Voice of Customer (VoC)
“Voice of Customer provides a detailed understanding of the customer’s requirements, a common language for the team going forward in the product development process, key input for the setting of appropriate design specifications for the new product or service, and a highly useful springboard for product innovation.” As defined by Abbie Griffin and John R. Hauser in a 1993 MIT Marketing Science paper, titled “The Voice of Customer.”
VoC is a process used by organizations to capture and collect customer requirements/feedback through different sources. Social media, online forums, customer care tickets, websites, etc., are important sources of information. This data is collected to further analyze and take action based on customer expectations.
Consumers have become more demanding than ever in the age of instant gratification. Thus, brands are spending more money on Voice of Customer programs that use a closed-loop procedure to keep up with consumer expectations.
Customer feedback, known as the "Voice of Customer" (VoC), reflects customer experiences and expectations. It covers customers' wants, needs, and preferences and enables a company's workforce to enhance the experience they want their customers to reap from its products or services.
The Voice of the Customer is critical in driving company-wide efforts to deliver value and happiness to customers.
Why is VoC Important?
Businesses can better interpret and fulfill customer wants and expectations and enhance their goods and services by adhering to the Voice of the Customer. A Voice of Customer program reveals customers' preferences, issues, and concerns. To enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, these VoC plans recognize and respond to the voice of the consumer.
Businesses collect customer feedback to leverage the information and improve how customers feel about their interactions. Employing technology and incorporating text analytics or sentiment analysis is the best way to understand VoC because it enables businesses to interpret customer feedback data.
VoC programs are finding a strong place in a basic business plan. They are particularly effective for brands because consumers demand more significant direct interaction with businesses.
The Voice of Customer Process
Three crucial components make up the total VoC process:
1. Capturing Customer Feedback
In the past, consumer surveys were the most widely used technique for gathering feedback. However, as digital communication channels have grown in popularity over the past few years, the Voice of Customers has been more vital on various platforms, such as social media, online reviews, and community forums. Thus, they are pushing for omnichannel feedback systems.
Today, gathering feedback entails locating the VoC data sources pertinent to your company, putting feedback mechanisms across numerous touchpoints in place, and methodically compiling the data.
2. Analyzing Data To Get Insights
The next step after gathering the raw VoC data is to conduct a VoC analysis. This analysis is carried out to determine the sentiment expressed in the feedback. So, to make your Voice of Customer data actionable, you should be able to dissect the feedback data and extract insightful customer information.
For example, the massive volume of text in social media comments or open-ended surveys can be processed by various advanced VoC technologies to find common concerns and the genuine necessity mentioned in feedback.
3. Acting on the Aggregated Feedback
The power of insights and data increases when they are put to use. The capacity to close the loop on the feedback gathered and assessed by employing the knowledge mined for an improved customer experience is key to the success of a Voice of Customer program.
An action could be creating creative solutions for persistent issues or obstacles brought up by customers during various interactions. It is also suggested that a team or staff steps in right away to respond to unfavorable feedback. For example, it is possible to instantly identify and allocate negative comments for support workers to work on using the integration of a VoC platform.
Voice of Customer Advantages
VoC has proved to help organizations retain and serve customers better.
Here are 4 advantages of performing VoC:
1. Better decision making
VoC provides better information about customers and their demands. Brands will be in a better position to make customer-centric decisions using VoC.
2. Improves Customer service
With the help of real customer feedback, it is easier to augment product offerings and marketing strategies. When companies are making changes and improvements based on realistic expectations of the customers, it improves customer service.
3. Encourages Innovation
Companies are listening to the Voice of customers. This gives them access to customer expectations. Brands observe several trends and future requirements. This promotes a company to develop products that are in line with upcoming trends.
4. Identifies brand crisis
Brands can clearly know what customers feel and think about their brand with VoC data. Many times, VoC gives an indication of the unhappiness of the customers, thereby identifying the upcoming crisis.
Voice of Customer Examples
With the advent of demanding customers and various state-of-the-art technologies, companies of all sizes are utilizing VoC to understand their customers better and hence serve them the best possible customer experience (CX) in no time.
Coca-Cola, the American multinational beverage corporation, shows how Account Experience can boost Net Promoter Score (NPS) scores, add consumer value, and give workers more freedom.
Customers are surveyed using the CX metric known as Net Promoter Score (NPS), which asks them one simple question: "On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?" Promoter customers are given a score of 9 or 10 and 7 or 8 for passives, while detractor customers score 6 to 0.
Isn’t that amazing?
The company extended the Account Experience to other employees, ensuring that all departments leveraged technology and best practices to become genuinely customer-focused. Account experience is the confluence of account-based techniques, experience feedback management, and monetization.
Teams participated in Account Experience by ensuring that customer feedback was collected and used to improve the customer's experience. Over the course of eight months, the Account Experience was implemented throughout all sales teams and markets to enable them to prioritize the customer's needs in every transaction.
Honda, the Japanese public multinational conglomerate manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles, and power equipment, is making progress toward achieving their aim of having the most pleased consumers in the business with an NPS of 82, which is significantly higher than the industry average. Their high score in the customer satisfaction category is primarily due to their high-quality automobiles.
