How to Use VOC to Turn Negatives Into a Force for Good

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Heather Hughes at NICE delves into if customer loyalty is under siege and how to use VOC to turn negatives into a force for good.

Potent forces are fighting against one of the most important keys to business growth: good old-fashioned customer loyalty. Some of these forces are newish to the scene, others have been building up steam for years.

How are these forces impacting consumer behavior and how can we flip their power to our advantage for good? Judo style.

Economic Forces, Combined With Changing Consumer Behaviors, Threaten Loyalty

Let’s start with inflation and our uncertain economy. In a global survey, almost 50% of consumers cited inflation as their leading concern when shopping today. What’s more, 43% reported that they stopped shopping with a specific retailer due to rising prices.

Customers are down-selecting purchases and switching brands—buying used instead of new (who knew that worn-looking handbags were in?), renting instead of buying, making fancy schmancy cocktails at home, and buying cheaper versions of their once go-to indulgences.

One thing still looks safe—lipstick. Over the holidays, I delayed a purchase and went into a wait and see mode. I still haven’t ordered that new 9×12 hand-knotted wool rug from my favorite rug maker, though I did buy a few smaller, less expensive rugs.

The good news? Some consumers remain stridently loyal. A 2023 study found that 22% of U.S. consumers continue to buy the brands they trust regardless of price, but noted that 29% now only shop for lower-cost brands.

Combine rising prices with changing consumer behaviors—which have been percolating for years—and loyalty might be at one of its shakiest points in the last 30 years.

According to Forrester, “Customers’ willingness to experiment with new brands is at an all-time high. And with inflation, they won’t be afraid to switch brands if a cheaper option comes along.”

Digital Disruption Makes It Easy to Leave

Perhaps nothing has impacted consumer behaviors more over the past few years than advancements in digital commerce. It’s easier than ever to switch. It’s easier than ever to cancel without speaking to anyone.

It’s easier than ever to find a new brand with a hot new deal. Buying on Amazon, ordering from Grubhub, flying on multiple airlines via Expedia, or booking through… a deal’s a deal, right?

Even if your brand’s price is the lowest, if customers feel like your company is no longer run by real people who are interested in them as a real customer, it makes it really easy for them to switch. No muss, no fuss, no regrets. One click, one swipe, a new source for X.

How to Flip Negative Forces to Positives? Build Trust

More than price counts. Experiences count—all along the customer journey.

Whenever I consider changing brands, I think of the experiences I’ve had with the brand and the people who work there—in a store, at hotel check-in, at a restaurant, on a plane, on the phone, via email, text or chat, and on websites and apps. These experiences give a brand a face. A face I trust.

Trust strengthens loyalty. Aside from the oft-cited fact that it takes much more money to win a new customer than to keep one, customer loyalty is important because loyal customers make a business healthy and sustainable.

That’s because loyal customers:

  • Make regular repeat purchases
  • Buy more with each purchase
  • Tell personal stories about experiences with your brand
  • Refer friends and family to your brand
  • Advocate for your brand to a wider audience
  • Often pay more for similar or the same products

To build trust that leads to loyalty, it’s important to consistently deliver brand experiences that consumers feel are trustworthy. According to Forrester, “Consumers who believe a brand is trustworthy are more willing to forgive it for missteps and more likely to increase engagement and spend.”

Mobilize Your Loyal Customers to Help Build Trust

Recent Aberdeen research found that best-in-class companies are more likely to use Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs to encourage loyal customers to be advocates for the brand and share their experiences.

That independent social proof helps humanize the brand and reinforce the perception that a brand is trustworthy.

NICE Feedback Management customers in retail, banking, telecom, healthcare, and more use their VOC programs to mobilize loyal customers to post their positive comments as reviews on sites like Google Reviews, Yelp!, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Trustpilot—any review or social site of the company’s choosing.

