SMS/Texting in Business: Part 3 – Voice of Customer (VOC)

Published on
March 30, 2016
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In my previous blog post, I mentioned that we recently moved to a new house. Anyone who has done this knows the consequent, frequent trips to a home improvement store. In my case it was a Home Depot near my house. During one of my trips, I noticed a credit card terminal next to the customer service counter had a note that said “Please Help Us By Completing Your Emailed Voice Of The Customer Survey!”.

Upon inquiring with the customer service representative, I found out that a Voice Of The Customer (VOC) survey is emailed after certain transactions and they are trying to improve the response rate by posting this reminder.

If you are like me, you probably have an ever growing list of emails that you intend to respond to, but never seem to get to it. Moreover, unless I had a bad experience, I wouldn’t take the time to go through an emailed Survey … they tend to be long.


A few weeks after this experience, I flew half way around the world to Hyderabad, India on British Airways. A few hours after I reached my destination, I got an SMS from British Airways (since I gave them my Cell phone number at the time of booking my ticket), simply asking “Overall, how satisfied were you with your in-flight experience? (Very dissatisfied=1 and Very satisfied=5)”. Now that was a Simple, Effective and Efficient VOC survey that didn’t require a whole lot from me other than replying with a single character.

By using an SMS based VOC system, British Airways made it very easy for customers to respond to their VOC survey. Compared to Home Depot, that probably gets mostly negative responses to their emailed Surveys from dissatisfied customers, I am positive that British Airways gets a more even response that they can use to gauge the Customer’s feedback.

With increasing competition and the need to improve customer engagement, an effective VOC solution is very important for organizations. A complete Voice Of Customer implementation would require a lot of planning and investment. There are a few companies that offer elaborate VOC systems. But if you want something simple and quick, a good place to do that is in your CRM system.

We are a partner, so I will use Salesforce to discuss a simple and effective VOC to measure Customer Satisfaction after their interaction with a customer care agent. Most Salesforce customers use the Case Object to manage Customer Support or Customer Service incidents. When a Case is closed or the status changes to a state that requires further action, consider sending an SMS text message to the Mobile Phone of the Contact that the customer service agent interacted with.

The body of the message could vary by the Case status. The message could just be a note on next steps,or could be a VOC survey asking for a simple response. If a response is expected, if/when the response is received, it should be associated with the Case. This data can then be used to gauge general customer feedback on the service they received and specifically, measure the performance of the Customer Service agent that was handling the case. This data can also be used to identify agents that need additional training.

While Salesforce doesn’t yet have native SMS/Texting capabilities, you can look for apps on the AppExchange that will allow you to setup a simple VOC. AppShark’s Open SMS Pro is one option you can explore.

Open SMS Pro is an “Open” texting platform that allows the use of different SMS Gateways world-wide. Depending on your location and/or the location of your target audience (Customers, Leads etc.), you can sign up with a gateway that provides the best pricing and use that Gateway through Open SMS Pro. For more information visit the AppExchange listing OR the Open SMS Pro site.

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