Honda uses technology to plan their customer engagement strategies, and this strategy's core is personalized communications. To develop meaningful interactions at each touchpoint on the path to becoming a customer—and beyond—the organization also studies customer journeys.
Honda completes the circle by incorporating customer input into operational decisions. Some of the improvements that have resulted from the process include single repair programs, proactive preventive, and expanding staff training programs that make the most of human skill levels.
They establish a solid and devoted customer base by anticipating customer demands and personalizing their communication.
Zappos, an American online shoe and clothing retailer, is renowned for providing excellent customer service. They gauge it by asking customers how they felt throughout their engagement with the employee. In addition, Zappos is interested in how its brand and consumers' experiences affect them emotionally.
The business also gives its customer support representatives leverage. Customers may receive "wow presents" from Zappos employees. For instance, the employee who answered the phone brought flowers to a customer who called to return shoes after her mother got sick. That Zappos truly gave a damn about her personal life astounded the woman. They create lifelong customers in this way.
4. Frontier Airlines
Frontier Airlines believes in delivering a great customer experience but does not have access to customer opinions and expectations. They rolled out a VoC program wherein Frontier Airlines leveraged a digital Voice of Customer program to learn more about their website.
With the help of the VoC data, they quickly resolved undetected site navigation issues and enabled more than 10,000 users to self-serve. With all this, Frontier achieved a significant reduction in call center costs.
How to Collect VoC?
Customer opinions are crucial to a company's success. It has gotten easier for businesses to gather customer feedback using popular platforms such as Facebook or Twitter as social media has become more widely used. It still needs to be clarified, though, how to most effectively gather customer feedback and translate it into valuable insights that provide firms an advantage over competitors.
Using Voice of Customer strategies, we'll examine seven best practices for obtaining consumer feedback that satisfies your company's needs.
1. Online Ratings and Reviews
Customers discuss their positives, negatives, and overall experiences with a product or service using the reviews and ratings sections on websites and app stores. While customer feedback is captured via reviews on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, specialized review platforms such as G2, Capterra, and Trustpilot acquire trustworthy feedback from actual users of business products and services.
Surveys are one of the most popular and efficient methods for gathering customer opinions. They are excellent for gaining feedback on new goods or services since they enable data collection from many individuals quickly. Online and offline surveys are both options, and each has benefits and drawbacks.
Online surveys are excellent for quickly and effectively contacting many individuals. However, due to self-selection bias, the results might not be as reliable as those from an offline survey. Although conducting offline surveys can be more difficult as they are conducted in-person or over the phone by experienced employees, they are less likely to be subject to self-selection bias.
Interviewing customers is one of the best ways to learn what they want in the real world. It lets you ask precise questions that will help you improve their experience and understand how they feel and think about your brand or product. A phone and a list of questions are all you need for an interview; they are quick, simple, and inexpensive.
4. Focus Groups
Focus groups are the most often used method for gathering opinions. With this approach, several customers gather and talk about a subject for roughly an hour. To learn the participants' opinions on a given subject or product, the moderator listens and offers questions while keeping an eye on the conversation. The focus group moderator then sums up the discussion and gives suggestions based on the conclusions reached by all members.
The focus group moderator should be present for the entirety of each session and be able to gather information during breaks as well, in case anyone has questions about something that was discussed earlier in the session. Ensure that someone from each participating site is present at each session if you have numerous sessions booked for various locations or nations. This will ensure understanding when comparing notes afterward.
5. Social Media
One of the best methods to learn more about how customers feel about your product or service is to monitor social media for mentions. Moreover, you can keep an eye on social media for specific hashtags and keywords associated with your company or sector. With these tools, you can search across several platforms and follow mentions over time. Some businesses even employ sentiment analysis software to evaluate whether the feedback they receive is favorable, unfavorable, or neutral.
6. Customer Behavior Data
Another finest method to learn important insights about what your consumers want and need is to track customer behavior data. You can achieve this by employing analytics software, such as Google Analytics, which lets you view your website visitors' demographics, the length of time they spend on each page, and other behavioral information.
7. Email Communication Tools
You can construct a survey and send it to a contacts database using email communication platforms such as SurveyMonkey or Typeform. This makes it simple for you to swiftly and efficiently collect input from many people. To solicit feedback from consumers regarding specific aspects of your company's or organization's product or service offerings that they would want to be altered or improved upon, you can also utilize these tools to construct polls with multiple-choice options or free text fields. This kind of feedback is helpful since it lets you understand what your customers want but are unsure how to ask for!
Customer satisfaction increases with brand recognition and loyalty for the firm when VoC is linked to business goals and revenue. It is no longer sufficient to merely gather data or customer input, as most firms today compete heavily on customer experience. Instead, customers must be actively involved in fostering loyalty and transforming them into brand advocates that drive even more traffic to your door.
Getting your customers' opinions is a significant resource to enhance your customer experience, regardless of your business sector. Companies can enhance their customer offerings, products, and services by utilizing this. In addition, you can lower customer churn by hearing and responding to customer feedback using the process mentioned above and methods.
Read More: 6-Step Leadership Plan To Align Voice of Customer (VoC) with Business Objectives