Implementing a voice of the customer program doesn't require a huge investment, or even a large staff. Listening to customers and effecting change based on what they say is valuable to every company, whether it's a corner store or a conglomerate.
Tesa Tape, which sells a variety of adhesive products throughout North America, recently implemented a VOC program, even though the company employs only eight customer care associates. Since the company sells mostly to large distributors, it receives a significant amount of feedback from a few customers.
"Prior to launching our voice of the customer program, our team would verbally give feedback from customers to me, which meant we would often address the same issues over and over," says Laura Brittain, Tesa Tape's inside sales manager. "We started the program as a way to bundle information and give our representatives a more transparent and direct tool to show other departments what types of customer inquiries we receive."
Tesa Tape already had a homegrown CRM system and conducted annual customer satisfaction surveys, but it had no way to aggregate feedback from customers through the contact center. Since a handful of the largest customers are served by single sales representatives, those employees gained valuable, direct customer insight that wasn't being shared throughout the company, because there was no process to do so.
"There's a lot of information and opportunities that don't always show up in the customer satisfaction survey results," Brittain says. "Not only does this program give our customers a voice; it gives our representatives a voice-a way to factually show what they hear on the phone and see in emails every day."
To make the system accessible, Tesa Tape added data fields into its CRM system so the agents could have the ability to officially log customers' comments, rather than simply tell management what they heard. The information logged through the VOC program is part of representatives' monthly goals, as is the quality of that information. Brittain tracks follow-ups, whether problems are resolved, and how the insight was gained. Each week the logs are aggregated and shared with the entire sales team. Brittain also sends actionable data to the appropriate departments when she believes process or product changes could be made as a result.
Brittain says having such a small call center can be an asset, since representatives have found their own way of tracking customer information and their methods can be worked into the VOC system. In Tesa Tape's case, its implementation also made the sales force more efficient because when a representative is out of the office, colleagues can see the progress on a customer inquiry and avoid repeating information.
"Initially the goal was to change the habits of the inside sales team, to train each person to use the system the way they utilized our CRM software," Brittain says. "We've spent a lot of time discussing what to track and how to show results, and now we clearly see the importance of passing along the successes that customers talk about, as well as the opportunities for improvement that come out of their feedback."