Voice of the Customer: Why You Need it and Where to Start?

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Milica Vujasin

Content Writer

Customers interact with your business on a daily basis and require an almost instant response. The first step needed to fulfill their expectations is to listen to them!

If you are like most of the companies, you are probably putting a lot of effort to gain customers feedback. To keep up with their expectations, companies are starting to invest in VoC – a critical component to deliver value and happiness to end users. 

What is the Voice of the Customer (VOC)

The “voice of the customer” is a process used to capture the customer’s feedback in order to provide the best service or product quality for customers. This term was first used by Abbie Griffin and John R. Hauser in a 1993 MIT Marketing Science paper, which goes:

„[VOC] provides a detailed understanding of the customer’s requirements, a common language for the team going forward in the product development process, a key input for the setting of appropriate design specifications for the new product or service, and a highly useful springboard for product innovation.“

Simply put, the voice of the customer is customer’s expectations, preferences or comments of a product or service. You can read more about it here: https://www.paldesk.com/what-is-voice-of-customer/

Voice of Customer how to

Collecting the Voice of the Customer

It is important to realize that collecting customer feedback is a fundamental part of growing a business.  This helps you build a complete picture of the experience you are delivering to every one of your customers. And also, it helps you understand customer expectations. Once this information is collected, it can be delivered to the business so they can make strategic decisions.

Collect both positive and negative feedbacks, because a study by Oracle  says:

“46% of consumers were pleased when an organization responded to a customer’s negative comment.”

There are various platforms from which you can collect feedback, such as:

  • focus groups
  • direct discussion or interviews
  • surveys
  • social media posts
  • customer specifications
  • chat conversations
  • emails
  • SMS

VOC programs

Research by The Aberdeen Group says that companies who implement a voice of the customer (VOC) strategy generate a 10x greater year-over-year increase in annual company revenue.

So, by implementing a Voc program, businesses can improve their products and services. And also, keep up with customer demands. VoC programs make it possible for companies to understand their customers’ preferences, problems or complaints. Then they can quickly respond to their collective feedback in a more intelligent way. Without a VoC program, businesses miss out on valuable opportunities to leverage happy customers.

Also, they are used to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Organizations that actively ask for feedback from their customers — and then react to that feedback in meaningful ways — create a positive dynamic where customers feel like they are taken care of.

Process for implementing a VOC program

According to Thematic, there are 3 steps that you have to follow in order to make your VOC program work for you:                                                    

  1. Collection of customer feedback – Using methods like surveys, etc. to gather information from your customers
  2. Analysis – Analyzing responses to uncover trends, themes and customer expectations
  3. Implementation – Acting on the insights to improve the areas of the business that will drive the biggest change

4 Reasons Why Voc Program Is Important to Your Business

Improve customer experience

If you show empathy and listen carefully to what your customers have to say, it leads to better customer experience. Plus you are creating further opportunities with them.

Build Customer Loyalty

A loyal customer is the best evidence you provided excellent customer experience. Building a relationship with the customer may be hard, but it is achievable with Voc Program. And by listening and understanding to your customers.

How to implement VOC process

Picture 2. Email can be a strong tool for a customer support agent

Make strategic decisions

By implementing VOC programs, companies are able to make great strategies which lead to better decisions.  And those strategies can improve customers experience and also contribute to a positive return on investment.

Grow revenue

Gartner research says that collecting feedback can increase upselling and cross-selling success rates by 15% to 20%. So that means that with a well-implemented VOC program, you can better retain your customers.

Relevant: Creating a Customer Service Philosophy

2 VOC Best Examples

These companies take their customer experience seriously. But besides that, we can see that by establishing a great customer experience, they’re sending us a message – to step up and be different. It is a way to win customers hearts.

ZAPPOS

Zappos is already known for its great customer service and unique company culture.  They say that listening is the number one tool any company can use. They respond to every customer questions, whether it’s via phone, email, live chat, Zappos blog or social media platforms.

APPLE

At Apple, listening to customers is more than just lip service.  Apple CEO, Tim Cook, receives up to 100s of customer emails every single day, and even responds to some of them. Imagine getting a personal response from Apple CEO. That is a great example of how to differentiate from others.

Customer service

Picture 3. Customer service

Focus on the customer

We can conclude that the voice of the customer is essential to the growth of your business. Collecting customer feedback and listening to your customers can help you improve your products or services. Plus, to deliver a better customer experience. But it is not enough just to listen. Changes are necessary if you want to see continued success.

Also, a quote to keep you motivated to implement VOC:

“If you had some magic power and were able to discover exactly what customers are craving, and if you also knew how to produce their dream product at a low price, then you would be guaranteed to get rich! Therefore, capturing the exact Voice of the Customer is like striking gold.”  

– Kai Yang, Author of the Book the Voice of the Customer: Capture and Analysis

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Voice of the Customer: Why You Need it and Where to Start? was last modified: June 19th, 2019 by Nikolina Maškarić