Voice of the Customer: How to Find Yours
Customer experience is the new battlefield. In fact, more than two-thirds of companies now compete primarily on their customer experience. But delivering a great customer experience is impossible without knowing how your customers feel and what they want. Enter: Voice of the Customer. Voice of the Customer describes your customer’s feedback about their experiences and.
Customer experience is the new battlefield. In fact, more than two-thirds of companies now compete primarily on their customer experience. But delivering a great customer experience is impossible without knowing how your customers feel and what they want.
Enter: Voice of the Customer.
Voice of the Customer describes your customer’s feedback about their experiences and expectations for your products or services. When business success boils down to understanding customers, VoC is your savior.
This article discusses Voice of the Customer and how you can collect data for your Voice of the Customer program. If you’re ready to tap into your customers’ thoughts and feelings, so you can deliver them exactly what they want, then keep reading!
What is Voice of the Customer in customer service?
Voice of the Customer (VoC) is exactly what it sounds like: understanding your customers and listening to what they have to say.
VoC is a tool to collect customer feedback to understand better their needs and what customer expectations are, which can help companies improve their products, services, and overall customer experience.
Voice of the Customer is the tool that helps reduce the gap between what customers want and the CX that your company is delivering. It’s important to understand that voice of the customer significantly emphasizes not just data collection but data analysis as well.
Practically speaking, a range of techniques, including surveys, focus groups, social media monitoring, online reviews, and contacts with customer service, can be used in a voice of the customer program.
Businesses can better match their products and services with consumer wants and deliver a more individualized and pleasant customer experience by studying and acting upon the insights received from the voice of the customer.
It’s clear that a voice of the customer program is essential. Now, let’s read its importance in detail.
Why is Voice of the Customer important?
When a brand understands what their own customer needs and wants via techniques of Voice of the Customer, they’re able to enjoy the following benefits:
Read More: The Importance of Customer Service Voice
Improved customer satisfaction
The main agenda of a voice of the customer program is understanding the customer. And when data from a VoC survey is utilized, it delivers to customers what they want. In the end, this leads to customer satisfaction.
By collecting customer data using VoC techniques, your business can identify areas where they fall short and take corrective action.
For example, suppose a customer has a negative experience with a product or service. In that case, they may leave a negative review online.
Suppose the business monitors these reviews and takes steps to address the issues being raised. In that case, it can improve customer satisfaction and prevent future negative reviews.
Identifying areas for improvement
Continuous improvement is essential to keep customers happy and stay relevant. However, as a brand finding your shortcomings can be challenging.
Studying the voice of the customer can help your business identify areas for improvement. By analyzing customer feedback, you can identify patterns and trends to help you understand where your products or services are falling short.
For example, suppose a business is getting consistent negative feedback, that their product is difficult to use. In that case, they can work to make the product more user-friendly.
The feedback will be conveyed to the product team, which can make the needed alterations to address customer feedback. When this becomes a part of your organization, it leads to a cycle of continuous improvement, further leading to business growth.
Enhancing customer loyalty
Customer loyalty is the key to business success. In fact, loyal customers bring more business as they spend more.
Studying the voice of the customer can help businesses enhance and increase customer loyalty for your business.
By listening to customer feedback and taking action to address your customers’ concerns, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to their customer’s needs, which can lead to increased loyalty.
Let’s say a customer has a negative experience with a product or service. They reach out to you about it, and your business responds quickly and offers a solution; now, this customer is more likely to remain loyal to the brand.
Reducing customer churn
Every year, the annual churn rate for SaaS companies was at least 5%. 5% may sound like a small number, but over time, when it compounds, it won’t be.
So, reducing customer churn is another benefit that studying Voice of the Customer gives. By identifying the reasons why customers are leaving or disengaging from the brand, businesses can take steps to retain those customers.
A study of Voice of the Customer reveals that customers find your brand’s products too expensive.
Due to this reason, the customers are leaving. In this case, you can consider lowering prices or offering discounts to prevent further customer churn and increase customer retention.
Gaining a competitive advantage
Lastly, understanding the voice of your customers gives you a competitive advantage. The results from capturing your customer’s voice force you to invest in your company’s customer experience.
By investing in successful customer experience program, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors, attracting and retaining customers.
For example, suppose a business invests in providing exceptional customer service. In that case, it may attract customers away from competitors who do not provide the same level of service.
