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The ongoing pandemic has really sped up the importance and urgency of listening to your customers. It feels like the entire world has changed overnight, and that’s forced businesses to pivot in order to meet the needs of their customers. In order to do this, voice of the customer (VoC) programmes have seen a massive uptick in priority across the business. Rather than guessing at what customers might want tomorrow, organizations are required to understand what their customers need today in order to remain competitive
UserTesting recently sponsored the CX Network Live: Voice of the Customer virtual tradeshow on 16-17 February. The 2-day event was focused on how businesses are leveraging voice of the customer programmes to learn (or relearn) their customers’ needs, expectations, and aversions. Not only that, but there was a special focus on how voice of the customer data and human insight is vital for decision-making across all business teams.
We know that customer insight is core to any confident decision, which Janelle Estes, our Chief Insights Officer, and Tesco Bank’s Design Lead, Andrew Dykes, highlighted in their discussion. Their session was focused around how the design team at Tesco Bank builds customer empathy into every stage of the design process—ensuring they’re always integrating the voice of their customers into the core of their business. They also discussed how you should relearn your customers in a post-pandemic world to ensure your business remains customer-centric for your changing target customer.
Check out their presentation below to learn more about how customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have, but a competitive differentiator that keeps customers happy and loyal:
Throughout the event, we heard from leaders and practitioners from the likes of Accenture, BT, and Philips, who shared their techniques for capturing customer feedback, as well as how to leverage it across the business. Over the course of two days, three key trends emerged:
In one session, Jennifer McGinn, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Informatica, highlighted that taking a context-centred approach to customer experience is crucial. She explained that you should be contextually matching the information you collect about your customers to help you build customer personas and deliver new, personalised experiences that meet their unique needs.
Great customer experiences are hiding in your data—both quantitative and qualitative. So, it’s important to make sure that you don’t silo your insights. The more you democratize your feedback, and share the data across teams, everyone will be empowered to make customer-centric decisions.
As if the stakes for understanding your customers couldn’t be any higher, brand loyalty is no longer a safe bet. In today’s digital environment, it’s too easy to switch between brands, so ensuring you’re meeting the needs of your customers is the difference between having them and losing them.
When it comes to customer experience, expectations are extremely high, and you’re no longer simply competing with others in your space. In fact, you’re competing with every experience your customer has ever had. Think about that. Every Apple, Netflix, and Amazon experience is raising the bar for you—in whatever industry you’re in.
Mark Curtis, Head of Innovation and Thought Leadership at Accenture Interactive, referred to this as liquid expectations—the flowing of your experience from one industry to another. He went on to explain that we now expect “living services” to be the new norm. By this, he means that customers have come to expect digital experiences to change in real-time around them—enabling the automation of decisions and actions.
Sam Phillips-Lord, Customer Experience Manager at BT, Lisa Kaufman, Voice of the Customer Director at WorldPay/FIS, and Nick Macfarlane, VP Customer Engagement at Sky Ticket, held a panel to discuss how you can turn insights into action.
Obtaining insights and sharing them with key stakeholders is a great step forward to creating a culture driven by customer empathy. However, the most important step is the number of actions you can take to improve on what you heard from the feedback.
Voice of the customer needs to be a deeper knowledge of your customers—beyond just what you hear. Every pause, cringe, and moment of delight that you can see from your customers interacting with your product or experience is just as important as what they say. So next time you run a usability test or solicit feedback, make sure you not only take note of what your users say, but how they react as well.
Ultimately, customer experience is a team effort. And it will take time to build a muscle for collecting and sharing insights across the business. Don’t worry though, it can spread like wildfire. Once a few people start gaining insights that make them think about taking a different, more customer-centric approach to a question or challenge, word will spread about its value, and learning from your customers will become second nature.
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