Voice of Customer (VOC) is the key to good CX
‘Customer experience’ (CX) is the primary focus of companies these days. As per a report published by PWC, 73% respondents factor in CX when making a purchase decision. Customer expectations continue to rise as we approach the last quarter of 2021, and the trend is here to stay.
In fact, as per a survey done by superoffice.com 44% of companies plan to increase their investments in CX initiatives. However, a company’s CX initiatives should be an outcome of the collection and understanding of customer feedback. This is where the “voice of customer” becomes extremely important. Let’s dive deep into better understanding VOC as it is the basis of a good CX program.
VOC – Voice of Customer
The term “Voice of Customer (VOC)” was first used by John R. Hauser and Abbie Griffin in the year 1913. They described VOC in their MIT Marketing Science Paper as: “ a tool that provides a detailed understanding of the customer’s requirements. VOC is a common language for a team involved in the product development process, and a vital input for the setting of appropriate design specifications for the new product or service. VOC is highly useful for product innovation.”
In simple words, VOC is all about paying attention to customers’ views, their experiences, and feedback about your product/service or brand. It is a method to collect feedback through (surveys, online groups, discussions, etc.), analyze data (to identify any common pain points and customer expectations), and implement changes in relevant areas of the business to meet customer expectations.
VOC essentially involves three steps:
Implementing actionable insights
Why is VOC important for a brand?
A data-driven VOC analytics program not only helps in enhancing customer service, but it also helps increase:
Customer lifecycle value
More customer referrals
High customer retention
VOC data when optimally utilized results in higher business growth. The optimal utilization of VOC data happens when it is tied to CX as it is important at every stage of the customer’s lifecycle or journey with a brand. CX plays a bigger role in customer retention than the product or service itself.
By implementing an effective Voice of Customer program, a brand can enhance its internal processes and team collaboration, and in the long run, build a close and strong bond with its customers.
Ways to collect VOC Data
- Live Chat: Most e-commerce websites and apps have a live chat option these days. This can be an effective tool to collect customer feedback and enhance the overall CX at every stage of the customer lifecycle. Zomato has this feature too in their app to help address and resolve customer complaints.
- Online Customer Surveys: Conducting detailed online surveys is an effective way to get insight into what your customers like and dislike about your brand. However, putting together the right set of questions and an ideal mix of close and open-ended questions is important when conducting surveys. Not asking the right questions defeats the entire purpose.
- Interviews: Usually done on phone or in-person this is a traditional method of collecting customer feedback. This methodology makes sense when your product or service is targeted at a smaller group. Imagine a scenario where a company is targeting only the “Learning and Development” team of IT companies for a course they have designed relevant to the domain. In this case, once the participants go through the modules, the company can conduct in-person interviews to understand if the participants’ learning objectives were met, what more could be done to enhance their experience, and so on.
- Social Media Monitoring: Social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a goldmine of information on how customers feel about your brand and product. Social media presents a unique opportunity for two-way communication with your customers. It enables you as a brand to get a first-hand, unfiltered account of the user experience with your products and services. Social media presents you with the opportunity to collect feedback, analyze trends and tell your side of the story. However, it is important to respond to every comment, be it good or bad to build a strong brand image.
- Call recordings: Analyzing your call center/customer care call recordings can be an eye-opener in two ways. These recordings not only tell you about what your customers like/dislike, the challenges they face, and a lot more. It also talks about how your employees treat your customer, whether they are ensuring stellar CX, and helps identify any internal process gaps or breakdowns.
- Customer Website Activity: Your website is a potent tool to collect Voice of Customer data. Besides chats and surveys, you can track the customer behavior on your website with tools like sophisticated CRM solutions by Easyrewardz. You can also have a feedback form on your website as a mandatory option rather than a choice to hear about the customer’s overall experience.
- Emails: Personalized emails, standard template for a particular segment, response to emails, feedback form link in your email, the possibilities of collecting VOC data through emails is endless.
- Net Promoter Score: NPS is a reliable management tool to gauge the customer’s loyalty. A typical NPS survey has a set of questions around certain parameters that need to be rated based on CX on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest satisfaction level and 1 lowest or disappointing.
- Focus groups: Focus groups are usually used in addition to interviews and are conducted in small groups of 10 to 12 people. These people are free to have a closed room discussion among themselves and express their views about a product or service. This is done to get a deeper understanding of VOC and is usually employed by companies catering in niche products and services.