With three-quarters of US consumers saying that customer experience factors into their purchase decision-making, voice of the customer (V0C) programs can play a vital role in improving customer experience. And while three in 5 (60%) enterprise companies say that their VoC program is either very successful (13%) or somewhat successful (48%), according to a new report from Qualtrics XM Institute, are they able to put the results from these programs into action?
Qualtrics surveyed more than 170 enterprise companies and found that although more than half (59%) say they are either good (35%) or very good (24%) at soliciting customer feedback, far fewer seem able to follow through with the findings.
For example, only 36% of respondents say they’re good or very good at sharing feedback across their organization, while one-third (33%) are good or very good at using the feedback as a success metric for new or enhanced experiences. The success rates drop again when it comes to developing actionable insights from the data (30%), designing solutions to problems based on the insights (28%) and making changes to the business based on the insights (22%).
VoC Programs Bring Value
Despite enterprise companies not being as good as they’d like to be at implementing the insights gained from VoC programs, they do see value in those insights and report being significantly helped by them. A full 54% of respondents say that their VoC program helped to identify and fix process issues, while 51% said that it helped to identify and fix quick-hit operational issues.
A study by Vodafone found that business leaders were putting more focus on customer experience than on growing revenue or cutting costs. Along those lines, VoC programs have significantly helped some companies be more customer-centric in their strategic decisions (42%), in their new offerings (31%) and in making investment decisions (24%).
Despite the benefits of VoC programs, enterprise companies are encountering obstacles to improving them. Three in 5 (60%) cite integration across systems as one such obstacle. Respondents also encounter other obstacles including cooperation across the organization (57%), clear ROI from VoC efforts (51%) and clear objectives for the program (32%).
Tech Aids in VoC
Enterprise companies acknowledge that technology will play a greater role in VoC efforts during the next 12 months. Two-thirds (67%) of respondents say that the integration of survey data with CRM and operational data will be significantly (29%) or somewhat (38%) more important during the next year. Another 59% believe that platforms for managing surveys, doing analysis and distributing insights will prove significantly or somewhat more important.
Last year, a joint report from SAS and Harvard Business Review Analytics Services predicted that text analytics and speech/voice analytics will grow in importance in the next couple of years. Mirroring this finding, Qualtrics’ survey found that 59% of respondents felt that text mining/analytics technology would be either significantly or somewhat more important to their VoC efforts in the next 12 months. However, only 35% felt the same about speech/voice analytics technology.
Looking to the near future, respondents believe that customer insights – such as customer interaction history, open-ended verbatims from customers, front-line employee feedback, qualitative research and social media conversations – will have more importance in the next three years.
To read more about VoC, download the report here.
About the Data: The XM Institute surveyed 178 large companies with $500 million or more in revenues about the competency and maturity levels of their voice of the customer (VoC) programs.