Ask any business professional what the key is to a successful business, you are likely to get answers that revolve around customer centricity. That is, creating the conditions where a firm is focused on the improving the customer journey to drive increased retention and loyalty. In fact, there is significant evidence that not only will an overwhelming majority of customers pay more for a product or service if they receive a great customer experience, a study released by PwC showed that one-third of customers will actually leave a brand they love after just one bad experience. After two or three bad experiences, a firm is all but guaranteed to lose that customer for good. So, how does a business not only prevent poor CX experiences, but design the best possible customer journey?
According to a 2017 survey by Deloitte, 88 percent of companies reported that customer experience/expectations are the main drivers of growth in their contact centers. This is a 25 percent increase from just two years prior. Furthermore, 81 percent of companies view their customer experiences as a key differentiator from their competition and have 1.5 times more engaged employees than their peers. In short, this is where the new battles across industries are being fought.
Gathering Voice of Consumer (VOC) data is critical to growing and thriving on this battlefield. Companies that earn $1 billion a year in revenue gaining an average of $700 million within three years of making these investments, so it’s no wonder why CX is seen as a top investment priority by 63 percent of CEOs. Across all industries, firms have created online communities of their current and potential customers to gain valuable insights to create that perfect customer journey. Whether its gaining insight into current products, marketing communications, or product development, online insight communities give firms an edge over their competition. When a research question arises, a firm can quickly go and ask the community to gather rapid and actionable insights. Members of online communities are invested in the success of the product or service they are being asked to help, so they make for the perfect investment for any firm that wants to stay competitive and thrive well into the future.
Concern over data privacy and how companies use this information is in the news consistently. Whether it’s the latest data breach of a major retailer or congressional testimony by tech CEOs, customers have a great interest in how well companies secure and ethically use their personal information. Recently, a major utility company asked their insights community to help them understand how their customers expect them to use their consumer data. Using KLC’s proprietary platform, utility customers were asked a wide range of questions about what types of information they think their utility is collecting from them to what they think is the most ethical use of said data. Furthermore, they were asked how certain types of data collection would impact their opinion of their utility and why. As a result, the utility was a able to not only develop clear messages describing what and how data is being collected, but implement effective methods of communication to promote transparency around data collection.
In summary, gathering VOC insights is not only a critical step in product development, but also to develop clear messaging to market products or communicate important company policy. All of this contributes to an enhanced customer experience. When customers feel that brands or companies are listening to them, the likelihood of increased customer loyalty and repeat business is all but guaranteed.