Voice of the customer

How to Get Accurate Customer Insights Using the Voice of the Customer

Stepping into 2021, customer experience is gradually becoming a top priority among businesses. Almost 86% of customers are ready to pay more for a service that’s backed by an outstanding customer experience. 

In the modern age of marketing, firms invest heavily in acquiring quantitative data – consumer surveys and polls. This information helps shape their strategies and make “data-driven” decisions. While they are invaluable for analyzing the demographics of customers, they shower very limited light on the “whys” behind customer behavior.

The result? Many businesses are falling short of targets, losing focus on the human quotient of customer experience. In turn, this is expanding the “empathy gap” between customers and organizations. A recent Forrester survey revealed that a majority of companies are struggling with an increased CX leadership gap. 

To counter this scenario, your business must be on the same page as their customers, offering solutions in a manner that resonates with their demands. This is where the Voice of the Customer (VoC) can prove to be the ideal framework in playing an integral part in developing growth strategies.

What Is Voice of the Customer (VoC)?

Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a medium to gain in-depth insights and an enhanced understanding of your customers’ expectations and demands. This process will leverage your organization to acquire the thoughts of your customers, the emotions that they feel, and the friction points that they encounter. 

By utilizing VoC, your employees will be in a better position to craft powerful marketing messages that appeal to your customers. As a result, your organization will be well-equipped to develop attractive products and services that aid customers to overcome their most pressing problems.

Methods for Capturing Voice of the Customer

Nowadays, there’s an abundance of tools and techniques to gather customer feedback. All these methods can ignite your organization’s efforts in the quest of improving CX. Here are some effective ways to collect data that can be utilized in gauging customer demands. 

Customer Surveys

Customer surveys are pretty simple to set up. They serve as reliable sources for revealing the strengths and weaknesses of a business. Surveys can be constructed to record responses with a combination of either true or false, yes or no, or even open-ended questions. Once created, you can send out surveys via email or responses, or even encourage customers to mark their responses directly on your website.

The benefits of using customer surveys are plenty. From focusing on new areas for expansion or innovation to identifying verticals that require improvements, these survey data help boost the overall experience of customers. 

Responses can be acquired in bulk, inviting more participants to fill out surveys. You can even benefit from a collection of pre-made questions written by experts. While some of this data can collect feedback from open-ended questions, many of these metrics can be leveraged by organizations with a check on customer satisfaction. 

Feedback Polls

Feedback polls are forms that can be added right to your website. These forms help gather both qualitative and quantitative information about the users interacting with your site. These tools mainly target capabilities and reporting dashboards that aid in viewing responses. They come through as unobstructed means for customers to review their experiences. 

Feedback polls also present opportunities to collect contact information of customers upon completion. This is a huge bonus for businesses, allowing customer assistance executives to directly reach out to agitated customers and offer personalized resolutions. Organizations with the highest customer satisfaction level recognize the value of closing the feedback loop. Hence, they have incorporated this practice of including VoC into their optimization roadmaps. Even if you fail to implement this exercise in the short term, we recommend developing strategies towards achieving this capability to re-shape your customer-centric approach in the long term.

Social Listening

Customers heavily engage with social media platforms to share their experiences. As a result, 54% of customers that browse social media channels to research products, rely on social media to make purchasing decisions. With negative reviews drawing in a lot of attention, you can make use of social listening tools to utilize these opportunities to highlight your customer service. These situations can prove to be ideal in converting negative comments into new business possibilities. 

Where Organizations Miss Their Mark

Despite the positives of the Voice of the Customer, several organizations fail to extract the most out of this approach. Here are some of the touchpoints where companies fall short of implementing VoC effectively:

Problem #1: They Approach Customers with the Wrong Questions

Today, it’s fairly easy to gather customer feedback with affluent tools available in the market. But this can backfire if you’re asking the wrong questions to your customers. 

If your team members are presenting leading questions to your buyers, they’ll come back with only those answers that restrict their ideas to the question-set. Even closed-ended questions do much of the same, revealing little about how customers feel about your products or services. You will never know of their demands and expectations that customers might be having from your business. 

Along with the right set of questions, timing can play a major role in making or breaking your customer satisfaction game from your business. If you ask survey questions in the middle of their shopping cycle, you are sure to frustrate customers and increase your cart abandonment rate. 

Problem #2: Their Efforts Are Developing Silos

With organizations expanding in stature, lack of transparency and adequate knowledge of products and services being offered among employees can lead to the emergence of feedback silos. This can hamper the growth of organizations, degrading customer experience on a large scale. 

Below enlisted are some signals that customer experience silos are developing in your business:

  • Decision-makers among scattered departments have little to no knowledge of the recent strategies and developments of the company. 
  • A lack of collaboration and ownership among employees, when it comes to handling customer queries on product features, service details, and other particulars. 
  • Communication gap among the higher management and grass-root sales representatives within the organization. 

Problem #3: They Counter Customer Feedback with the Wrong Attitude

Businesses are often passionate about their efforts in providing a fantastic product to their target audience. With negative viewpoints flowing in, it’s difficult to control emotions and respond  to customers with the wrong attitude. In many instances, organizations are left with notions to disregard their customers’ opinions. This approach only pushes you far away from your customers, degrading your brand value. 

In the quest of acquiring real customer feedback, the findings can turn out to be shocking and uncomfortable. However, this can prove beneficial, highlighting the underlying issues of your organization and exposing areas to improve customer experience. 

How to Effectively Leverage a Voice of the Customer Campaign? 

Just the idea of incorporating VoC tools and gathering customer feedback isn’t enough for business success. You must actively hunt for opportunities and collaborate with team members to act on the problems uncovered. 

Here are ways to install a proper framework for VoC and strive towards cumulative success.

The three basic steps of a successful VoC program involve inquiry, analysis, and execution. 

The process kicks off with a strategy to collect customer feedback by asking the right set of questions. The consultants, then, dedicate themselves to analyze the key insights in trying to gauge customer demands. The final step involves the execution of sought-out strategies to reduce the “empathy gap” and take the customer experience journey to an all-new level. 

Even business leaders must develop a culture that welcomes feedback. It must go beyond simply stating whether an organization or department requires improvement. Rather, it must strive for finding ways to better the customer experience from every vertical of the company. 

Summing Up

In order to surpass your competition and target constant growth, your organization must get into the minds of customers. With the process of the Voice of the Customer, you will not only discover who your customers are but also realize their purchase patterns, their preferences, and their dislikes. Using these findings, your organization will emerge offering better products and services and urging customers to come back for more. 

 Author Bio

Matt Canada has a background in graphic design, customer service and management. In his current role, he oversees marketing activities for Tatvam and also supports sales activity