By Whitney Satin
Marketers typically use VOC as a barometer when weighing different investments in the customer experience. But this reliance on customer voice biases marketers to only consider improvements to the existing set of touchpoints. Existing touchpoints aren’t necessarily the best ways to engage customers and, moreover, “fixing” touchpoints that rank highly on the customer gripe list generally leads to an experience that’s comparable, not differentiated. That’s not to say that VOC is always going to lead you astray, but its implications should be taken with a grain of salt.
Rather than viewing VOC as the starting point, we’re seeing a few leading marketers take a different approach to their experience investments. They begin by understanding their customers’ workflow, using market research and customer data to essentially map out all the different places customers logically turn to for information. More specifically, they break apart the customer decision-making process and look for points where customers gather information or ask questions. They then assess the degree to which the company’s experience helps customers accomplish these objectives.
This emphasis on customer outcomes has a couple of major benefits. First of all, it allows for much greater precision when allocating resources to ensure that you’re heavily investing in the touchpoints that are most critical. If customers are constantly turning to Google rather than downloading your company whitepapers, it makes sense to prioritize search engine optimization and develop a great website rather than churning out more white paper fodder.
Additionally, this approach surfaces touchpoints that may be critical for customers—but that aren’t currently part of the experience. For example, finding that customers most frequently turn to their peers for advice would give a company pretty solid reason to believe that emerging social media vehicles (online communities; blogs; networking sites) are key touchpoints to develop and integrate into the experience.
So what should marketers do differently?
- Identify the underlying activities that your customers are trying to complete as part of their regular workflow.
- Map those activities to the resources customers use to complete them to cover a broad range of influential touchpoints.
- Prioritize those touchpoints most critical to helping customers reach their goals and objectives.