Deepening Digital Audience Engagement and Retention through Voice of the Customer Insights
2018 Finalist

Deepening Digital Audience Engagement and Retention through Voice of the Customer Insights


McLean, United States

Category Data and Research

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

To improve customer experience and champion the customer across the enterprise, Gannett’s Voice of the Customer (VOC) program aims to uncover key insights, pain points, and opportunities to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty with our content, products, service, and brands.

Central to the program is both a text analytics platform and a cross-functional committee focused on driving action and insights around “moments of truth” that impact customer satisfaction.  The technology platform mines consumer data for insights, trends, sentiment (using natural language processing AI), and root cause analysis.  We have also leveraged a survey tool to integrate real-time customer feedback from our digital platforms, such as our news sites, native applications, live chat, and email data into the platform for analysis.  

Customer data sources include: website surveys, native application surveys, email channel surveys, bi-annual customer satisfaction surveys, app ratings and reviews, live chat transcripts, post-chat surveys, “Contact Us” emails, and other ad-hoc customer feedback and data. 

The insights derived from these customer data sources are used to develop both monthly insight reports shared across the organization, as well as deep-dive analytic reports for key business units and stakeholders such as customer experience, marketing, product, customer service, distribution, HR (employee engagement), and content/editorial.  We have also created more rolled up quarterly trend analysis reports to look at the impact and changes to key customer insights with respect to volume, sentiment, channels, and satisfaction. 

To keep the focus on the stated goal of driving overall subscriber retention and satisfaction, the feedback and metrics, while transactional in nature for certain touch points, serve as key performance indicators and drivers of subscriber satisfaction across the overall customer lifecycle.  

Results for this campaign

The VOC program has driven actionable insights and improvements, resulting in lower cost-to-serve, increased digital engagement, and higher satisfaction and retention among new digital growth audiences.   Moreover, it has enabled us to evolve our business from being customer-focused to being truly customer-led – allowing two-way dialogue with consumers to accelerate our digital transformation.

Improved Self-Service

Subscribers cited their inability to find and perform account-related functions online like activating digital access or signing up for automatic payments.  Site search was enhanced for keywords around common subscriber account actions, “How To” emails were created showing where to go for self-service, along with a downloadable guide that bookmarks account-related links.  The printed bill was also re-designed to simplify online payments and EZ Pay enrollment. 

Results: 11% YoY increase in online payments, increase in EZ Pay enrollment, 5pp improvement in digital activation rate.

Increased Digital Engagement

Subscribers cited being unable to locate member benefit features such as newsletters, podcasts, loyalty programs, etc.  Our member communications program was revamped to include benefit modules to improve discovery of digital benefits. 

Around digital engagement, we regularly share insights with Product and Ad Operations around digital ads, and uncovered an issue related to sound-on video ads that was allowing those ads to flow into native applications.  As a result, this setting was disabled to improve overall app engagement.  

Improved Employee Engagement

Through our cross-functional committee and sharing of insights, we have seen a 4pp YoY improvement in employee engagement related to our culture as one that’s “passionate about providing exceptional service to customers”.

Improved Retention

Our biggest indicator of success lies with customer satisfaction and retention. 

We have continued to demonstrate that improving CX improves retention. “Satisfied” subscribers show an 8pp improvement in retention over 52 weeks.  


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