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Why the Voice of the Customer Is a Contact Center’s Super Power

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Image: Paradee Kietsirikul - Alamy Stock Photo
In her talk at NICE Interactions Live 2022, Colleen Fazio, senior analyst, Forrester, told attendees who are “searching for their superpower” that they already have it—the voice of their customer (VoC). She also explained three factors to help contact centers avoid frustrating their customers, plus what it looks like when utilizing your superpower.
Fazio opened by saying it doesn’t take a Ph.D. in data science to look at website or application data to see where your customers might be struggling. From no search results to heat maps to her “personal favorite”—rage-clicking —when users repeatedly click or tap on a website or app element, indicating frustration. While a host of analytics tools exist to demonstrate what customers are doing in a business’s digital channels, these tools “rarely show you [why your customer feels as they do].” In other words, the direct voice of the customer is necessary to find out more about what they want.
Three Factors to Boost Consumer Outcome
Forrester Research shows three factors—effectiveness, ease, and emotion—drive a good customer experience (CX). “Emotion is actually the strongest predictor of CX outcomes like customer loyalty,” Fazio said. She added that “delight isn’t the key ingredient” because delight doesn’t make your customers feel appreciated, respected, and valued. It’s also not likely to drive loyalty, according to Forrester Research.
Fazio explained how customers are “channel-switching,” i.e., being forced to jump from a vendor’s website to the contact center to find the answers they need. Customers don’t differentiate through your website, your contact center, or your chatbot. Fazio said, “they have one journey, and it’s with your brand—so all of those digital channels need to be coordinated.”
What Your Superpower Looks Like In Action
Fazio explained how she once worked with a client that primarily sold products online. Using Google Analytics, the client discovered that its customers were browsing, adding items to their carts, and even confirming billing and shipping information. However, a high number of customers would drop out of the transaction and abandon their carts at the final confirmation page. Fazio said the CX team decided to dig a little deeper and added an abandoned cart survey on that page, which triggered when people left with full carts.
Through this customer feedback survey, Fazio’s client discovered that its consumers were rethinking their purchases because the shipping fee wasn’t appearing until the final screen. To better understand what was happening, the CX team tapped contact center agents to see if customers were calling about this issue. “That was a powerful insight that didn’t have a quick fix,” Fazio said, “but it … helped instigate an overhaul of the e-commerce experience.”
Elevate Your VoC Program
Fazio advised attendees to talk to your contact center colleagues and capture the voice of your employee, in addition to the voice of the customer. “You have to look across channels and across journeys and multiple touchpoints to truly understand the customer journey and what's driving your customer experience.”
It’s important to understand your customer’s level of digital maturity, Fazio said.
To improve the digital experience, which helps control context and volume, Fazio added you might start by looking at behavioral data from your website. But that’s only a starting point: “The last few years have accelerated digital experiences into the mainstream, and most digital experiences offer the promise of customer data that can inform business decisions—but data doesn’t equal insight.
“Make sure to triangulate what you see in the data, which is customer insights.” Successful VoC programs can effectively leverage the voice of the employee to help service and validate customer experience, Fazio added.
Lastly, Fazio explained how you need the voice of the customer to understand experiences from the customer’s point of view and reminded attendees that “people don’t call the contact center because they have a problem with the contact center.”