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Richer Insights, Tap Your VOC and CRM

Heidi Mastellone, Director, Customer Experience, Selective Insurance

Understanding customer sentiment can give businesses powerful insights. Many customer experience and marketing practitioners use a Voice of the Customer (VOC) program as the “go-to” tool to collect customer sentiment. While VOC can help uncover friction points in the customer lifecycle and provide broad insight, it can also lead to blind spots in your customer analyses. That’s why intelligence from your Contact Centers, ideally through a well-used Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, is another essential tool in the customer experience arsenal.

A dynamic CRM tool is an excellent complement to VOC because it can help you read between the lines of VOC to get a clearer picture of the customer experience.

A VOC program can capture customer feedback, quickly resolve critical issues, and gauge customer perceptions, but it has limitations, including:

• Untapped potential – Response rates for all types of customer survey programs generally fall into the 10 to 20 percent range, which means that your VOC analysis is likely missing feedback from 80 to 90 percent of your customers.

• Responses reflect the extremes – Customers who take the time to complete a survey are more likely to have had a significantly positive or negative experience. As such, you will miss out on the learning’s from those in the middle.

• Key metrics don’t provide the complete picture – survey scores such as Net Promoter Score are better at telling “how” a customer feels, but not “why” they feel that way.

“The adage “feedback is a gift” is certainly true for customer experience and marketing professionals”

In contrast, CRM platform information – such as unfiltered transcripts obtained from a broader audience than self-selected VOC program respondents –is much more literal, making it easier to glean how individual customers feel about your company, your offerings, and your service. Perhaps even more importantly, you can identify specific reasons customers contact you, including the precise details about the problems they encounter and how frequently those problems occur. That context can help you quickly get to the root cause of any unsatisfactory experiences and provide actionable takeaways top reserve your brand better.

At Selective, our robust VOC program serves as a cornerstone of our strategic imperative to provide our policyholders with a superior experience. We’ve combined our VOC program with a dynamic CRM tool that helps us uncover actionable items and some evolving customer expectations. For example, while performing one of my earliest VOC analyses of a particular face-to-face interaction, there was a curious but strangely recurrent comment: “Bring donuts!” Although we did not start having donuts at all customer visits, we learned that customers desired a more casual approach to meetings (and sometimes, even with donuts!). In the past year, Selective had over 10,000 survey responses but more than 50 times that number of documented CRM interactions.

The adage “feedback is a gift” is certainly true for customer experience and marketing professionals. Any customer input is essential, whether from surveys, emails, social media posts, or your front-line staff. Pairing insights from a VOC program with the golden nuggets from a CRM tool is a surefire combination to drive customer satisfaction improvement.

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