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To Hear the Voice of the Customer, Your Systems Must Listen Like a Person

The voice of the customer is the strongest it has ever been and how we understand the customer experience has in turn evolved. Actively managing brand image now means figuring out not just the right questions to ask, but the right way to listen.

Editor’s Note: This post is part of our Big Ideas series, a column highlighting the innovative thinking and thought leadership at IIeX events around the world. Jeh Daruvala will be speaking at IIeX North America 2019 in Austin, TX. If you liked this article, you’ll LOVE IIeX North America. Click here to learn more. 


In today’s world of rapidly accelerating connectivity, media platforms, and the rise of individual influencers, consumers have a stronger voice than ever before across a multitude of channels. Yet the age-old business practice of listening to your customers and providing what they want is more critical than ever in today’s hyper-competitive market; the Customer Experience is no longer a cost center, it is a pivotal part of a company’s marketing efforts, value proposition, and revenue potential.

The Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC) is now a powerful market force that can make or break an otherwise viable product, or significantly affect a company’s standing both socially and commercially. With the onrush of the digital age, the process of capturing, analyzing, and leveraging the VoC is rapidly evolving, though the traditional mechanisms for this lag woefully behind the current VoC ecosphere.

For example, the ubiquitous mechanism of the Feedback Form increasingly faces the problem of survey fatigue, which leads to a lower response rate while also likely tending towards a negative feedback bias. Negative feedback, while useful, only tells half of the story and gives no insight into what is working for your business and what you should be replicating for success.

Key industry analysts like Gartner today expect VoC products to offer omnichannel capability, including the mining of sales and service phone calls through speech analytics. For consumers, speech analytics is effortless since they don’t need to perform additional, time-consuming tasks like filling out a form or staying on the line to answer survey questions.

Additionally, speech responses provide far more spontaneous feedback than any other method, providing a much broader and honest representation of the VoC.  Spontaneous feedback allows you to measure not just what consumers are currently thinking, but also their deeper, more subconscious attitudes, beliefs, and responses. These subconscious cognition elements are key to understanding what motivates consumers in terms of incentives and aversions.

Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence allow businesses to accurately and reliably measure voice-based customer inputs to capture a low-barrier and intensely data-rich understanding of the VoC. State-of-the-art deep neural network-based speech recognition engines and natural language understanding capabilities have made high-quality speech analytics accessible; not just to Fortune 500 CIO’s, but to any size business on any budget that wants to grow revenues and deliver exceptional customer experience.

Speech analytics solutions have the capability to keep pace with the ever-evolving and often rapidly changing VoC ecosphere in a way that traditional feedback mechanisms could never hope to match. Additionally, the versatility of these solutions allows for numerous use cases to be deployed across all customer-facing nodes, including customer service, sales, support, security, and compliance.

Through these technologies, companies can actively manage their relationships with customers in a dynamic interaction that allows for rapid execution to meet the changing needs of the VoC, rather than the static, slow, and inadequate interactions of the past decades.

It isn’t enough anymore to just ‘talk’ to your customers like a person through technology solutions, these systems must now ‘listen’ to their customers like a person. In the coming years, these speech analytics solutions will become the new standard for ensuring positive and productive customer experiences while also providing indispensable customer, product, service, and reputational data.

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One response to “To Hear the Voice of the Customer, Your Systems Must Listen Like a Person

  1. This will be the challenge for voice systems going forward. Creating voice moderators that treat each participant as unique individuals, them engage in a natural way but also don’t sound like they’re trying to ‘be human’ is going to require a lot more research. But voice will succeed over time.

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Jeh Daruvala

Jeh Daruvala

Founder & CEO, Yactraq Online Inc.