The 3 Most Valuable Types of VoC Alerts

VoC alerts allow companies to recover lost customers, recognize star employees and generate new leads. Taking action on alerts is the most direct evidence of ROI for VoC programs.

Sean McDade, PhD

Sean McDade, PhD

Founder & CEO, PeopleMetrics

Taking action on an individual customer response to a survey about a recent experience is the most direct evidence of ROI for VoC programs.

Alerts allow companies to recover lost customers, recognize star employees and generate new leads.

This blog post is about the alerts that are triggered based on a customer response to a survey.

At PeopleMetrics, there are three primary types of alerts that provide the highest value to our clients:

  1. Recover alerts
  2. Recognize alerts
  3. Grow alerts
Let’s explore each one...

Recover Alerts

Recover alerts are triggered when a customer provides negative responses in their survey and is considered at risk of leaving the company or sharing a negative experience on a social review site based on these responses. These are also sometimes called service recovery alerts, problem alerts, at-risk customer alerts, or simply real-time alerts. These are all the same thing and indicate that you need to follow up with the customer.

The benefit of recover alerts is that they provide a system for following up with unhappy customers to resolve their issues and improve their experience before they leave a negative social review or choose to stop being your customer.

Recover alerts are by far the most common of all alerts and the reason why many companies begin their VoC program in the first place.

What are some common instances that trigger a recover alert?

  • When a contact center representative fails to resolve a customer issue in the expected time frame

  • When staff members are rude to customers

  • When food is served cold

  • When a room is dirty when guests check in

  • Or anything that would cause a customer to indicate at least one of these items:

    • NPS below 7 (i.e., a detractor)

    • Poor overall customer experience on a recent visit

    • That a problem occurred during their most recent experience.
Most of our clients set up multiple triggers for recover alerts so that if any of the preceding events happen, they know about it and can assign someone to follow up and close the loop with the customer.

Recognize Alerts

Recognize alerts are triggered when a customer indicates that they had an exceptional experience when interacting with an employee during a recent experience. These are also sometimes called kudos alerts or high five alerts.

These alerts often take a back seat to recover alerts but they are an integral part of any VoC program.

A recognize alert is triggered by a single question:

Did anyone go out of their way to provide an exceptional experience in your most recent visit with us?

If the customer answers, “Yes,” the recognize alert is triggered.

You should also ask the customer if they remember the employee’s name (or include this in a list for the customer to choose from) and what the employee did to make the customer feel special.

Recognize alerts are a great tool for internal coaching and boosting morale by showcasing the great works that your employees do every day.

Recognize alerts should always also go to the manager of the person who delivered an exceptional experience. Typically, this alert will then be forwarded to the employee with a congratulatory and appreciative message. That is what most companies do in terms of following up or “closing the loop” with regard to recognize alerts.


Grow Alerts

Grow alerts (also called upsell alerts) are triggered when a customer indicates that they are interested in additional products and services from a company. These alerts are turned into leads to be managed by the sales team.

Sometimes, grow alerts are also triggered by a customer who is willing to provide specific referrals to other customers who might be a good fit for the company’s products or services.

Often, grow alerts can be more valuable for a company than recognize or even recover alerts as they can directly generate new business for your company.


Food for Thought...

Thinking about which alerts work best for your company, how they should be triggered, who they should go to and how they are managed are vital to a healthy VoC program.

I hope this blog post helps you think about these important issues.

In the next blog post, I will dig into the best ways to manage these alerts.

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About the Author

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

Topic: Alert Management

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