Customer Voice Is Important: Why Should You Listen to It?
⏱ Reading Time: 9 minutes
The customer always comes first. Without their support, there is no business. That is the main reason why you should always listen to customer voice.
When you buy equipment, you probably expect that it will cope with all the listed tasks. You will definitely be disappointed if this doesn’t happen! And so would anyone but if that equipment manufacturer listens to the customer’s needs, it can only improve the overall impression.
For the expectation to meet the reality, there is such a term as Voice of the Customer (VoC).
What Is the Voice of the Customer?
VoC includes everything that clients say, write/post, and think about a business. VoC helps bridge the gap between expectations and the actual experience of interacting with the company. It is a constant study of the customers’ needs and wants. It concerns data collection and feedback from all possible channels – sites, mobile apps, social networks, emails, forums, app stores, offline stands, and so on.
Two Main Types of Customers
External customers – consumers of the company’s products and services.
Internal customers – employees using internal services (resources, infrastructure, etc., which provide the ability to offer products and services to external customers).
Your company’s success can be achieved only when all the enterprise work is built based on the customers’ needs (external and internal). The business “hears” the customer voice. Then analyzes the feedback received both as a result of centralized research and in the daily workflow.
Why Should You Listen to the Voice of the Customer?
Every company dreams of getting into the clients’ heads and finding out their needs. Usually, customers, especially dissatisfied ones, do everything that is needed by themselves: call the support center, write on social networks, or leave reviews on websites. The company, in turn, should listen to these problems, conduct surveys, and make conclusions.
However, the results often depend on the correctness of the questions/surveys. Moreover, not every client is ready to spend time filling out the questionnaire or poll. Surveys aren’t enough to see the big picture. You need to work with VoC to collect and analyze information about consumer preferences.
Thus, the main goal of working with VoC is to identify trends that can help improve customer service, the product itself, and, as a result, increase sales. Listening to your customer’s voices can only benefit your business. Every feedback is a great one! Feedback provides you with information on which area could you improve on.
Where to ‘Hear’ Customers Voices?
VoC involves inquiries, complaints, comments, viewpoints, and brand mentions.
The main resources of VoC are frequently mentioned products or services, reasons for contacting. Also, reports on failures or product malfunctions, requests for revision, feedback about the brand’s partners.
This list depends mainly on the company and its industry. It is necessary to consider all the available customer-brand interaction channels. From calls to direct communication in stores, from social networks to service centers. For instance, reviews on a coffee machine can be found on the retailers’ or manufacturers’ websites. Experience with software is more likely to be discussed on specialized forums. Typically, most of the communication goes via support centers and company blogs. By the way, the latter is very important.
You have probably noticed that all modern successful companies have their blogs on social media. There they talk about the business, products, and services provided, staff, and so on. So this is a really cool way to ‘hear’ your ‘customer’s voice.’ Give them a safe space to communicate and let them know that you value their feedback!
Furthermore, a lot of importance is placed on video marketing – a sales booster and an effective way of interaction between a company and a client. Therefore, if you are a business owner and haven’t created a business blog yet, then it’s time to start. Don’t forget to learn the basics of video editing, for example, how to add music to a video, and continue increasing conversion rates and engaging your target audience.
How to Collect and Analyze VoC Correctly?
Identify Channels for Collecting Information
The list should be as extensive as possible. The most common channels are retail and service centers, contact centers, online chat, social networks.
For instance, for a company – a manufacturer of household appliances – VoC collection channels are stores (own and distributors), service centers and delivery service (own and partners. Also, a contact center (incoming calls, emails, online chat, and feedback form on the site), social media (brand mentions, posts, direct messages or questions on the blog, forums and sites with reviews).
Feedback isn’t just about criticism or complaints. Consumers contact the brand to ask a question concerning this or that product feature, find out the status of the order, place a new order. Also, they get in touch to clarify contacts or locations of stores, solve a problem with a personal account or payment, etc.
Try to analyze how the company worked with feedback before: did it conduct surveys? Make sure that the data isn’t duplicated. Otherwise, the information can be inaccurate. The same client can leave the same comments on the official website, on a forum, and then call the company directly. In the analysis, all responses by one client should be counted as one.
Moreover, don’t forget to respond to your customers and give them your own feedback. And here we are talking not about support chat but the company blog. Maybe, make a video reply to the most frequently asked questions. This is much more interesting than reading the FAQs.
Picture 2. Every business should implement these steps in its VoC strategy!
Organize or Classify the Collected Data
A huge amount of data needs to be sorted out. It requires an information system such as a CRM. Data can be classified by topic, business activity, importance, impact on sales, etc.
So, for a manufacturer of household appliances, VoC can be classified by product type, model range, components and accessories, product functionality. Additionally, by cost, level of service, retailers and distributors, delivery service, pricing policy.
Estimate the Importance of the Information Received
What problems did customers mention most often? What is the level of customer satisfaction? How do they affect sales? And finally, what are the benefits of correcting deficiencies?
For illustration, the same manufacturer (a manager) of household appliances from the examples above has noticed some mentions of a vacuum cleaner model recently launched to the market. Then the manager checks calls and sales for the same period. As a result, most of the goods don’t work correctly and fail under certain conditions.
Some of the calls may refer to the company’s partners – a delivery service or a distributor. Consumers can be dissatisfied with their performance, which affects the overall perception of the brand. For instance, your analysis showed that over 10,000 customers have complained about shipping orders from an official online store. You should notice in which city the delivery was, in what period and what exactly are customers complaining about. Is the main problem term, delivery agents or order status? It will become a topic for a conversation with the delivery partner or push the company to find another one.
In this case, remember to notify customers via social networks, the company blog, or the official website that you are making such changes and improving the work and level of service.
Picture 3. Update your customers on everything you improve on!
Introduce the Necessary Changes
It is a key step. Collecting and analyzing the Voice of the Customer is often carried out formally, while the results of the VoC analysis must be conveyed to the relevant departments with specific recommendations. The solution should be formed; to remove the item from production or find a new delivery partner. And VoC analysis doesn’t end here. The data needs to be collected continuously. Listening to customer voice is not a one-time activity but constant work. Keep in mind that it is work but a very rewarding one!
Today various companies are trying not only to integrate Voice of the Customer into their processes but to familiarize all their employees with this methodology as well. After all, if you know what difficulties your customers have you can improve on them.
It is important to remember that VoC is a complex set of measures. It is essential to ask users the right questions at the right time. You need to collect reviews and feedback, and then analyze them. Even the message “You have an inconvenient and user-unfriendly interface!” can be of great benefit. It will be necessary to find out what led to such criticism. And you will discover, for instance, that the site search button is located off the screen and isn’t available on a specific device, screen resolution, and operating system.
And who, if not your clients, know better what the service and products should actually be. What are the best ways to place an order, fill out credit forms, listen to music, book tickets? That is why we highly recommend listening to your customers’ voices.
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