For companies with medium to large customer service operations, and in particular those that utilise call centres to respond to queries from existing customers and facilitate the conversion of initial enquiries from potential customers, the ‘voice of the customer’ (VOC) is crucial.

The more competitive the sector – be it mobile communications, energy or internet – the more customer loyalty counts, and could be the make or break between a successful or failed business. For this reason, it is imperative that companies with a call centre operation mould their best practices around VOC data, and all this reveals to them.

There are plenty of ways to measure VOC, and the feedback is often gold dust in terms of how to shape your customer service policy, as well as informing other areas of your business, such as marketing, distribution and business development.

Methods of measurement

There are a few tried and tested techniques for gauging VOC when it comes to your call centre, and if you are not utilising them, you have a gaping hole (or huge opportunity) in your work processes.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) remains the customer feedback tool of choice for many call centres. It offers a high level of accuracy, using a point scoring system to make the process easy for the customer, as well as translating into informative data for the user.  NPS also has the advantage of being versatile, allowing you to change how you break down the data from a single call centre advisor, to a team, a department or an entire call centre. It’s flexibility when it comes to the customer is another bonus, as it can be collected by phone (IVR & text), email & online.

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) uses a slightly different set of metrics to bring the same benefits, using feedback to deliver a ‘final score’ for companies’ customer service rating, based on a 1 to 100 scale. Like NPS, CSAT can be easily implemented as a single question or part of a survey.

Customer Effort Score (CES) is the customer feedback cousin of the two techniques mentioned above which differs from other methods in the way it phrases the question to the customer. It would typically ask “how much effort did you have to expend to get this issue resolved” or something similar. This tests the very core of a company’s customer service operation by assessing whether its representatives are providing valuable help to the customer, or are likely to be letting them down.

The massive potential of VOC data

Once you have gathered your VOC data, using any or all of the methods above, how you then use it to your advantage is key.  In the right hands this information can be used to have significant positive impacts across an entire organisation.  If neglected, VOC can become “Big Brothers” monitoring tool of choice, alienating advisors and breaking down trust.

Embracing the voice of the customer is exciting, but it takes commitment to exploit the full potential of the most powerful tool in your contact centre’s arsenal.

Having a real-time VOC system in place helps build a self-correcting call centre operation by keeping your customers at the heart of everything you do and allowing managers to react instantly to poor scores by contacting customers and resolving any issues.

Feedback can also be used to inform decisions on process changes, innovations and product launches. Training is another area which VOC systems can put under the microscope, allowing managers to measure the impact of employee engagement and coaching on their VOC scores.

Rob Wilkinson
Client Relationship Manager
Bright UK