SALT LAKE CITY, March 30, 2010 -- With the recent failures of big financial institutions, consumers have been left wondering, "Who can we trust?" To restore consumer confidence and improve customer relationships, companies must gain a better understanding of customers' needs, wants and concerns. Allegiance, Inc., a leading provider of Voice of the Customer (VOC) solutions, and Endeavor Management, today announced the availability of the complimentary white paper "The Top 10 Voice of the Customer (VOC) Best Practices," which provides no-cost, practical ways to implement and build customer feedback programs.
"Today, businesses must have a formal Voice of the Customer program in place to systematically capture, manage, and act on customer feedback across the enterprise and ensure that feedback gets incorporated into their organization," said Kyle LaMalfa, best practices director and loyalty expert for Allegiance, Inc. "Along with this, companies must ensure that they are putting the right people, processes and technology in place to support these programs."
The paper includes successful VOC programs used by industry leaders Amazon, Best Buy and Ultradent. Some of the practices that ensure an effective VOC program include:
1. Open the gates to customer feedback: An important part of staying in touch with customer needs and wants is gathering customer feedback such as concerns, complaints, questions, suggestions, and ideas. Companies should strive to gather feedback that is both useable and actionable.
2. Make feedback collection part of the routine: Companies must not only gather customer feedback on a regular basis, but also respond to it quickly, as consumer behavior can change in an instant. Responding in a timely manner increases the likelihood that a customer will buy again, especially if the company resolves the complaint in the customer's favor.
3. Know what the feedback says: Customer-centric organizations continually aim to understand what customers are trying to tell them, where customer feedback is coming from, and the underlying factors that are driving customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. In other words, they understand both the data and the factors that may be affecting that data.
4. Take real and deliberate action: Companies need to be both organized and prepared to respond to and act on customer feedback. This includes having a systematic feedback program in place that defines who will respond to the feedback, how and when, and what the company's general policy will be for taking action on customer feedback. They should also evaluate whether or not that action had a positive impact on their customers' experience, loyalty and engagement. (continued...)