The link between Voice of the Customer and CX
The Voice of the Customer is the essential element of customer strategy that helps you deliver excellent customer experiences.
In fact, according to a Gartner study, businesses that implement customer experience projects successfully start by concentrating on their methods for analyzing and collecting customer feedback.
This simple example can explain the link between Voice of the Customer and CX. Suppose a business collects VoC data that shows customers are dissatisfied with the speed of their website.
In that case, they can use the customer insights to improve website performance, enhancing the entire customer journey and experience.
VoC data provides insights into the customer experiences.
By using this data to inform decision-making, businesses can improve the customer relationships, increase customer retention and loyalty, and ultimately gain a competitive advantage.
The right approach to understanding your customer’s voice
You can use any technique to collect Voice of the Customer data, but you must use the right approach to get the best results. The process of collecting Voice of the Customer data encompasses the following three stages:
Step one to understanding your customer’s voice is listening. Listening is the most important part of a VoC strategy because this is where it all starts.
And if you start wrong, the results can never be accurate. Listening includes the following three elements:
- Finding the right person: Create a customer persona before conducting VoC research. Based on this persona, find the right people (that fit the persona) to question.
- Asking the right question: Asking the right questions will lead to correct answers. The best practice is to ask relevant questions and the questions upon which you’re willing to act.
- Finding the right time to ask: Throughout the customer’s journey, there are various points where you can place your VoC questions.For example, place a survey after your customer has been using your product for a month.
While collecting all this data during your VoC process, ensure you’re not too vigorous with it. This may lead to survey fatigue, and your customers may get irritated by tackling too many surveys.
How would you feel if you ordered a pair of socks that arrived a month later because the company shipped it 15 days after you ordered? That’s precisely how your customers would feel if you collect feedback and never act on it.
Create a culture of immediate feedback in your organization. Do not wait for long and close the communication loop as soon as possible.
You can strengthen your playbooks and outreach tactics by giving your staff as many resources as possible.
Software for managing customer relationships (CRM) is a useful tool with a wide range of functions that lets you take quick action.
Once your feedback loop is closed, the next step is to analyze the results. The best way to analyze results is by studying the various metrics.
The goal of this analysis should be to understand what worked best and what could be changed the next time. It also includes seeing your agents perform and what can be done to train them better for next time.
6 techniques to collect Voice of the Customer data
Building a voice of the customer program is a cake walk if you know the best techniques to collect customer feedback. We’ve made the job easier for you.
Out of all the techniques, here are the six best techniques to build a solid VoC program.
Surveys are a popular and effective way to collect Voice of the Customer (VoC) data. Surveys can provide valuable insights into customers’ opinions, attitudes, and behaviors without getting too complicated, costly, or messy.
Surveys come in different forms and formats; some of them are:
- Online surveys
- Telephone surveys
- Paper surveys
- Face-to-face interviews
Each type has advantages and disadvantages, depending on the target audience, research objectives, budget, and resources available.
Here’s how you can design and implement a survey as a technique for your voice of the customer program:
- Determine the research objectives and the target audience: What information do you want to obtain from customers? Who are the customers you want to survey? What is the sample size and the sampling method?
- Design the survey questionnaire: What questions will you ask? What response options will you provide? How will you structure the survey? Will you include open-ended or closed-ended questions? Will you use rating scales, multiple-choice, or open-ended questions?
- Test the survey: Conduct a pilot test of the survey you’re using in your voice of the customer program. Start with a small group of customers to identify any issues with the questions, the format, or the instructions. Use their feedback to refine the survey.
- Administer the survey: Send the survey to the target audience using the chosen method. Provide clear and concise instructions on how to complete the survey and how to submit it. For better results, you can place the survey at various stages in the customer journey.
Here’s an example of a survey. This survey is a simple survey that gives you accurate feedback for sales and marketing teams yet is quick for customers to fill up. This survey is perfect to be filled in the end of the customer journey.
Focus groups are a qualitative research technique that involves gathering a small group (usually 6-10) to participate in a guided discussion on a specific topic.
This technique is commonly used in market research to gather Voice of the Customer (VOC) data by product development teams.
Let’s say you are a product manager for a new fitness app and want to gather voice of the customer data from potential customers.
