Remember Vox Pop? The classic man, sorry, person-on-the-street interview that was part and parcel of all market research in the early days? The term comes from latin for voice of the people, short for vox populi, and is a method still used to get views and opinions of people.
From the days of kings and queens who used to disguise themselves as commoners to mingle with the crowds and get a sense of their lives and problems to the days of context aware computing and real-time big data analytics, the need for authentic feedback so that those responsible can calibrate their responses is a constant.
And the need is more urgent in the days of multi-channel and customer centricity. Social media is a customer grievance platform before it’s a marketing platform. And customers are not in a forgiving mood when it comes to brand experience.
For example, a survey showed that 47% of consumers between age 18-65 expects companies to respond to their enquiries and complaints as fast as possible to create a seamless customer experience. And customers, especially those in the younger age group, expect you to respond on social within fifteen minutes or something!
The bottom-line is, the customer is talking more than ever. And marketers need to figure a way to listen, profile and respond better to the voices out there.
Given the plethora of channels out there, and mobile, VoC programs can become a task unto themselves, so it’s important to see it in your larger context of Customer Experience – CX. And the approach to analytics and insight mining on customer’s comments and opinions should be aligned to your objectives and processes. Mapped to the customer journey and customer lifecycle.
And it needs to be continuous and not periodic. Real time, truly multi-channel customer feedback capture and analysis that can provide clear, actionable inputs to various parts of the business is a must-have for today’s enterprise. But “selective listening” to the voices that matter in all the data cacophony is not for the hard-of-hearing or the faint-hearted.
As with every idea, sustainability of initiatives will make the difference between success and failure. So, keep listening.