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Voice of Customer Analysis: The Sooner You Do it, the Better

Mathew Maniyamkott

24 January 2019

10 min read

“When we have data online, it will be great for humanity. It is a prerequisite to solving many problems that humankind faces.

Robert Cailiau, a Belgian computer scientist who developed the World Wide Web with Tim Bernes Lee.

It’s true, being in possession of truckloads of data about your customers puts you in a unique position where you can understand them deeply and make their life better.

Businesses use Voice of Customer program to use the data to improve customer experience across all the interactions that they have with your business. Find meaningful data in the customer’s feedback report by using technology like text and sentimental analysis. It is important that you listen to the needs and travails of your customers, which is why you need to use the Voice of Customer program.

What Is Voice Of Customer Program?

Voice of Customer program is used to understand the needs and requirements of the customer which helps you understand customer expectations and it gives you the unique opportunity to improve your services as well. A VoC program gives deep insights into customer preferences, problems, requests, bottle-necks and so on.  Want to learn how to launch your Voice of Customer program in a matter of minutes? 

Closing the feedback loop not just creates a sense of completion, it is also a way of acknowledging the feedback.

4 Ways To Use Voice Of Customer Data

The data from a Voice of Customer analysis gives you a lot of information that can be further analyzed and implemented on customer success programs, branding, competitive analysis, product development, enhancement of customer interaction experiences and so on. Below are some of the ways in which you can use the voice of customer data.

1. Market Intelligence

Understanding the consumer buying patterns, their preferences, recognizing the latest trends including social, political and environmental factors based on their buying behaviors can be achieved through the voice of customer program. A brand can also learn what its customers think about their competitors which is crucial because it can help you with the marketing copy as well as understand if the product needs any changes.

2. Product Development

You can use VoC data to gauge the reaction of the customer whenever you release any new products. It is extremely important that you involve a potential customer at all levels of building a product and get their honest feedback. It could be the difference between a stellar product and a shoddy one. Sift through each of the comments and you might end up finding gems that can significantly improve the product. By asking the right questions during your VoC data collection, you can unearth information that includes improvements to increase the product’s usability and features that could differentiate you from your competitors.

3. Improve Your Communication With Stakeholders

Do you realize that the kind of words that you use to describe your products might not necessarily be reflected from the customer’s side? Does that data excite you? It should. Because knowing the words they use to describe your product brings you closer to understanding what your customers think of your product. You need to communicate to your customers in the words that they use. Look for words that a subset of customers are using, keep using these words in all your communications, including email, sales copies, and other marketing collaterals.

4. Improving Customer Experience

A VoC program gives deep insights into customer preferences, problems, requests, and bottle-necks among others.

The kind of experience that a customer has with your product will more or less determine the relationship that they are going to have with your brand. If you give them a positive experience, they will be more than happy to associate more with you and even recommend your products to their friends and family. If your product is not solid and the customer experience even more so, the repercussions of a single negative comment can be disastrous for an up and coming company. This is why it serves best to keep your customers happy.

Customer Voice Of Data Program: Do’s And Don’ts

Here are some of the Do’s:

  • Provide different channels for customers to respond

You need to make sure that you are reaching out to your customers in as many channels as possible as the reach that you are trying to get is going to be humongous. In the same vein, the behavior of people in different social media channels can be completely varied. Someone who is very forthcoming on a Twitter chat might not be very comfortable replying to an email with suggestions. People are different. Simple.

  • Let there be a feedback series

If you want the VoC program to be successful, then you need to create a feedback mechanism where the customers are asked for their feedback at regular intervals. A single survey might not give you a lot of information that can be used for a long time and used as a part of the VoC program. Give your customers opportunities to give feedback on various areas like the website, social media, email surveys, telephone, in-person interviews and so on.

  • Have solid objectives

Like any other program, you need to have a clear cut idea of the objective behind using this program, in short, there should be some sort of ROI from the program so that you can use benchmarks to improve upon the process and the results. The responses and follow-up actions that you take as a part of the VoC program should have the end goal in mind at all instances. Keeping objectives in mind means that you will be able to put much more focus and know for certain the resources that need to be allocated and the ones that can be ignored.

You can use VoC data to gauge the reaction of the customer whenever you release a new product.

Here are some of the don’ts:

  • Keeping the feedback loop open

The more time you take to respond to a customer, the higher are the chances for them not to respond to you ever again. This applies to not only a VoC program but to all types of customer feedback programs that you are running. Make sure there are people whose responsibility is to close the feedback loop soon so that none of the customers are found wanting. Closing the feedback loop not only creates a sense of completion but also helps you find additional trends in the customer responses.

  • Not looking at the comments contextually

You would have people from different demographics and there is usually a big difference in culture, habits, and behavior among a varied set of people. So if you see a comment from a particular set of group, you should not extrapolate it as a feedback from your entire set of customers. It is vital that you add context to the comments by your customers in their feedback responses, it will keep you ahead of the curve.

  • Not getting all stakeholders on board

In an organization, you need to take the inputs of all the stakeholders involved in a pivotal program like VoC. It is certainly not a time when information should be shielded from different departments in your organization. The more you share information, the higher would be the understanding of all the parties concerned. They would be able to add informed comments as well.

