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Voice of Customer: the Two Key User Engagement Types

A Voice of Customer (VoC) program allows your company to systematically engage with, and listen to, your customers. When done right, VoC provides unparalleled insights into your users and customers’ wants, state of mind and perception of your brand and service.

As you approach designing interactions and engagements with your users across various customer journeys and touch points, you should make sure you take advantage of the different engagement types available and understand their pros and cons. In this post we present the two key engagement types, proactive and passive, explain when to use each type and discuss their benefits. Here we go:

Passive Voice of Customer Engagement

A passive engagement is passive from the point of view of the brand – you allow the user/customer to initiate the interaction, by facilitating engagement. Usually this is done by placing a feedback button in a visible location on your website or mobile app, or including a feedback menu item or link somewhere.

Examples of Good Usage of Passive Engagement

Let’s start with a web example:

Puma Passive Engagement

In this example, Puma displays a feedback button at the bottom right corner of every web page, enabling users to easily provide feedback.

Another example, this time a passive engagement within a mobile app:

Mobile app - passive engagement

Here the My Swisscom app displays a feedback tab to allow users quick access to providing feedback within the native app.

The Benefits of Passive VoC Engagement

Passive engagement is the simplest form of Voice of Customer engagement, and can be setup easily across digital channels (given the right solution). While simple to setup and deploy it provides great benefits:

(1) “We are open for feedback” subliminal message

By visibly displaying the option to provide feedback you are sending a clear message to your users, visitors and customers, a message of openness and willingness to listen to what’s on their mind. It puts users at ease knowing they can reach out and provide their 2 cents.

(2) Handle feedback online / in-app – deflect from call center

Many times, customers and users are interested in providing feedback, offering their opinion, complaining about a bad experience, or simply let you know that they like what you’re doing. Their first instinct would be to pick up the phone and call your contact center, which could cost your organization anywhere between $5 – $50 per call. Presenting a simple, visible way to provide feedback will give your users an outlet for providing feedback that is immediate and in-context. It will also save your company a lot of money. Swisscom, a Swiss mobile operator and a Kampyle customer, utilized this method online and was able to increase support requests solved online by 15%, leading to a $3.2 million in savings in 12 months (!)

(3) Deflecting negative feedback from social media

Frustrated users and customers often want to voice their dissatisfaction. In today’s hyper-connected world users take to social networks and other social media channels quickly to vent and share with the world perceived wrongs and bad experiences. Once such information is disseminated, it’s very hard to contain and control. One of the most overlooked  benefits of enabling users to easily provide feedback is deflection of negative feedback from social media – by giving users a simple outlet to voice their opinion and frustration, you can respond and resolve issues while keeping such negative feedback out of the hard-to-control social channels.

Proactive Voice of Customer Engagement

In a proactive Voice of Customer engagement, the brand initiates the engagement with the users, inviting them to provide feedback. Done correctly this is a powerful way to gain insight into users’ and customers’ mindset, satisfaction and wants.

Example of Good Usage of Proactive Engagement

Proactive engagement

In this example, Nationwide Bank uses smart user segmentation to invite specific users to provide feedback at the right point in their customer journey.

The Benefits of Proactive VoC Engagement

(1) User segmentation

A good Voice of Customer solution allows you to target and invite specific users to provide feedback. By segmenting your user base you will be able to gain true insight into the mindset of different personas as opposed to aggregate feedback.

(2) Just in time feedback

A proactive engagement lets you control the timing of the invitation to provide feedback, allowing you to collect feedback at just the right time. This could be at the end of a sales funnel, upon task completion online or in-app, after a specified time on site and much more. controlling when you invite users and customers to provide feedback gives you the power to focus on very specific steps in the customer journey to gain true insight and optimize the customer experience systematically.

Notes to Consider When Implementing an Engagement

When choosing an engagement type, pay attention to these notes:

(1) Feedback received from a passive engagement (feedback button on a webpage, for example), tends to skew slightly more negative then average feedback sentiment overall. The reason? dissatisfied users are more likely to voice their opinion and provide you with feedback. As you analyze feedback, make sure you account for this behavior to get the real picture and insights.

(2) When designing proactive VoC engagements, make sure you correctly analyze the customer journey to avoid disrupting users in their journey when you trigger an invitation to provide feedback. Apply best practices to make sure you get the most of your engagements without negative side effects.

Are you interested in learning more about Voice of Customer engagements and best practices? book a session with our Customer Success team today!

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