybe ten to twenty seconds or so," he says.

No matter how surveys are administered, though, they need to be consistent throughout the employee's life cycle with the company, Maughan adds. And "it needs to be standardized across the company."

To further increase use by employees, management should explain how VoE and VoCE programs will help them do their jobs better. It's almost essential to close the loop with employees and tell them exactly what is being done with the feedback they've provided, experts agree.

Enabling employees to provide feedback about customer experiences engages and empowers them, and taking the information they provide and using it to drive change is an incredibly powerful way of proving that they matter, that the company is willing to listen to and support them to help them to perform their jobs better, according to Del Moro.

In the end, "you can't look at [VoC and VoE] as separate experiences. The customer experience and the employee experience are inseparable," Maughan says. "This is fundamental table stakes for companies."

News Editor Leonard Klie can be reached at lklie@infotoday.com.

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