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Your essential guide to the Voice of the Customer (VoC)

Customer Experience management
Voice of customer (VOC)
Voice of customer program
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Divya Kandwal
September 20, 2022
4.3
mins read






Whats is Voice of the Customer Program?

What’s the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful business? Successful businesses are obsessed with their customers. They pay close attention to their customers’ needs and pain points. They can also predict customer behavior with reasonable accuracy. How do they do this? By listening to the ‘Voice of the Customer.’ VoC (short for ‘voice of customer) is exactly what it sounds like- it is a process of collecting information about your customers’ experience with your product/service. 

VoC programs have gained traction over the last few years as a driver of business growth and differentiation. As per Gartner “64% of people find customer experience more important than price when making a purchase.”

Voice of the customer program- Definition

A VoC or ‘Voice of Customer’ program captures every single thing that your customers are saying about you. This includes product feedback, service quality, website/app experience, support interactions, advertisements, renewal process, new feature expectations, and more. 

Of course, some touchpoints are more impactful than others. A good VoC program collects customer data at all important interaction points. Data collection is only the first step. What separates a great VoC program from a bad one are - actionable insights. 

The end goal of a VoC program is to improve the bottom line. As we’ve said before, revenue is the only CX metric that truly matters

So, a VoC program is a system of-

  1. Collecting customer feedback
  2. Analysis of the feedback 
  3. Developing action plans based on the analysis

Benefits of a Voice of Customer program

Imagine this. What if you knew EXACTLY what your customers wanted or needed? What if you could find high-impact issues long before they emerged? What if you could solve customer queries before they even raised them?

If you could do any of this with reasonable competency, you’d be guaranteed to succeed. This is what a good VoC program does. Since the feedback comes directly from your customer (and often in real-time), 

A good VoC program provides “unparalleled insight into what your customers really want from your business and product”.

It allows you to measure customer experience in real time at all critical touchpoints. Which in turn, allows you to build stronger relationships with your customer.

An exhaustive number of studies show the importance of a good customer experience for business growth. 

  • Across the globe, 96% of consumers say customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand. (Microsoft)
  • As little as a 5% lift in customer retention can produce 25% more profits. (Bain&Co)
  • 77% of consumers view a brand more favorably when they proactively ask for and collect customer feedback. (Microsoft)

Listening and acting on the voice of the customer is crucial to delivering an an exceptional customer experience. In fact, VoC data is not just limited to customer experience. Companies have now started using it in product development. 

Case in point, Hotjar credits its fast growth to “staying close to our customers”. In only 5 years, they have gone from  €0 to €17 million in Annual Recurring Revenue and have been installed on over 670,000 sites. 

Listening to the Voice of Customer is important-

  1. VoC data helps you improve your overall customer experience
  2. It streamlines the decision-making process by identifying high-impact business areas
  3. VoC programs reduce operational cost by telling you where to allocate resources 
  4. It helps you develop better products, services, and offerings since you already know what customers want 
  5. A good VoC program identifies at-risk customers to help lower churn and boost your bottom line

For maximum success, tie your VoC program to business success. It will help generate leadership buy-in and align your organization around customer-centricity. 

How to build  a successful Voice of Customer Program

Building a successful VoC program requires collaboration across all teams- from marketing to product to sales to support. It requires organizational alignment that starts from the top. On a more systematic note, a good VoC program consists of 3 steps.

  1. Listen- Collecting customer feedback
  2. Analyze- Analysis of the feedback 
  3. Act- Developing action plans based on the analysis

 

Step 1- Listen- VoC Feedback Collection

The first step is to identify Listening posts. These are important touchpoints across the customer journey where you want to collect feedback. Broadly, there are 4 kinds of touchpoints.

  1. Feedback Touchpoints

These include post-transactional surveys and feedback 

  1. Brand Touchpoints

These provide information about how your customers feel about your brand. They include market research about your brand and the competition

  1. Digital Touchpoints

These are centered around your website and app experience

  1. Social Touchpoints

These are interactions that customers have with your brand on various social media platforms 

Once you’ve selected your high-impact, critical touchpoints, the next step is to collect customer feedback. 

There are many CX metrics you can use to collect feedback at different points of the customer journey. The popular metrics are

Each has its strength depending on your goal and the journey point you are using it at. 

 

Step 2- Analyze- Analysis of VoC Feedback

Once you’re collecting feedback at critical touchpoints, the next step is to analyze it. Remember, a VoC program is not a data collection exercise. The goal is to gain real-time insights that you can use to improve business results. 

Numerous AI-driven tools are now available in the market. They make time-consuming, complicated analysis quick and simple. Our proprietary AI engine, NumrSense AI uses text analytics, statistical analysis, and predictive intelligence to give you high-impact insights. This empowers you to take the right action at the right time. 

Step 3- Act- Take action based on customer insights

The final and most important step is to act on the collected insights. Align all teams with support from the leadership to form strategies to resolve emerging customer issues. Take proactive action and turn a bad experience into customer success. 

To conclude, a good VoC or Voice of Customer program is driven by action. As we’ve said before, revenue is the ONLY CX metric that truly matters. If you want to create repeat customers, delighting them at every critical touchpoint is non-negotiable. Instead of guessing what your customers want, asking them directly is hands down the simplest and smartest way to go. This is what makes tapping into the Voice of the Customer so effective for continued business growth.

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