One cellular provider automated social sharing and saw their Trustpilot score increase 19% in just 3 months. Results can be very quick—a telecom organization saw their service team’s online scores improve 13% in just 2 days! A NICE banking customer mobilizes personal customer recommendations on Google Review pages specific to each branch location.

These reviews humanize and put a face on the brand, reducing risk for other consumers, while increasing trust. For example, customer recommendations for a NICE healthcare client reassure others that the provider is caring and considerate.

Building Loyalty Takes Time and Requires Reinforcement. What Motivates Loyalty?

  • Consistency of service
  • Product performance
  • Showing a willingness to do more than expected
  • Doing more than expected
  • Authenticity and a personalized service
  • Knowing and understanding your customers

Humanize Your Brand to Become Like a Trusted Friend

Factors that make a brand feel trustworthy are similar to what makes a person seem trustworthy and the right customer experience technology helps your organization reinforce those factors throughout the customer journey.

  • They listen and ask questions: Feedback Management captures customer feedback from all types of interactions in 30+ digital channels—chat, SMS, web intercept, messaging, and more—and is integrated with call recording so you can easily listen to call recordings within IVR survey results.
  • They pay attention to the details: Feedback Management combines all types of feedback including operational data like call hold times, reason for call, and other data to enrich VOC insights.
  • They are available when and where you need them: No matter what channel your customers prefer for their particular situation, NICE creates better experiences on 30+ interaction channels, including both the common and emerging messaging channels that consumers are using today.
  • They are easy to talk to: Enlighten AI Routing matches the right agent to the right customer by combining all available data sources to predict the best human connection to improve experiences in real time. Real-Time Interaction Guidance empowers contact centre agents to be their best on every call, with immediate guidance on next best actions and soft-skill behaviors.
  • They know you and remember your history, your past stories, your journey: Providing customer contact history and sentiment, Agent helps agents understand the customer and the context of the interaction. Feedback Management lets you see the big picture of all experiences across the customer journey and prioritizes actionable insights.
  • They have suggestions and answers that are helpful and make sense: Agent with proactive knowledge assistance makes it even easier for agents to quickly provide the best fit answers for the customer’s situation. Enlighten Actions with ChatGPT makes AI more human-like and delivers brand-specific actions for self-service interactions.
  • They come through in a pinch: Feedback Management automatically triggers notifications for service recovery follow-up with at risk customers.
  • They show you that they care: Closing the loop with customers based on their feedback demonstrates to them that they have more than a transactional relationship with a faceless company. What’s more, Feedback Management provides holistic VOC insights so you can make strategic changes to enhance brand loyalty.

Solutions help build trust and humanize your brand, making for transformed experiences that go above and beyond—like a true, trusted friend.

“Forrester’s data shows that when consumers feel appreciated by a brand, 76% of them say they’ll keep doing business with the brand. Show your appreciation for your customers through these challenging times with personalized messages and offers that reflect your commitment to your customers’ well-being.”

Flip the Negative to Positive With Modern, Trustworthy Experiences

Digital disruption and economic challenges may mean that many customers are less loyal and are trying new brands. Use this opportunity to win over new customers by delivering best-in-class, personalized, trustworthy service.

Mobilize your promoters to share feedback on social to drive more new business and retain your best customers by enhancing their experiences with breakthrough AI-infused tools.

Show your customers you care and keep building valued relationships over time. It will pay off—a 2023 Aberdeen study found that best-in-class companies are 56% more likely to excel at customer retention, while also outpacing all others by 12x in year-over-year improvement in annual company revenue.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of NICE – View the Original Article

For more information about NICE - visit the NICE Website

About NICE

NICE NICE is a leading global enterprise software provider that enables organizations to improve customer experience and business results, ensure compliance and fight financial crime. Their mission is to help customers build and strengthen their reputation by uncovering customer insight, predicting human intent and taking the right action to improve their business.

Find out more about NICE

Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: NICE

Published On: 17th Aug 2023
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