...and other startling statistics from Voice of the Customer research
Customer feedback can increase revenues. It can give insight into the performance of a sales force, the effectiveness of marketing activities, the quality of products and the power of competitors.
But, only if it’s done right. MillerPierce, a full service marketing firm out of Indianapolis, has pioneered a new method of Voice of the Customer research for dozens of its clients across industries. Rather than a once-a-year survey of customers, MillerPierce has integrated automatic and routine Voice of the Customer research with companies’ lead management systems. This means that any lead brought in through marketing and sales activities becomes a target for the market intelligence companies need to grow their profits. At a specified stage in the sales process, an automated survey is sent to leads and prospects asking questions about their experience with the sales process, purchasing status, perceptions of the company and more.
MillerPierce released five years worth of observations and knowledge gleaned from its clients’ Voice of the Customer research. The results are quite shocking.
Revelations from Lead-Management-Integrated Voice of the Customer Research
1. Leads are trying to purchase, but nobody is contacting them. What is the Number One reason customers haven’t purchased? They haven’t been contacted by anyone from the sales team. MillerPierce VOC experience indicates that only 50% of marketing leads have received a follow up from sales or channel partners, making it the top reason a product wasn’t purchased.
2. Companies aren’t marketing to the right person..but they can find out who is. Reason #2 leads haven’t purchased – they don’t have the authority. Often those who respond to a marketing campaign are not the ones empowered to make purchasing decisions. However, through the automatic VOC, the initial responders from an organization will often let companies know who the decision maker is so he or she can be contacted.
3. Prospects can come back from the “dead.”
A member of the sales team may have counted a lead as cold, but VOC can rejuvenate the sales process. On average, 15 percent of VOC respondents want to be contacted immediately by someone in the sales force, quickly turning non-responsive or closed leads into “hot” sales prospects.
4. Prospects shouldn’t be counted out because the decision is taking longer than usual. According to VOC responses, most people who haven’t purchased a product just haven’t come to a purchase decision yet. Economic times are calling for more research on the part of buyers and therefore longer sales cycles. This is the time to build stronger relationships with customers. Information gleaned from VOC can help companies do that.
5. But maybe not THAT Long…They’re not ready to buy now, but on average, VOC results suggest that at least 30 percent of responders will be ready to purchase in six to nine months. This statistic highlights the need for continual and unique marketing and consumer education to this group of prospects.
6. Customers want to talk to companies in this quick and easy format. Automatic VOC surveys built into a lead management system receive a 30-35 percent response rate. Although they don’t replace more exhausted research efforts, this response rate is around 25 percent higher than typical research projects which also necessitate greater incentives to participate.
VOC By the Numbers
What did MillerPierce find by integrating Voice of the Customer research into lead management systems?
50% of marketing leads are not followed-up on
15% of closed leads
want to be contacted immediately by the
30% of non-purchasers will be ready to buy in
six to nine months.
30-35% of customers
will respond to a VOC form, compared to 10% for typical research projects.
80 to 90% of customers will opt-in for further communication.
80% of customers know what a product does,
but can’t recall the
5% of customers will voluntarily refer a colleague for follow-up.
7. They also want to hear from companies more often. Experience shows that 80 to 90 percent of the people who receive automatic VOC surveys will opt-in to regular communication from companies via the VOC form. These individuals will go on to provide the greatest ROI for marketing campaigns. Utilizing an opt-in list, companies will generally experience a 30-35 percent response rate to their marketing efforts. If lists are purchased, the response rate is two percent or less. Collecting data pays for itself.
8. They may not know a company’s brand, but they know what it does. On average, 80 percent of customers will recall what a product does, but they won’t remember its brand name (even if they purchased that particular product!). This is likely because they found a company by searching for a product’s attributes, not by searching for the company specifically. The statistic drives home the need for consistent communication of brand messages. This way if the customer has purchased, companies can make sure they purchase again. If they haven’t, companies can ensure they purchase their product when they’re ready.
9. Competitors are doing something right. Lead management VOC programs ask customers specifically what brand of products they purchased and why. The surveys provide a continual stream of market intelligence for new product development both from knowing what competitor products were purchased and from product improvement recommendations.
10. Lead management VOC can produce even more leads. About 5 percent of customers will voluntarily refer a colleague through the VOC program. Now there’s a lead management system that is also a lead generation tool as well!