The voice of the customer (VoC) refers to the opinions, needs, and expectations of a brand’s customers. 50% of consumers will decrease or entirely cut spending with a brand after a negative experience. Cumulatively, bad customer experiences put $3.1 trillion in annual consumer spending at risk.
By listening to the voice of the customer, you can avoid these bad experiences, identify areas for improvement, and develop new products or services that meet your audience’s needs.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of the VoC and help you develop a methodology for capturing it. We’ll also provide examples of companies that have successfully implemented VoC programs, boosting customer retention and significantly improving customer service.
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Here’s how the voice of the customer can help you build a better business:
Creating a strong voice of the customer program will help you understand, among other things, what your customers are looking for, what their interests and behavioral patterns are, and what you can do to provide real value to them.
Here are a few tips to help you build a successful voice of the customer program and ultimately exceed customer expectations:
To get a well-rounded view of the customer experience, it’s important to gather feedback through multiple channels (email, phone, social media, text, online reviews, focus groups, etc.)
Collect and analyze data from multiple sources to identify trends, patterns, and potential issues. The type of data you should look into includes feedback (reviews, social media, NPS, CSAT, etc.), HotJar and Google Analytics data ( time on page, exit rate, click behavior), and A/B testing info.
The easiest way to capture interaction data across all communication channels is with the help of multi-channel communication software like Touchpoint. Using a 360-degree view of every customer interaction, the platform extracts relevant data from multiple channels. Other helpful tools include MonkeyLearn, Google Analytics, Hotjar, Clarity, and Open Web Analytics.
Include members from different teams to get a complete understanding of the full picture. People that directly interact with customers (e.g. support, sales) will have unique, actionable information that your product or marketing team might not. Touchpoint brings your teams together on the same platform so you can easily centralize feedback from every source.
Identify your key competitors, find their weak spots, and use the data to improve on areas where they are lacking. Do this on a constant basis to track your progress over time, and you will notice a significant improvement in product development.
This could involve anything from making changes to your products or services or improving customer experience. I recommend running small experiments. Let them run for at least 14 days (to gather enough data), and if the results are positive, take action on a larger scale.
Collecting customer feedback and using it to grow your business is easy when you have access to the right tools and tactics. Here are some simple and effective strategies we’ve used to capture voice of the customer (VoC) insights:
Surveys are a great way to gather structured feedback from customers. Every business is different, but here are a few things to consider when capturing VoC data through surveys:
Example: Our team is preparing to launch a UI overhaul for our flagship product, TextMagic. To confirm that we are moving in the right direction, we released an interactive demo and emailed our most loyal customers to ask for their opinion. We used Hotjar to add a survey to every demo screen and address two simple questions:
We showed the demo to 1,600 customers and received 328 detailed replies in 30 days.
Reviews on third-party sites like Yelp, Google, Capterra, TrustPilot, or G2 are great sources of VoC data. Unfortunately, most review data is unstructured – it contains noise, spelling mistakes, etc.
We have over 3,000 internal and public reviews. To capture the VoC from this large data set, we compiled a master file and filtered out irrelevant information according to predetermined criteria. This was done with the help of text analysis techniques such as sentiment analysis, keyword, and topic extraction.
If you don’t have that many reviews, you can simply create word clouds to identify common phrases that appear in your reviews.
Businesses can bring a group of customers together to discuss and provide feedback on a specific product or service. This data collection method is ideal for testing concepts and gaining a better understanding of your customers’ needs.
Focus groups are typically moderated by a trained facilitator and can be conducted in person or online. For better results, write down key insights and measure them against other data points.
Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are excellent for monitoring customer sentiment and tracking mentions of your business or its products.
Because there is a lot of chatter coming through different social platforms, I recommended using sentiment analysis techniques to discover patterns.
This is wild — BMW is now selling a monthly subscription service for heated seats in your car.• Monthly fee: $18• Annual fee: $180The car will come with all the necessary components, but payment is needed to remove a software block.Welcome to microtransaction hell.— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) July 12, 2022
This is wild — BMW is now selling a monthly subscription service for heated seats in your car.• Monthly fee: $18• Annual fee: $180The car will come with all the necessary components, but payment is needed to remove a software block.Welcome to microtransaction hell.
Don’t just count reactions and views, as they may paint a false image of your brand. Consider the emotions and opinions of your customers. A few months ago, a tweet about BMW’s subscription service for heated seats went viral – for the wrong reasons.
If BMW had only analyzed the reach and reactions to the post, they would have overseen a serious issue. The company had to put forward a statement to clarify:
To clear the air… BMW owners do NOT have to pay a subscription for heated seats or any other options ordered at time of purchase.— BMW (@BMW) July 21, 2022
To clear the air… BMW owners do NOT have to pay a subscription for heated seats or any other options ordered at time of purchase.
If you aren’t already, make sure you gather customer feedback through emails or dedicated feedback forms on your website. This is a quick and easy way for customers to share their thoughts and experiences.
This is easily done using a professional ticketing system that lets you optimize ticket management and set up specific workflows for customer segments. You can add tags to separate clients according to their communication preferences, which leads to better, more targeted campaigns.
We already discussed the most important customer success metrics in a different article, so let’s focus on a few easy ways to capture the voice of the customer with CSAT and NPS:
7. Blogs, forums, subreddits
Subreddits, forums, and communities are gold mines of customer data. When gathering data from such sources, don’t look only at your business. Find out what your target audience is saying about your competitors as well. Here’s how:
Here are some examples of companies that are using the voice of the customer (VoC) successfully. We’re partial to examples from the SaaS world, of course, but will also include examples from other industries:
Hey there, great point! When you can, please try:1. From Slack on desktop2. Click your workspace name in the top-left → Preferences → Accessibility3. Under Keyboard, toggle from "Move focus to the message list" to "Edit your last message"Let us know if that does not help!— Slack (@SlackHQ) February 1, 2023
Hey there, great point! When you can, please try:1. From Slack on desktop2. Click your workspace name in the top-left → Preferences → Accessibility3. Under Keyboard, toggle from "Move focus to the message list" to "Edit your last message"Let us know if that does not help!
When it comes to the success of your business, the voice of the customer should be at the forefront of every decision. Understanding the needs wants, and pain points of our customers is the key to creating a better customer experience.
You don’t need a lot of resources to get started with your VoC program. With Touchpoint, you can gather customer feedback from multiple channels in minutes. The tool displays all your customer interactions in one place, making it easier for your team to collect, analyze and act on relevant VoC data. We hope this guide will simplify your data collection process and help you make better decisions for your business.
Marketing manager for TextMagic. I like figuring out how things work. Passionate about fitness and video games.
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