With all relationships, taking the time to listen is crucial to its success. Nowhere is this more true than with customer relationships. Without listening to the voice of your customer, you’ll be like a ship without a rudder or a compass…lost and drifting without direction.
But listening isn’t always that easy. Customers don’t always take the time to express their feelings. Analyzing the feedback that you do get can be overwhelming, especially when it’s coming from so many different sources. This is where a Voice of the Customer approach can help by organizing and prioritizing customer insights into a usable format.
What is the voice of the customer (VoC)?
Voice of the Customer, or VoC, is a methodology used to understand how your customers experience and feel about your business. “Voice” is used metaphorically here. Your customers might not be speaking their feelings out loud, or even writing them into your feedback forms. Instead, VoC looks deeper than what your customers are saying to understand their wants, needs, and expectations.
Implementing a VoC program will help you understand your customers better and know where to focus your efforts on improving the customer experience. Rather than just fixing the squeakiest wheel, VoC lets businesses make smarter decisions.
Examples of VoC
There are so many different ways customers can share information about what they want. If you’re only collecting VoC data through a feedback form, you’re missing out on valuable insight. Here are just a few examples of data that could be included in VoC.
- A customer mentions during a service call that they’ve had trouble finding the new permissions settings in their account dashboard.
- While canceling their account, a customer indicates that “customer service” was the main reason they are leaving.
- On Twitter, a customer tweets to let their followers know how much they love using your service.
- During an NPS survey, a customer replies with a 7 and comments that they’d love to see the reporting section expanded.
- A customer clicks repeatedly on spot in the screen in quick succession before scrolling down the page and exiting.
Anywhere your customer talks about their experience with your company, or interacts with you is an example of VoC.
Why should you care about Voice of Customer?
It’s unlikely we need to convince you of the power of listening to your customer. It’s been consistently proven that customer-centric companies out-perform their competitors in revenue, customer loyalty, and growth:
- Outperforming companies are 54% more likely to collaborate with their customers than CX laggards, according to Forrester’s Customer Index.
- Organizations that analyze and act on their customer behavioral data outperform the market by 85% in sales growth, according to a 2021 study by Microsoft.
- 86% of customers say that they’d pay more for a better experience, according to Forrester’s Customer Index.
Caring about the Voice of the Customer puts your company in a better position to make customer-centric decisions and provide a great customer experience. When you capture VoC data, you can:
- Evaluate new product and service offerings, and prioritize based on customer expectations.
- Customize your brand to better align with your customers’ needs.
- Proactively adjust customer service strategies to avoid issues or red flags.
- Retain more customers, and improve your relationships with customers.
How do you collect VoC data?
There are as many ways to collect VoC data as there are types of data. From qualitative to quantitative information, actively soliciting feedback to passively analyzing user behavior, text analysis to interviews, VoC data collection can run the gamut. Here are 6 ways you can collect VoC data:
Customer Surveys: often what most people think of first when it comes time to collect feedback. Customer surveys include customer satisfaction surveys, NPS and long form questionnaires.
Customer Conversations: whether you’re talking to customers on the phone, over email, or through chat, the transcripts hold valuable information. Analyzing this text and voice data can provide insight into what your customers are talking about, as well as sentiment.
Focus Groups: for when you want to get deep into conversations with your customers, focus groups are an excellent way to ask deeper questions. You also have more control over which customers are invited to respond, so you can be very specific.
Social Media: even if you aren’t listening, customers will be talking about you on social media and other websites. Reviews, tweets, and forum posts can all help you understand what your customers are talking about (when they don’t think you’re listening).
Website Behavior: it’s not just about what your customers are saying, but also how they act. How users interact with your product, app or website contains lots of valuable information about what they expect and where their journey falls flat. Tracking user data and behavior can help you make sense of what users are actually doing on your platform.
Feedback Forms: make it as easy as possible for customers to provide feedback by including forms on common spaces. For example, pop-out feedback forms on your website can collect feedback from a wide range of customers, with minimal effort. Compared to the lengthy process of finding a phone number and calling, feedback forms are a low barrier way for customers to tell you what they really think.
How to make customer-centric decisions based on VoC
Now that you have your data, how can you put it into a usable format so you can make decisions with it? That’s often the biggest challenge when it comes to creating effective VoC programs. If you’re collecting VoC input through different channels (and you should be!) it can feel overwhelming to sort through the data.
Without the right tools, you won’t have a full overview of your VoC sources and no one will be able to make use of this valuable data, which can lead to blindly making decisions based on gut-instinct.
Survey responses come in through your survey provider, reviews are available only on third-party sites, while customer conversations are all stored in your contact center. This makes it impossible to understand what’s really happening. Are customers talking or complaining about the same stuff on all the different channels? or is it different? and if it is, what do they talk about?
Once you’ve managed to make sense of this data, the problem happens again – each of your functional teams need access to the data. Product, support, and marketing teams all receive value from VoC insights, but if they are trapped in a silo, you lose the benefits.
Creating a full overview of Voice of Customer
The solution to making VoC data actionable is to have a centralized view of the data to analyze, with insights easily shareable across the organization so that everyone can make informed decisions.
With Lumoa, all of your VoC sources are available in the same platform, which makes it easy to see an overview of what your customers are saying. But it also makes it possible to analyze VoC comparatively across different channels, and to slice and dice your data depending on what insights you’re looking for.
Lumoa offers companies the power to analyze and review data from sources such as surveys, support tickets, transcripts, calls, and social media… just to name a few. With voice and text analytics, the hard work is even done for you, so you can jump right into the insights.
And speaking of insights, a VoC platform like Lumoa helps distribute the data across your organization. Instead of each department running their own surveys and generating their own data, bring the entire team on board. With Lumoa’s VoC overview, every team will have what they need to make VoC backed decisions.
Interested in learning more about how Lumoa can help your organization see the full picture of your VoC data? Start a free trial today!