This past winter, our family took a ski trip and used a concierge ski rental company where the customer experience did not live up to its advertising. I shared what happened in my responses to a short customer survey from the resort, and within hours of responding, I received two follow-up calls from their team.
As I talked with the representative, it became clear that they were genuinely interested in understanding what went wrong, when it went wrong and how it could have been handled differently. This is the power of a voice of customer (VoC) executed the right way.
More than 90% of customers unhappy with a brand will just leave without complaining. Successful banks seek continuous customer feedback, recognizing that consumers are key to improving day-to-day operations and increasing profits. Financial institutions have the power to increase CX with a well-thought-out and executed VoC model.
VoC data has little value when an institution cannot leverage the collected insight to understand customer pain points, isolate root causes and act on the information learned. At the same time, the perception of feedback leading to inaction causes many consumers not to participate. Actively engaging via a continuous feedback program enables an understanding of alignment or misalignment with customer engagement.
Routing customer feedback to appropriate parties for action empowers banks to acknowledge that they hear what their customers say and are doing something about it. Informing customers via email, personal call or text what action was taken based on feedback gathered is a powerful way to close the feedback loop. It demonstrates a commitment to improving the experience and impacts future customer response rates.
Right audience, right questions, right time
A key challenge is appropriately structuring surveys and feedback mechanisms that prompt the right customers for honest, unbiased feedback in a timely and relevant manner.
Lengthy static surveys frustrate participants and cause dissatisfaction, which can lead to decreased response rates. VoC embedded in the CX model triggers intelligent surveys that target questions based on both the respondent’s recent experience and answers to previous questions, leading to increased survey satisfaction and customer emotion of “feeling listened to and responding appropriately.”
Timing is a second key success factor. Identifying critical moments, such as after a loan is originated or a new account is opened, provides insight and direction for process, product and experience improvement. Effective reporting, interpretation tools and a defined closed feedback loop empower the bank to act appropriately on customer sentiment and insight.
Accumulated VoC knowledge in the form of scores, lists and text requires proper analysis and visualization to convert information into transformation. Simply using scores can lead to information gaps resulting from banks only catching a portion of relevant feedback. Multiple choice feedback and free-form text comments allow consumers to provide specificity regarding “why” they offered positive or negative feedback.
If a bank knows why customers are satisfied or dissatisfied, products and processes can be added, enhanced, or retired to improve future results. For example, following a negative score to a question about interaction with a branch staffer, the institution would want to know if the staff member lacked appropriate knowledge (need for training), was rude or curt (need for coaching) or was bogged down by a long teller line (need to adjust schedules to meet foot traffic demands).
Purposeful VoC implementation requires banks to ask relevant questions to the right audience through the right communication channels at the right time – all based on segmentation, demographics, risk factors, events, or types.
Both “active” and “reactive” listening through human or digital channels and pursuing strategic campaign programs that focus on outreach and education have proven successful. Likewise, purposeful advisory assistance with goal-based solutions and use of automated channels to accelerate customer acquisition and nurture relationships can lead to more robust customer engagement over time. Tracking point-of-view trends and administering testing can ensure that the implemented modifications achieve the desired results.
Organizations with the discipline and governance to adapt their business strategy and implement successful VoC practices will be positioned to “see” customer issues before they become brand challenges, which can help close customer loyalty gaps and promote ongoing success.
Todd Robertson is senior vice president of business development at ARGO.
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