Understanding voice of the customer to build a better customer experience
Jaspreet Kondal | SVP, GCS Back Office Services and Managed IT Solutions
November 29, 2022
Do you understand what your customers want and need? What makes them unhappy or satisfied? Understanding your “voice of the customer” (VoC) means understanding all of these elements, and understanding your VoC is critical to ensuring positive customer feedback and building a better customer experience.
Tapping into and understanding the deeper meaning behind your specific organization’s VoC is an essential facet of providing a top-notch customer experience. Beyond customer experience and support, voice of the customer should ultimately influence your organization’s roadmap, internal operations, marketing activities and more.
It is critical to align your organization’s customer care operations to the expectation of the markets and customers you're targeting. While a younger demographic is more willing to work with a digital bank and avoid physical, face-to-face interactions, older customers and niche demographics like high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) will want personalized attention. To be broadly successful with a diverse customer base, you must cater to different customer experiences and align your customer care to each demographic’s wants, needs and overall voice.
What is voice of the customer and why is it important?
At its core, voice of the customer is about meeting the customer where they want to be serviced. Different demographic preferences exist. Some prefer to be serviced via email, others want to engage via chat and some still prefer a voice call. Driving a similar experience across all your different channels with quick, courteous service is paramount. Modern customers expect a unified experience that goes beyond their first request and anticipates and addresses their next query.
From a customer care mindset, and specifically looking at the ever-evolving landscape of banking and the intricacies of interacting with modern customers, the focus needs to be on technology. This encompasses servicing the rapidly changing demographic of the client base given that the traditional high volume of interactions coming out of customer calls is a thing of the past.
Today, a good customer experience roadmap involves increasing digitization, enhancing customer support tools and finding newer, easier and better ways to interact with the customer and drive customer support deflection. This means investing more in deflection channels, offering more web applications and chat applications and complementing those channels with automation and bots.
Who needs to understand voice of the customer?
Needless to say, if this role exists at an organization (and it should!), the head of customer care must understand the voice of the customer. However, VoC is something that should be permeated throughout the organization. These days, marketing teams are spending a lot of time understanding the voice of the customer and how to market new products to their customer base. Much of this research is based on the volume and quality of customer service that the organization is providing today.
The chief financial officer (CFO) should also understand the voice of the customer, blending both the new opportunities associated with new products as well as maintaining the current customer profile and service levels associated with them. The chief information officer (CIO) should be interested in creating and maintaining an alternative workforce and how to ensure uninterrupted service given that delivering services in today’s global economy is much more complex. When it comes to IT security in the banking world, there is increased spend on technology and a focus on IT risk and security, again with the ultimate goal of acing customer service.
At a more granular level, the customer care agents, who are the actual client-facing individuals on the front lines, must understand VoC. Your organization must support them with the information and resources needed to perform effectively as this directly ties into a good customer experience and a satisfied customer. It’s critical that the frontline agents understand who a customer is to the organization and treat them accordingly.
Tips for understanding voice of the customer
Spend some time with your customer base and understand what motivates them. There is incredible value in getting the answer to the customer’s question right the first time and engaging via the particular channel that each customer prefers. Whether it is via voice, chat, email, mobile app or otherwise, being able to drive that consistent, unified experience across channels is key as is understanding what the customer wants in terms of adding value.
One aspect of that understanding is connecting products with situations. For example, in the banking sector, a customer on the line has an overdraft, and the agent helps them better understand a short-term loan or a bridge loan option, thereby adding value to the interaction for the bank and helping meet that customer’s need – ideally during the first agent interaction.
Today’s consumer is inundated with marketing messages. Continuing the banking sector example, banks and CUs want to gain wallet share in more than one aspect of their business. Modern banks and CUs aim to be a one-stop shop for their customers, but this multi-dimensional approach adds much more complexity to customer care. Utilizing a unified desktop platform or solution is key to improving customer experience in this model. With a unified desktop, agents can quickly determine the customer’s history and transactions across multiple products within the bank or CU, be it lending, investment, credit card, etc., which in turn allows the agent to provide a seamless and integrated experience for the customer.
Organizations of all types are increasingly turning to highly experienced partners with domain expertise, global support capabilities and access to best-of-breed digital tools to build a better customer experience.
How a strategic partner like FIS® can help create a seamless and top-notch customer experience
Working with a service provider like FIS means you are working with a strategic partner, not a vendor. FIS brings deep domain expertise, consistent investment in innovation and premier automation tools – all based on our own experience providing customer service to our clients across the globe.
FIS has the domain expertise associated with all our banking cores and provides customer support across all channels. Combining our decades of experience with the digital tools and scalability offered by our Digital Contact Center solution, we have the knowledge, experience and technology to handle all aspects of your contact center and specific customer support needs.
Based on our own experience and interactions, we also continuously invest in areas and tech that we know will have the largest impact. This comprehensive, strategic partnership approach is what sets FIS apart from the competition. We help you drive a strong customer experience as a partner rather than just a provider.
At FIS, we know that it is essential to understand your customers’ experiences and who your customer is at a deeper level. Through a strategic partnership, FIS can help you understand how your customer wants to interact with you and which channels should be made available to that customer for the initial interaction and beyond. The appropriate technology and tools, and the ability to implement them successfully, require expertise and industry knowledge that a partner like FIS can help manage from end-to-end, and we make these tools and support available to you at a price point that makes sense.
At the end of the day, listening to your customers and understanding your organization’s unique voice of the customer is key to roadmap planning and ongoing success. Once your organization is familiar with its unique VoC, implementing effective agent training, arming those agents with digital tools and instilling best practice processes will improve your customer experience in the long run.