Voice of Customer

It’s the process of collecting that feedback and turning it into actionable intelligence, and focusing on customer needs, expectations, understandings, and product improvement.

7 min read
Posted by Screver

You want your product or service to be better. You think carefully about new features. You tightly control the development, and you ship quality code regularly. You’ve built a strong team, and they work well together, planning and dreaming of ways to make things better.

We think. We believe. We have ideas.

This is the way it’s always been done. From the inside, out. In the past, it wasn’t that companies were only interested in building from within: it’s that it was hard to do anything but. We didn’t have easy ways to perform feedback collection. For example, to hear straight from customers… How times have changed.

What is the Voice of the Customer?

Ask yourself, are you doing everything you can to listen to your customers? To get ahead of problems and improve the areas where your operation or product is lacking? Or maybe to better understand customer needs? Do you even know how your customers feel about you, about your product or service?

Are you even listening to your customers?

Voice of the Customer or VoC is the term we use to describe feedback about your products, services, or company. It’s the process of collecting that feedback and turning it into actionable intelligence, and focusing on customer needs, their expectations, understandings, and product improvement. It’s the new and better way of doing things.

The Art of Collecting Feedback

When it comes to the voice of the customer, there is no such thing as too many inputs. The more data we collect, the more we “hear” from our customers, the better we’ll be able to make decisions.

So instead of limiting how we get our information when it comes to how we do our feedback collection, we’d encourage you to think of as many inputs as possible:

  • Support tickets and chats;
  • Social media comments;
  • Sales calls;
  • Surveys (satisfaction, churn, NPS);
  • Sign up forms;
  • User-testing/Focus groups;
  • Customer interviews;
  • Monitor product usage.

Starting with even a couple of these sources will get you a good amount of actionable data. And now, let’s talk about how we take our VoC and turn it into insights.

How to Turn the Collected Data Into Action

So, you’ve collected all manner of responses, insight, customer comments, and recordings of sales calls. What’s next? To start, we suggest you go through the VoC data and categorize the feedback to create an easier-to-digest picture of common customer problems, pain points, and improvement suggestions.

This means looking for patterns in the feedback.

These could be common phrases or challenges your customers and prospects face and have used to describe their frustrations. Or it may be something users are getting stuck on. Whatever the issues, grouping them will make it easier to understand the size of the problem.

Next, you need to prioritize which of those you’re going to act on first.

There is no magic set of priorities that will work for all companies.
Findings can be applied to a business in three key areas: product development, marketing copy, and customer experience.

  • Product development by closely monitoring your data and asking the right questions, you’ll be able to take advantage of opportunities that you might not have seen otherwise.
  • Understand exactly what your customers want and need and why they want and need it.
  • Improve the usability of your product.
  • Introduce new features that will make your product more valuable to your customers.
  • Identify additional products or services that will complement your product and earn you more money.

The more you listen to your customers, the more you learn about what they want and what they value from your company. This increases the likelihood of you enjoying a positive relationship long-term customer relationship.

1. Customer Experience

The more customers who have a positive experience with your product or brand, the more customers you will acquire. If you’re delivering a poor customer experience, be prepared for negative word-of-mouth. If you don’t create an exceptional experience for your customers, they will talk about you online, and it will not be pretty.

“Customers are 3x more likely to tell their friends about a negative experience.”

Source: Vision Critical / Alida

There’s no barrier to entry for an unhappy customer when it comes to sharing their experience with the world.

“A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9–15 people about their experience. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people.”

Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs

When you use VOC data, you will figure out that certain features and offerings need to be improved, helping you increase customer satisfaction while also reducing the number of customer complaints both online and offline.

2. Marketing Copy

Relatively few marketers research their audience by talking to their customers. When analyzing your VOC data, seek out phrases your customers have used related to how they currently use your product or service.

“Only 42% say they have conversations with customers as part of their audience research.”

Source: Hubspot

Once you have enough VOC data collected, try to find patterns in your customers’ words in describing your product, the benefits it offers them, and the outcomes they have achieved with it. Do this right, and you’ll be able to use your VOC data to write great website, ad, and sales copy that helps you to:

  • Ensure that customers understand who you are and what you do.
  • Make sure that your site is not only appealing to visitors but also converts those who visits into customers.
  • Showcase the benefits of your products and services; explain why people need them and how they can improve their lives.
  • Convince customers that you offer better value.

Once you have enough data from your customers, try to find patterns in their feedback.

Next Steps

You now have a better understanding of the customer’s voice and why it should matter to your organization. How do you start an effective VoC program? You can use several tools to make the process easier and more effective (we do make one at Screver). But to start, you only need to do two things beyond collecting feedback.

1. Define Who Needs to Be Involved

As we’ve discussed above, acting on feedback from customers will require commitment from across your organization. This can’t just fall on the team responsible for customer experience. We’d suggest talking to representatives from any company group that directly or indirectly interacts with customers.

When members of the sales team refine their sales approaches, they need to consider customer feedback. And when members of the product development team develop new products or look for ways to improve existing ones, they need to think about customer needs.

Finally, marketers will want to revamp messaging to tap into the new audiences identified in the feedback process. Focus on ensuring the entire organization is dedicated to the process, and key personnel is identified as stakeholders and take ownership of the process.

2. Set Targets and KPIs

To confirm the positive effect of your VOC efforts, you need to consistently track and measure the impact of the changes that come from the customer feedback you’ve collected. By setting targets (goals) and KPIs (key performance indicators), you’ll provide clear and unassailable direction for measuring the effectiveness of your voice of the customer program.

Once you’ve defined the metrics and goals of your program, use analytics dashboards to create progress reports you can share with leaders inside your organization.

Finishing Up

You now have all you need to get your organization listening and reacting to the voice of your customers. We’re excited for you to get going in this customer-focused space that we at Screver are so excited about. We’d love to hear how you’re doing or answer any further questions you may have about understanding the voice of the customer. We’d also love to show you how Screver makes both collecting and acting on VOC data so much easier.

Thanks for reading.

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