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The Voice of the Customer Breaks Out of Workforce Optimization

June 07, 2017
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - TMCnet Contributor

Workforce optimization was once a bit of a catch-all phrase used to designate workforce management and scheduling coupled with performance management. It has traditionally been used as a concept entirely focused around workers, with input from customers only incidental to rating the performance of employees. The idea of the “voice of the customer,” or VOC, was born under the umbrella of workforce optimization, but in recent years, the concept has broken out to reach into many new technologies and aspects of the business. After all, who doesn’t want to listen to what their customers have to say?

Workforce optimization software solutions providers are finding new and innovative ways to bring out the voice of the customer. At a recent Verint (News - Alert) customer-fest, Engage 2017, Customer Think’s Bob Thompson outlined some innovative VOC applications in a blog post.

“Instead of waiting for a survey, why not engage customers as they are interacting with a product? Like, for example, a car that enables customer feedback via an embedded microphone, demo’d in Verint’s innovation room,” wrote Thompson. “Very cool.”

Of course, not every device customers interact with has microphones, but VOC innovators see alliances with artificial-intelligence driven virtual assistants as a possibility.

“For IoT-enabled devices that don’t support voice input, they could potentially be connected with Amazon Echo or Google (News - Alert) Home,” wrote Thompson. “Then when the refrigerator stops working, you can yell at it and send a message directly to the manufacturer.”

While contact center solutions will remain at the core of voice of the customer technology, it’s important to remember that customer relationships extend outside of the contact center: at retail locations, with the sales and marketing departments, on social media and even while customers are interacting with a product or service.

VOC technology would also be a boon to digital marketing, as companies are always looking for ways to personalize and customize their marketing efforts to consumers. What better tool for personalization could there be than real-time input from a customer?

“With the rise of digital interactions and advances in AI, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more M&A activity to beef up multichannel VoC collection and advanced cross-channel analytics,” wrote Thompson. “As the number of feedback channels explodes and VoC becomes a real ‘big data’ problem, dashboards won’t cut it: CX [customer experience] professionals will need AI-powered help deciding where to focus their attention.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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