Did you know that according to Dimensional Research, 39% of customers will avoid a company for over two years after a bad customer service experience? Ouch.
If you thought that was bad enough, wait until you learn that four out of ten consumers will recommend others not to frequent your business if they have had a poor experience with you. Sigh!
Mind you, the intent of these stats is not to scare our readers stiff. Instead, it is to reaffirm loud and clear that the only way to survive the business space is by meeting your customers’ expectations and managing their experiences. That, my friend, is the very essence and ethos of Voice of the Customer(VoC) surveys.
What is the Voice of the Customer (VoC) survey?
True to its name, a voice of the customer survey is a proactive and consistent approach to capture your customers’ needs, expectations, preferences, and experiences. It extracts feedback from your customer base to reveal what they like, dislike, and need improvement when it comes to your product or service offerings.
The quantitative and qualitative feedback from these surveys can be used to know the pulse of your customers, address challenges, and ultimately leverage your overall customer experience to propel your business forward.
Because of its quantifiable merits, VoC surveys have increasingly gained traction and continue to be adopted into the core business strategy of organizations worldwide. They have become instrumental in directing your business towards success, directly from the people who matter to you- your customers.
Voice of Customer Survey Vs. Voice of Customer Program
Before we jump into the intricacies and nuances of the voice of customer surveys, it’s important to understand its point of differentiation from a VoC program.
To put things into perspective, a VoC survey is a key facilitator and a more inclusive component of a VoC program; and never the end-all.
For better understanding, it would help to think of the former as a tool within an all-encompassing toolbox (that being a VoC program) that includes a multitude of elements and activities to attract new customers, retain the existing ones, and increase overall customer satisfaction.
By its very nature, a Voice of the Customer program hinges on VoC surveys as an all-important requisite for capturing feedback that can be analyzed and shared for decision-making across your organization.
Why do you need a Voice of Customer Survey?
According to Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service Report,54% of all consumers say that they have higher customer service expectations than they did just one year ago. This alone explains the paradigm shift seen in today’s marketplaces- businesses everywhere are becoming increasingly customer-centric. Given the facts and figures, it’s only right to ask, why wouldn’t your business employ a VoC survey?
We can all agree that a crucial step in powering up your customer experience is making your customers happy. In order to do that, you need to know what’s making them unhappy in the first place. But that’s where it gets tricky. Multiple studies by Kolsky reveal that only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest simply churn.
But how do businesses set things straight with their customers when they don’t even know their customers are unhappy? That’s precisely where voice of customer surveys comes in handy.
Invariably, a VoC survey brings the spotlight to your customers and lets you meet them where they are, listen to what they are saying; to you and about you. It lets you identify blind spots and deficiencies and allows you to make amends to bolster your overall customer experience continually.
All things considered, a voice of the customer survey is inevitable to win the war of customer loyalty. What’s more, it is vital to employ it across the entire customer journey to uncover their pain points and develop strategies and solutions to improve them.
How to create Voice of the Customer Survey
Step 1: Brainstorm
The first and most crucial step in creating a banging voice of the customer survey is to lay down your purpose. This will help you prioritize what you need to target in each survey. Here’s a checklist of what you need to make a note of-
a) define your objective
b) what you expect to get out of the survey
c) what you’re planning to do with the information you receive
Step 2: Determine your survey type
Once you have identified your objectives, you’ll have to decide what survey type you will need to be using for your customer interaction. Here are some of the commonly used types of VoC surveys:
- Net Promoter Score® (NPS) surveys: These surveys are ideal when you want a quick peek into your customers and identify their loyalty towards your business.
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys: These kinds of surveys can be employed periodically to gauge customer satisfaction at any point of the customer lifecycle.
- Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys: These surveys can be used to measure the efficiency of your customer service team in responding to and resolving customer service issues.
Step 3: Write simple, straightforward, and unbiased survey questions
Now you’re getting down to brass tacks. In order to get your respondents to share quality feedback, it’s important to ask the right questions and avoid any vague, leading, and complicated questions.
We understand how daunting it can be to check all the boxes, especially if you’re a rookie. That’s why you can always jumpstart your voice of the customer journey with SurveySparrow’s VoC templates. Sign up for free to get started
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Step 4: Share your surveys in relevant channels
Let’s face it, no matter how carefully and meticulously you prepare your survey, all your efforts would go down the drain if it doesn’t reach your customers at the right time. That’s why it is of utmost importance to send out your voice of the customer surveys in relevant channels. Consider sharing them as scannable QR codes, built-in emails, SMS, and across the different social media platforms.
Step 5: Review responses
Once you send out your survey and responses start ticking in, it is important to sit with the data, study, and take time to analyze it. For a more in-depth analysis & collaboration, you can pull data from multiple surveys into your Executive Dashboard and track your business metrics and KPIs.
