Over 50% US Customers prefer Word-of-Mouth – Voice of Customer Trends 2021

Published On April 5, 2021
In Blog Archives

With the increasing consumer demand in this era of immediacy, it has become imperative for organizations to keep a track of the ever-evolving customer needs and preferences. Companies have begun investing in VoC or Voice of Customer platforms or software that provide in-depth and comprehensive insights into their target audiences.

VoC provides unique insights into the minds of consumers that no other data source can match. It assists businesses in determining their customers’ interests, preferences, expectations, and pain points as a result of the interactions with their brand, regardless of where they are in the customer journey.

Monitoring the current customer voice patterns and constantly looking for ways to obtain more information through customer feedback is critical for making crucial decisions and enhancing customer experience.

What is Voice of Customer?

What is Voice of Customer? 

‘Voice of Customer’ is an analysis methodology that allows brands to gain a thorough understanding of the needs and preferences of their customers. It involves gathering information from a variety of sources and integrating it into a single and powerful overview of the consumer, revealing expectations, preferences, and aversions. This facilitates the creation of a data-driven decision-making process for the entire organization.

VoC software or platforms have gained momentum in recent times and are now speedily becoming an important aspect of a company’s core business strategy. They are particularly effective for brands because consumers these days expect more communication with them. Additionally, in order to make crucial business decisions, collecting consumer feedback and acting on it are very important as they help in understanding customers’ needs.

What is Voice of Customer?

Collection, analysis, and execution are the three phases of feedback in an adept VoC platform. Although many businesses merely gather reviews, there is much more to the process if they want to better understand their customers and offer true value. In other words, companies should have the right VoC tools in place, which helps them in not only gathering VoC data, but also facilitating their team to evaluate and act on it.

According to a report by Aberdeen Group, companies that adopted the best-in-class VoC platforms saw increase in revenues nearly 10x faster than those with less-capable VoC systems. Such growth results from an increase in customer retention by 55%.

What is the importance of Voice of Customer? 

Involving in listening to the voice of customers is crucial because it enables companies to turn their product or service into something that consumers genuinely want and look forward to invest their money and time in. Additionally, it helps businesses enhance their ROI through:

  • Revenue growth by lowering churn and strengthening the potential to attract new customers and
  • Cost reduction by streamlining processes, ensuring compliance, and growing consistency.

The greatest advantage of VoC is its ability to provide companies with the insights they need to make improvements to the customer experience, which helps maintain a loyal customer base.

For instance, let us consider the example of gathering customer feedback about a company’s website. One does not view a website in the same light as its customers. In reality, company executives probably have a very different experience with their websites, apps, and email campaigns or any other digital channel as compared to their customers and visitors. Such a gap means they are not aware whether these channels are completely meeting the needs of their customers.

What is the importance of Voice of Customer?

Thus, there is a significant ‘experience gap’ between how companies plan or want their customers to experience their business and how they actually do. As a result, engaging in a discussion with the customers assists the enhancement of customer experience. The unique customer insights provided by VoC platforms help companies maintain a competitive advantage and set their businesses apart.

Top Voice of Customer trends in 2021 

Here are some top VoC trends for 2021 that will help businesses enhance their customer experience efforts:

1. Elimination of VoC data silos 

VoC is a key component in achieving the elusive 360-degree view of the customer from the start to finish of their journey. These insights, on the other hand, are often found within a single department in an organization. According to Forrester, to help eliminate VoC data silos and make it easier to juggle data from various sources internally, companies will engage in reorganization initiatives.

According to a report by Gartner, while choosing vendors, a majority of customers are increasingly prioritizing experiences. As a result, in addition to monitoring VoC trends, eliminating VoC data silos is becoming more important than ever.

2. Real-time insights with AI 

Stakeholders today need the right inputs at the right time in order to provide excellent customer service. A company’s ability to make critical decisions is contingent on a thorough understanding of customers and their experiences. VoC analysis when powered by artificial intelligence (AI) helps companies obtain these insights rapidly and efficiently.

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, 50% of companies used AI in at least one business feature by 2020. Text mining is a great example of how AI is being used in customer voice research. AI and natural language processing (NLP) assist with heavy lifting. Real-time opinion analytics, wherein each comment is automatically labeled by subject and sentiment offers real-time insights that allow key stakeholders to act quickly.

 Real-time insights with AI

3. Targeted surveys 

Every experience is important. Customers nowadays have very high expectations. Consider how, according to a PwC report, three out of ten consumers would abandon a brand after only one poor customer experience. Measurement of the consumer experience at all touch points in the customer journey is critical in the era of customer experience.

Micro-surveys are being used by businesses to fill in inconsistencies in their customer experience evaluation. These are simple, focused surveys designed to gather feedback during or shortly after key interactions, such as after an encounter with a customer service executive.

4. Enhancement of action management efforts 

Problems may arise at any point in a customer’s journey. However, quickly resolving these problems can mean the difference between a customer remaining loyal to your brand or not. In a world where nearly half of US consumers (TalkTriggers) prefer word-of-mouth over any other source of information, brands can’t afford a low net promoter score, let alone dissatisfied customers discouraging others from doing business with them.

Efforts such as closed-loop feedback that are based on focused VoC studies help prevent negative interactions from lingering too long in the minds of customers. More significantly, effectively closing the loop with consumers results in the rehabilitation of negative interactions, maintenance of consumer loyalty, and smoothening the customer path.

Over 50% US customers prefer word-of-mouth – Voice of Customer trends 2021

Conclusion 

Anything companies do should be done bearing their customers in mind, and it is nonsensical to assume what they want. To stay ahead of the competition and meet their customers where they are, companies must first listen to what they are talking about and then, respond accordingly. A well-developed VoC platform can help companies stay ahead of their competitors as well as help them take their customer experience game to the next level. VoC data analytics help organizations build robust customer success, product management, marketing, sales, and operations strategies by listening, analyzing, and acting.

iNava is a VoC intelligence SaaS platform, developed by SG Analytics, to help business leaders in B2B technology get quick access to macro and micro-level intel on the VoC for their products and for competing products in the marketplace. Learn more on how companies can stay ahead of the curve with iNava.

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