What is a Voice of the Customer Program and How do You Start One?

Research shows that businesses that invest in customer feedback and Voice of the Customer (or VoC) programs experience significantly higher rates of client retention and employee engagement. They also spend less money overall on customer service.

Does the idea of spending less while also keeping your customers and employees happy appeal to you? If so, then it might be time to start your own Voice of the Customer program. Read on to learn more about the importance of such a program, as well as how you can start one at your company today.

What Is a Voice of the Customer Program?

Before we dive into the specifics of creating a Voice of the Customer program, you first ought to have a solid understanding of Voice of the Customer and what these programs entail.

The term “voice of the customer” was first coined back in 1993 in an MIT Marketing Science paper written by Abbie Griffin and John R. Hauser. The two defined VoC as a research strategy meant to help business owners and their employees understand what their customers think of their company, their products, and/or their services.

The goal of VoC is to give business owners and workers a detailed understanding of what customers need and want. It also helps to create a common language for the team to use during the development process.

Businesses can use VoC to gather essential input for setting design specifications for products or services. It can also act as a springboard for future innovations.

Why Is the Voice of the Customer Important?

Some of the most profitable and prolific companies in the world use VoC programs to better serve their customers. If businesses like Apple and Amazon are making use of VoC, why shouldn’t you?

The following are some of the greatest advantages that a solid VoC program has to offer:

  • Improved Customer Experience74 percent of VoC programs are successful and help businesses to increase levels of customer satisfaction

  • Improved Products and Services: VoC programs also provide businesses with actionable steps they can take to improve their offerings and keep customers happy

  • Easier Decision Making: By gathering information from customers, business know what to focus on and have an easier time making decisions

  • Improved Operations: The overall operations process improves, too, and members of various teams can work more efficiently when they know what the customer wants.

A good VoC program can help businesses to figure out the most appropriate ways to allocate their customer experience resources, too. This, in turn, allows for better money management, which can also contribute to overall revenue increases.

How Do You Start Your Voice of the Customer Program?

Okay, you now have a better understanding of what a Voice of the Customer program is and why it matters to the success of your company. You might be wondering, though, how you can start an effective VoC program. Start by following these steps:

Define Roles

A good starting point when establishing your company’s VoC program is to define roles. This involves identifying which departments have the most control over the customer experience.

It’s important to note that other employees beyond those who work specifically in customer service play a part in providing customers with a good experience. For example, members of the sales team need to take customer feedback into account when refining their sales approaches. Members of the product development team also need to think about customers’ responses when they’re developing new products or looking for ways to improve existing ones.

Talk to the members of each department at your company and help them understand their role in creating a better customer experience. When everyone knows their job and how they contribute to the customer experience as a whole, they’ll have an easier time keeping it in mind moving forward.

Set Targets

Once everyone’s on board with the idea that they’re part of creating a great customer experience, the next step is to set specific targets and key performance indicators (or KPIs) for them to work toward.

One of the most popular customer experience metrics is the Net Promoter Score or NPS. This score involves just two questions. One provides a number and the other is an open-ended question that allows for more detailed feedback.

The first question might be “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend this product to a friend?” The second question would then provide the responder with an opportunity to explain why they gave the product the number they did.

If you want to learn more about what and where to use specific customer experience metrics and KPIs the check-out this article: “6 most popular customer experience metrics and KPIs explained simply”.

Collect Feedback

After deciding the specific ways in which customer feedback and progress will be measured, you next need to start collecting the feedback from your customers. Sending out surveys via email or text message after a customer has made a purchase is one of the most effective ways to get them to respond and provide you with the data you need.

You can also redirect customers to a survey after they’ve finished checking out. This gives you a chance to gather feedback on the shopping experience and look for ways to improve the customer experience for future shoppers before they even buy anything from you.

Learn more about how to collect feedback in this article “How to collect customer feedback”.

Analyze Feedback

Once you’ve started gathering feedback, it’s important to analyze it. The analysis process allows you to identify patterns and figure out what the majority of your customers like or don’t like about the experience.

For many businesses, the process of analyzing VoC data can be daunting. This is especially true when you have feedback coming in from several different channels. Because of this, lots of companies use customer experience software. It helps them sift through all the data coming in and organize it in a way that’s understandable and actionable.

Lumoa is a great example of a useful Customer Experience software. This platform is intuitive, easy-to-use, and is a good fit for both B2C and B2B businesses. It helps you and your workers to analyze and structure feedback from customers to make it more understandable.

This, in turn, helps you to identify the biggest drivers of the customer experience for your business. It also allows you to gain insight into the specific impact of these drivers.

Act on the Feedback

It’s not enough just to gather and analyze data. You also need to act on it. Responding to critical comments is especially important. The same goes for collaborating with customers to solve the problem. This helps you to show them that you care.

By doing this, you have a greater chance of retaining their business. This increases the likelihood that they’ll recommend your products or services to others.

Start Your Own Voice of the Customer Program Today

You now know more about the importance of a solid Voice of the Customer program, as well as the steps you need to take to create one for your business. With this information in mind, it’s time to get to work.

Start by following the instructions laid out above. You’ll have a much easier time starting a program that works for your customers and your employees and yields the specific results you’re after.

The right technology can work wonders when it comes to simplifying the process of creating an effective VoC program. If you need help setting up your VoC program, give Lumoa a try. Sign up today to request a Lumoa demo and see what this powerful software is all about.