Here is how Voice of Customer Program helps your business:

  • Understand your customer’s expectations better
  • Measure your customer’s satisfaction at different touchpoints across different customer journeys
  • Minimize negative word of mouth
  • Find out the voice of the customers and if there are any positive ones, then use it as a testimonial
  • Encourage your important customers to participate in activities with your business
  • Fuel innovation by understanding the kind of impact customers think you can create for them
  • Use the VoC feedback to take tactical measures to improve your business

5 Popular Voice Of Customer Methodologies

By asking the right questions during your VoC data collection, you can unearth a mine of precious insights.

1. Customer Interviews

It is one of the traditional techniques that is used to collect VoC data and you can understand a range of issues from the customer’s point of view with this. You can either pick up customers randomly or from a select set of customers who have similar attributes. While it is expensive, the ROI from interviews are really high because the customer develops more trust on you.

2. Live Chat

Using the live chat methodology to collect customer information is incredible since there is much more conversion that happens with it because you have someone to help out the customer immediately when they encounter an issue. Live chats are usually used to solve complaints real-time or when customers want more information. You can use this to schedule follow-up surveys to capture the voice of customer data.

3. Social Media Portals

One of the most popular methodologies to collect voice of customer data out there- social media platforms, are much more powerful because it lets you have a two-way communication and it is cheap for the brand to implement too. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram are the most popular platforms out there and you can leverage them. It is a great way to collect information, create trust, engage with your fans and followers and get honest feedback.

Social Media portals are a great way to collect information, create trust, engage with your fans & followers, and get honest feedback.

4. Online Customer Surveys

There are a lot of review sites like Capterra, G2Crowd, Trustpilot and TrustRadius, to name a few. Customers who have had positive and negative experiences will take the time to put up a review sometimes and it is a landmine of user’s views about your business. It can help you understand your customers better. These customer review sites also allow for businesses to register and respond to the reviews.

5. Net Promoter Score

NPS is a loyalty-measuring tool which asks a customer “How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or a colleague?” It gives you quick feedback from the customers. For each question, customers are asked to reply with a number between 0 and 10 with 10 being the highest point where they are highly likely to recommend. You can use NPS to collect voice of customer data and the NPS number is not a constant one. The number changes over time and the higher the number goes, the better are your company’s prospects.

Steps To Build An Effective Voice Of Customer Program

While the VoC program is still being adopted widely, there is still a lot of immaturity surrounding its implementation. Getting feedback has become easy since there are a lot of tools in the market. Using that information effectively by creating a roadmap is important. Companies need to create a VoC strategy if they want to make full use of the feedback gathering process. Here is how you can build a VoC program for your brand

Step #1: Create A VoC Strategy

Having a strategy in place is the best strategy to gain clarity on your business.

Before you even get bombarded with a lot of data, the first step is to identify the goals behind creating such a program and if it aligns with your long-term goals. The program should be designed in such a way that they influence business and directly affect the customer KPIs.

Having a strategy in place will give you clarity on your business and will help you steer your business if there are times when you need to pivot your strategy. Having clear-cut expectations helps you create a lot of difference when it comes to long-term implications and it will have an effect on each and every survey that you implement.

Step #2: Identify The Feedback Sources

Direct, Indirect and Referred- these are the 3 forms in which you can collect feedback from your customers. List out all the sources that fall under these categories including ones that you are not using, but you know will be effective. Rate these feedback sources based on how much they will help you with your business goals. Also, please do remember that the ones that are relevant to your business only will make sense.

Step #3: Use Great Copy For Your Survey

There is also a belief that customers are being asked for a lot more surveys than earlier, which is true as well. This means that there should be much more intent in your survey’s wording so that the customer is not put off when you ask them to take some time off from their regular lives to complete a survey. If you were to give good customer service, there are high chances that you will find a higher conversion rate in the form of responses for your feedback.

Step #4: Collect Information From All Areas

It is smart if you could combine insights from all areas where customer information is stored, like ERP and CRM platforms, feedback systems, chatbots and so on. Remember that your team interacts with the customers at different levels and already possesses a sea of data that can be used in the voice of customer data program. Using data from all the business interaction points helps you get better in the long-term.

A VoC program gives deep insights into customer preferences, problems, requests, and bottle-necks among others.

Step #5: Analyze Your Data

Use advanced analysis on the feedback, from both structured and unstructured data and use it to see how you can improve your business results with it. The data that you get from the Voice of Customer program will be able to fetch you high returns as it gives you clear actionable changes that you need to make.

Step #5: Take Action

Now that you have got the all-important data, it is essential that you take quick action on changes that require to be looked at immediately. The first thing that needs to be taken care of is the changes in the process that you need to make. Pass the critical elements that were discovered as a part of the VoC program and disseminate this information to all the stakeholders involved, from the marketing team to the CEO.

Using the voice of customer program is critical for the growth of your company. You can uncover areas where your company can deliver more by using the different voice of customer program methodologies we have mentioned above. Find out ways to manage the customer experience, build better products and create a better communication strategy to retain and acquire more clients.

A feature-rich dashboard helps you extract maximum information from the responses that you get on your surveys. Use the data to create it into business information to serve your clients better.

Brands invest a lot of money in designing and executing a VoC data collection program with the help of a vendor who is carefully selected after a plethora of processes. The team at Survey Sparrow understands the kind of impact a good VoC program can have on the company, which is why we suggest you check us out. Set up your Survey Sparrow account, listen to the voice of the customers with the help of a survey and take appropriate measures to improve your business prospects.

Mathew Maniyamkott

Guest Blogger at SurveySparrow

Regular contributor to various magazines. Passionate about entrepreneurship, startups, marketing, and productivity.

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