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Interview with Colette Yee of Utopy--Voice of the Customer

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Blake Landau

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Customer feedback comes in various forms. It can be implicit or explicit, solicited in a controlled manner or given freely in a peer-to-peer setting. Utopy, a provider of speech analytics, is interested in revolutionizing call center speech optimization. Colette Yee, a graduate of Wharton Business School and Director of Marketing for Utopy, sheds light on customer feedback and new trends in leveraging voice of the customer for profit. This voice of the customer feedback on products, services, promotions, delivery or billing is most commonly gathered through surveys, product reviews and ratings. However, surveys – be it online, offline or over the phone – tend to be after-the-fact and delayed. And with increasing survey fatigue among consumers, the response rate could often drop to less than 5 percent. That is too little, too late. More often than not, the questions within surveys are not specific enough for pragmatic intervention, and the customer responses are aggregated and averaged out with little direction for corrective action. If one of our customers gives an interaction or a product a score of 5, from a range of 1 to 10 in a survey, what do 5 mean? And if on average, a product receives a score of 7 from a range of 1 to 10, how does that tell us how and where to improve? Given the inherent limitations in surveys, there is another often overlooked source of customer feedback—the actual interaction or conversation between our customer and our company representative. This conversation provides a unique insight into the customer’s perception, concerns, needs, future behavior and overall experience at a highly critical moment of truth.

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