Around 95 percent of purchasing decisions happen in the subconscious, according to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman.

That statistic motivates Uwe Gutschow’s strategy team at digital agency MediaCom to push for more customer feedback and explore not only what customers say but also what they mean.

Figuring out the Voice of the Customer (VoC) allows companies to understand their customers’ wants, needs and behaviors. While direct feedback through customer surveys or social media is helpful, uncovering the ‘whys’ of customers — why they buy, why they don’t buy — provides deeper insights.

Gutschow said his team uses electroencephalogram (EEG) technology and physiological indicators to track customers’ subconscious choices. Seeing which stimuli customers respond to helps MediaCom create more effective engagement strategies.

But feedback should come from multiple sources, Gutschow and other tech professionals in Los Angeles told Built In. Surveys may work for some customers, while others may respond better to a check-in. Anecdotal evidence, social media analysis, data capture and more help product and customer success teams create a full customer profile.  

From there, customer data can be input into analytics tools for a better understanding of their behaviors and emotions.  

“If we understand the behaviors, but more importantly, the underlying emotions — then we can architect the right opportunities for our client’s brand to be an authentic part of people’s lives,” Gutschow said.

Below, leaders from five Los Angeles tech companies shared with Built In the importance of listening to and integrating feedback from customers, across all departments.

Dan Berkowitz, Chief Product Officer at Sure
Dan Berkowitz
Chief Product Officer, Sure

Sure

Chief Product Officer Dan Berkowitz said his team measures both direct and indirect customer feedback at digital insurance platform Sure. Doing so requires asking the right person, the right question, at the right time. That data is then used to enhance product roadmaps and prioritize feature releases. Sure's product team even incorporates learnings from VoC in real time throughout the customer journey — from discovery to platform launch, and even improving future products. For example, the company included geofencing techniques to provide relevant coverage offerings by location for a high-profile partner, which was then integrated into all future versions of the platform.

Where is the best place for your company to gather the feedback needed to capture the voice of the customer?

At Sure, we collect direct and indirect customer feedback to ensure we capture the voice of the customer at multiple points throughout the customer journey. Direct feedback is gathered from in-person and virtual meetings, online surveys and one-on-one communication between individual team members and clients. This data is used to enhance our existing product roadmap and identify common themes, such as multiple requests for the same feature, enabling us to prioritize feature releases.

We also leverage business analytics tools to gather indirect feedback. By analyzing client interactions with our technology, we see what areas are most intuitive, and learn where improvements need to be made.

How do you synthesize this data in order to capture deeper insights into your customers’ behaviors and preferences?

Who, what and when we ask for customer feedback plays a critical role in our ability to capture insights that go beyond surface-level comments. It requires that we ask the right person, the right question, at the right time. As part of understanding VoC, we have to make the effort to understand the customer, how they use our products and the best time to capture their undivided attention.

Business analytics tools are incredibly valuable when it comes to gathering real-time feedback without taking time away from our clients’ workday. By tracking engagement and interactions in our platform, we better understand the usability level of existing features, areas where users are struggling and areas where the platform drives efficiency—all in real time.

We also keep a pulse on customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Sccore (NPS). These in-platform surveys enable us to measure customer satisfaction with our products, how loyal a particular client is to our brand and how likely they are to recommend our company to others. One of the most valuable ways to dive deeper into customer feedback is to take the time to match user data from the platform with survey data. Is direct client feedback consistent with user interactions in the platform? If yes, then we have clear direction. If no, then we need to identify why there are discrepancies and the best plan of action to address concerns.

We collect direct and indirect customer feedback to capture the VoC at multiple points throughout the customer journey.

How do you leverage VoC to improve the different stages of the customer journey or to inform your product/marketing/CS strategies?  

Our product team applies new learnings derived from VoC in real time throughout the customer journey — from discovery to platform launch. We hold multiple workshops and sketch sessions to fully understand the desired outcome — not only for our partners, but their consumers as well. The product team builds interactive prototypes to prove hypotheses and provide ample opportunities for feedback, then refactors workflows to accommodate updates. Setting milestones throughout the customer journey is key to gathering, and acting on, client feedback.

A great example of incorporating real-time feedback and using it to improve future products is the inclusion of geofencing techniques to provide relevant coverage offerings by location. A high-profile partner wanted to include this as a part of their core technology. It proved to be so valuable that our product team integrated it into all future platform configurations. Incorporating VoC into our existing and future products is a true differentiator for Sure.

Read the full article on Built In LA here.