How a Voice of the Customer Strategy Improved the Customer Experience

Many organizations manage their Customer Experience strategy as though it were an extension of their marketing program. That’s not the approach for Franklin Madison. Understanding the customer experience across touchpoints and channels is critical to our success and the success of our financial partners. This is why we place such emphasis on a comprehensive voice of the customer (VoC) strategy. The insights collected have been instrumental in transforming the customer experience for our customers.

When you consider that a typical customer has few touchpoints with their insurance administrator, it’s easy to see how important it is to ensure that each touchpoint is smooth and meets the customer’s needs. Transactions that are confusing, time consuming, or difficult to complete are simply not acceptable – this is where an effective VoC strategy will help!

Integrating VoC into the Customer Journey

We identified early in the execution of our strategic roadmap that we wanted to understand two specific components of a customer’s experience:

  1. Customer Effort Score (CES): A simple numeric scale used to measure the level of effort a customer exerted to get something done.
  2. Specific Customer Stories: Personal narratives that provide valuable insight into how behind-the-scene processes can impact the customer journey.

While we capture a couple other data points, these two elements are significant drivers behind identifying which processes, communications, and touchpoints create the most problem for our customers.  For example, an insurance customer having a difficult time requesting a change to their policy is much more likely to cancel that policy than someone who has a friction-free experience.

As a case in point, the Franklin Madison Customer Experience Team evaluated verbatim survey responses provided from customers requesting changes to their beneficiaries. The survey responses called direct attention to an area where beneficiary information could be more clearly itemized. While this represents a very basic example, it demonstrates the same process that is applied across all customer forms. Our objective is to understand where customers struggle or where they have a high level of effort and to address those processes or communications where appropriate.

In many instances, customer effort has a high correlation with loyalty – customers that are required to exert a high level of effort also maintain a high-risk of leaving. Customers providing feedback that they have had to make repeat calls, cross channels, or were provided vague information are all examples of high-effort and an indication that further analysis is needed. This high correlation with customer loyalty is what sets the CES measurement as a priority within Franklin Madison.

VoC Strategy across Channels & Customer Touchpoints

The team at Franklin Madison identified that a comprehensive view of the customer journey was going to be required if we were going to be effective. For us, that meant we needed to implement a closed feedback loop across any channel in which our customers have contact with us. The customer touchpoints we identified included:

  • Customer Service Teams
  • Digital Channels
  • Back-office Interactions

The customer service and digital channels are going to be the most familiar interactions; but we wanted to be sure that we had a complete view. This meant we needed to understand how our customers were interacting with our off-line processes and with back-office teams as well.

Keep it Simple

It could become easy to lose sight of our VoC strategy as we review customer surveys; so we implemented a very simple approach. We limit the questions and keep them brief:

1. The company made it easy for me to handle my issue (Customer Effort Score).

and

2. An open-ended narrative question that allows for additional feedback if desired.

Additionally, we don’t want to inundate our customers with lengthy surveys that in their own right become a pain point. So, we implemented controls that ensure we are not over-surveying the same customer.

As mentioned before, by keeping the process simple and brief for our customers, we were able to obtain consistent and actionable results.

Always Analyzing VoC Data

Quality customer feedback is at the heart of any effective VoC strategy. Ongoing analysis of that data is what provides the insights to drive improvements across every touchpoint.

Please contact us if you’re looking for more information on how our VoC strategy can help the servicing of your bank or credit union’s consumers.