Voice of the Customer (VoC) survey question examples
Now, we know it can be challenging to come up with voice of the customer survey questions that tick all of the best practice boxes we mentioned before. So to make things a little easier on you, we’ve pulled together a comprehensive list of best VoC survey questions that you could use.
Questions to ascertain your brand’s recognition and awareness
- When did you first hear about our brand?
- How familiar are you with our brand?
- Which of the following products have you tried?
- Can you recall the last time you used this product category?
- How would you describe your overall experience with this brand so far?
- Has your perception of our brand changed in the last 3 months?
- How likely are you to recommend this brand to your friends or family?
- What word or phrase comes to mind when you hear about this brand?
Questions to ascertain customer satisfaction
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your experience with us?
- Rate your satisfaction with our team in resolving your issue.
- How likely are you to purchase again from us?
- How likely are you to return to our website?
- Does the product help you achieve your goals?
- What about our product/service would you improve if you could?
- Which product features do you consider the most valuable?
- If there was one new feature you could suggest, what would it be and why?
Open-ended VoC survey questions examples
- Can you suggest ways in which we could improve your experience with the company?
- Can you let us know what about our product/service is working for you and why?
- How can our employees better support you?
- What can our employees do better?
- How can we improve your experience with our website?
- If you were to choose our competitor’s product over ours, what would you miss about us?
- What would be one word you’d use to describe us and why?
- Do you have any additional comments or feedback for us?
VoC survey questions for new product development
- What comes to mind when you think about [product]?
- What characteristics are you looking for in a company/product?
- Which other company have you purchased the most [product] from in the past 12 months?
- What matters most to you when selecting a brand for this product or service?
- How innovative is this product?
- How would you rate the value of this product?
Voice of Customer Survey: Best practices
Creating an impactful voice of customer survey is not child’s play. But lucky for you, here are some tips and tricks that would come in handy while creating and optimizing your customer surveys.
- Choosing a good customer VoC feedback tool is half the battle: Because damn straight, without a good VoC tool, you’ll be battered with an avalanche of data with no way to glean actionable insights from it. Hence, it’s crucial that you spend time choosing a VoC tool that works best for your business.
- Simplicity is key: Remember to keep your surveys simple, straightforward, and super focused on what you really want to ask.
- Combine multiple question types: Don’t bombard your survey respondents with open-ended questions. Make your surveys conversational and engaging with different question types. This will also make it easy to extract more detailed and actionable feedback.
- Thank your customers for their feedback: This may be a no-brainer, but if you’re making the mistake of not expressing your thanks for your customers’ valuable time in completing your surveys, now is the time to start doing it.
Advantages of Voice of the Customer survey
Despite there being several tools and techniques for gathering customer feedback, voice of the customer survey remains one of the most used strategies. Well, it’s not without reason.
Here are some of its pros listed down below-
Easy way to extract actionable feedback
A VoC survey is the most direct, easiest way to reach your customers for their feedback. By periodically employing customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT) and Net promoter score (NPS) surveys, one can dig into individual business areas and analyze them for real-time results.
Helps you uncover customer sentiment
By sending out surveys that efficiently capture customer feedback, you’re taking a step in the right direction to uncover customer sentiment, i.e., what customers feel about you. This VoC analysis gives you the bigger picture of what percentage of your customer base sees your business in a positive light.
Note: Did you know that SurveySparrow’s sentiment analysis helps you identify the context and mood of a respondent based on the survey responses? Furthermore, you can even filter the sentiment-based responses to get a bird’s eye view.
It pays to know that not every customer you have is a doting advocate of your brand. It takes considerable effort to turn them into cheerleaders and retain them in the long run. With an efficient VoC program in place, you can determine if your customers are getting the service they deserve, where you can improve, and ultimately, prevent them from switching to your competitors.
With the crazy advent of social media, word gets out faster than you and I can imagine. While positive feedback can propel your business to new heights, negative feedback, if left unaddressed, can harm and cause irreparable damage to your brand. Voice of customer surveys acts as a railing pacifier by letting them share criticism with you before they publicize it for the world to make a note of your mistakes and judge you.
Leaves the door open for personalization
By creating and sending out surveys across each touchpoint, you will get to know your customers up close. This will, without fail, allow you to draw a clearer picture of your customer base and what they expect from you.
In today’s customer landscape, a voice of the customer survey isn’t just another nice-to-have. Instead, it is an overriding necessity. That, coupled with the proper voice of customer methodologies, you’re positive to generate a goldmine of insightful customer feedback.
Thanks to VoC tools such as SurveySparrow, creating and distributing customer surveys have become easier. From pre-built NPS, CES, and CSAT surveys to customizable VoC templates, our software has everything you need to truly create a seamless customer service experience.
All the best!