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In the U.S. alone, the estimated cost of customer churn due to poor service is $1.6 Trillion, according to a recent Accenture report.

Understanding customer expectations and requirements has never been more important. But capturing and aggregating feedback at scale is easier said than done.

However, with the “Voice of the Customer” (VoC) approach and growing number of use cases for crowdsourcing technology, companies have the solutions they need to make it less complicated. And ultimately more useful, which you’ll read about in this blog post.

Recently, Gareth Bradley, VP of Product Management at Spigit, held a fantastic webinar about harnessing the Voice of the Customer to improve products and services – among other outcomes.

Here are the four top takeaways from the webinar.

1. Crowdsourcing enables customer feedback at scale.

Always on Communities and Time Bound Challenges are two approaches to crowdsourcing ideas from customers – or the employees that interact directly with customers.

An Always on Community allows users to submit ideas and collaborate on an ongoing basis – it doesn’t have a start or end date. This is a great approach for continuous improvement or process improvement as it allows for a steady stream of new ideas.

Time Bound is a type of challenge that has a specific start and end date. This is good when you have a specific business objective you want to accomplish that’s time sensitive such as, “How can we improve the in-product onboarding experience for our Q1 release?

While having subtle differences, both approaches enable employees and customers to collaborate and make offerings align with customer expectations and needs.

2. A typical approach to VoC doesn’t tap the customers and employees that know and experience real issues.

The standard approach to gathering customer feedback and insight has its limits. It’s typically a one-way conversation where you ask a specific question and get an answer from one individual at a time.

This approach is good for identifying a problem, but ineffective at surfacing a solution.

What if, for example, the problem that a customer surfaces isn’t an issue the wider customer base is experiencing? Or maybe they are, but you have no easy way of knowing across your hundreds of customers or millions of users?

This is one of the many use cases for crowdsourcing technology.

Here’s an example: Let’s say a customer shared a problem they’re having with your product. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear the opinions of your other customers in response? Even better, wouldn’t it be great if they chimed in and shared their own experiences? This is the type of interaction that can help surface solutions.

Ultimately, leveraging crowdsourcing technology for VoC is a more efficient way of gathering feedback and prioritizing where to put your time and energy.

3. Utilizing crowdsourcing technology for VoC goes beyond standard surveys and phone calls.

When you have thousands of customers, calling each and every single one for product feedback isn’t scalable.

Even surveys aren’t the best option. There’s no collaboration, no actual engagement, no two-way conversation, or interaction involved.

From a VoC perspective, crowdsourcing turns that on its head.

Through Always on Communities, for example, you give customers a portal to share their feedback, feature requests, and pain points anywhere at any time. And because it’s a community, it encourages in-depth conversations that can uncover things you wouldn’t have known otherwise.  

Final thoughts

Voice of the Customer is an integral part of understanding the wants and needs of customers. But traditional practices have their limits, especially for organizations that have a large number of customers or users.

However, when you add in crowdsourcing technology to bolster VoC, you create a process that’s effective and efficient at gathering feedback at scale.