It’s official: we’re living in the “information age” – and we’re suffering from information overload. We’re all drowning in data, with more than five times as much information to digest than we had 30 years ago. However, if you thought we have it tough, the senior executives in our organizations face an even larger barrage of data from an ever-increasing number of channels and business units.
As a result, our C-suites are inevitably less captivated by statistics. Yet, figures, charts, and graphs are still the primary form of customer experience (CX) communication. Moreover, very few businesses are able to look behind the statistics captured in the voice of the customer feedback – making it difficult to reveal individual customer stories. Left with scores alone, CX reports become yet another data-set to consume – which perhaps explains why just 30% of stakeholders are typically invested in CX programs.
Helping VoC to stand out in the boardroom
Sure, we still need charts and graphs, surveys and scores – but on their own, they’re just not compelling enough to get senior executives fully behind customer experience initiatives. Too often, we treat data as if there isn’t a human behind it, losing emotion as our feedback and listening posts turn people into aggregated data. And if we lack the human element in VoC initiatives, our organizations aren’t truly listening to customers when we talk about their experiences, which means decisions aren’t being made with the customers’ best interests at heart.
That makes it hard to break down silos, spread customers’ stories and command the attention of the boardroom with engaging messages. Consequently, there’s a disconnect between what executives think is going on with their customers and what is really happening – and that’s exactly why it’s crucial that we help the voice of the customer (VoC) stand out in the boardroom. What we need is to close the gap through understanding, get rid of the disconnect and instead replace it with actuality. So to do that, we need to bring emotion into the boardroom through voice of the customer tools that amplify our customers’ experiences.
The challenge with bringing VoC into the boardroom
VoC has always promised to give the customer a say in the boardroom. It’s a well-intended motivation for any feedback initiative, but the trouble has historically been how the VoC has then been spread through the organization. The mechanism and mode for capturing, digesting and reporting VoC currently result in too much data, which hurts decision making capacities. After all, it’s easy to ignore graphs and charts, and unfortunately, these outputs don’t give staff a chance to experience first-hand customer feedback.
Instead, we shovel yet more data into their hands, culminating in analysis paralysis. The world today is information-rich, but action poor – and if senior figures are going to make the right decisions, they need to hear real, unfiltered stories from the customers themselves. Basically, it means that CX practitioners have to break down silos, spread the message between departments and command the attention of the C-suite on behalf of the customer (easy right!).
The solution: human stories
So, how do we do it? By telling stories. Humans are not rational information processors, and we can’t use data alone to portray our customers’ experiences to our colleagues clearly. Instead, we need to focus on revealing unique insights that live in the gaps between the numbers to understand what drives customer behavior. After all, when it comes to communication, nothing beats the truth – especially when it comes from a genuine, human source. Real customer stories are compelling and will stand out against the swarms of data as they are far easier to digest and trigger an emotional response in your audience. Crucially, human stories will ensure VoC, and consequently CX, reports get executives thinking and acting.
Using video to bring emotion into the boardroom
Video is a VoC tool that can help with just that. Technology has enabled video to become the single most powerful way to collect real human feedback, giving you unbeatable access to how your customers feel about your brand, products, and services. Video goes beyond the information and data provided by scores and scales, collecting the true voice of the customer, unlocking real insights and giving the story behind the scores. And because modern, video-first voice of the customer tools allow you to ask customers open questions at the point of interaction, you can easily collect self-recorded video feedback that delivers complex messages in a simplified and digestible format. This collection of raw, unfiltered video feedback, in the moment-of-truth, arms you with deeper insight into the customer psyche and a better way to demonstrate this in the C-suite.
Showing videos of actual customers is powerful, it’s emotional, and most of all, it’s…human. Video encourages people to sit up and take notice. 59% of executives would rather watch a video than reading text-based alternatives. Moreover, whilst it’s easy to ignore statistics, videos of your actual customers and their opinions give CX practitioners the ammunition they need to break down silos, spread the message and command attention. When placed into VoC initiatives, video closes the gap, delivers empathy and allows you to build a deeper understanding of your customers. It cuts through the noise to obtain raw, unfiltered context so you can better understand your customers’ true feelings. In turn, this increases customer closeness by allowing you to add depth, emotion, and authenticity to your data. That means you can build real human connections between the people within your organization and your customers. And by eliciting emotions in this way, you can flip the way execs think about your business encouraging them to act and enhance the experiences you create.
In today’s data-heavy world, the power of storytelling has never been more critical. Instead of sharing yet more statistics with your stakeholders, video allows you to humanize and add context to your data and deliver impactful, convincing and memorable stories that stand out and drive change. In a nutshell, video is the missing ingredient for anyone looking to humanize CX and see the world through their customers’ eyes.