Focus groups could be used to collect customer feedback on the app’s features, usability, and value proposition. Here’s how you might use focus groups to collect voice of the customer data:
- Define the research objectives and target audience: You want to gather feedback on a new fitness app from potential customers interested in using technology to support their fitness goals.
- Recruit and screen participants: You recruit participants from online fitness communities and screen them based on their age, gender, fitness level, and technology usage.
- Design the focus group discussion guide: The discussion guide covers topics such as participants’ fitness goals, their current use of fitness apps, their experience with the new app, and their overall impressions of the app’s features and usability.
- Conduct the focus group: You conduct a 90-minute focus group with 8 participants at a neutral venue. An experienced researcher moderates the discussion.
One of the main advantages of using focus groups for voice of the customer data collection is that they allow researchers to observe what participants say and how they say it, as well as their nonverbal cues and body language.
This can provide valuable context and help researchers better understand the motivations and emotions behind participants’ responses.
Social listening is another powerful technique to collect data about customers’ voices. It involves tracking and analyzing the sentiment, opinions, and feedback of existing customers, and potential customers on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others.
Social listening also provides a real-time view of customer feedback, allowing companies to respond quickly to customer concerns, complaints, and issues.
To use social listening for the collection of voice of the customer data, companies need to follow a few simple steps:
- Set up a social listening tool: Choose a social listening tool that fits your needs and budget.
- Define your keywords: Identify the keywords and phrases relevant to your brand or industry. These could include brand names, product names, industry terms, or keywords related to your customer’s pain points.
- Monitor social media channels: Set up your social listening tool to monitor the channels where your target audience is most active.
- Analyze the data: Once you start collecting data, use your social listening tool to analyze the sentiment, tone, and language used by your customers. Look for patterns, trends, and common themes in their feedback.
- Take action: Use the insights you gain from social listening to make data-driven decisions.
Social media platforms are just one form of social listening. You can find helpful comments on websites like Reddit and Quora, as well as online forums and communities.
Customer reviews are an effective technique for collecting Voice of the Customer (VoC) data because they are authentic, unbiased, and provide direct feedback from customers.
These reviews can be found on various online platforms, such as e-commerce websites, social media, and reviews.
One example of a brand that used customer reviews to collect Voice of the Customer (VoC) data is Airbnb.
To collect customer feedback, Airbnb allows customers to leave reviews of their stays on their website. Airbnb also sends follow-up surveys to customers after their stays to collect more detailed feedback.
Airbnb uses this feedback to improve the customer experience by addressing common issues and improving its platform.
If you want to use customer reviews for voice of the customer data collection, here’s how you can do it:
- Start by identifying online platforms where customers will likely leave reviews for your product or service.
- Start collecting reviews using web scraping tools or do it manually.
- Categorize the reviews for customer feedback and identify common themes and patterns.
- Use the insights gained from the reviews to improve your product or service.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys are a type of customer satisfaction survey that measures customer loyalty by asking them how likely they are to recommend a company’s product or service to others.
NPS surveys have become famous for collecting Voice of the Customer (VoC) data because they provide a quick and easy way to assess customer satisfaction and loyalty.
While NPS surveys may give you direct voice of the customer data, they can provide you with a broader understanding of the sentiment of your customer base.
To implement an NPS survey for studying the voice of the customer:
- Define the target audience to whom the survey will be sent.
- Develop your survey and distribute it amongst the target audience.
- Once you receive the results, analyze them and use the customer feedback to take action for improvement.
For example, a company that sells skincare products may want to conduct an NPS survey to understand what the customers want. The company could then use the information gained via the NPS survey to take action and improve the customer experience, such as by introducing new products, enhancing existing products, or improving customer service.
Sales data refers to the information collected from customer transactions, such as the number of products sold, revenue generated, customer demographics, and other metrics related to sales performance.
Sales data is an excellent technique for collecting the voice of the customer data because it provides a clear picture of customer behavior and how customer preferences are.
Let’s say that you are a retail business selling clothing and accessories. You can use sales data to understand which products are selling well and in which regions.
You may find that sales of women’s clothing are higher in urban areas than in rural areas, and customers in a particular age group are more likely to make repeat purchases.
You can use this information to adjust your marketing strategy and focus on targeting these demographics with specific promotions or product offerings. You can do customer research and then use customer feedback to validate these insights and adjust your strategy accordingly.
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