Voice of the Customer (VoC)

Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a term used by marketing and CX professionals to refer to customers’ preferences, expectations, and aversions regarding a product or service.

Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a term used by marketing and CX professionals to refer to customers’ preferences, expectations, and aversions regarding a product or service. 

While historically, customer feedback was obtained through a one-way conversion, it’s now a two-way conversion. As a result, there are plenty of ways to acquire the customer’s feedback,  preferences, expectations, and aversions—commonly referred to as the Voice of the Customer.

It is more critical than ever to listen to and understand customers and their feedback. But customer satisfaction is a continually-moving target, so businesses need to adapt strategies in order to meet that satisfaction. Using a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program is one of those strategies. 

VoC programs use research methodologies to collect and analyze customer feedback on a product or service. This helps businesses to further understand the needs and wants of their target audience, and then adjust their product or service accordingly. 

This article will discuss what the Voice of the Customer is, how to capture it, and also how to use these strategies in your business.

What is Voice of the Customer?

Voice of the Customer is a term that comes from the field of marketing and customer experience (CX) that refers to customers’ preferences, expectations, and aversions in regard to a product or service. 

To get this information, VoC programs gather customers’ feedback through various means in order to conduct research and analyze it. A VoC program helps you understand:

  1. What customers expect of your product or service
  2. How customers feel about your product or service 
  3. The feelings customers have about your brand

The focus is on customers and their needs, preferences, and expectations. By collecting this data, you can find actionable insights and use them to create a better product or service. It can also be used to improve your overall customer experience.

VoC allows you to achieve two things:

  • Understand customer needs. VoC helps obtain a thorough understanding of how your customers perceive your brand and what they expect you to provide to them.
  • Create a business strategy in response. By analyzing the VoC data, you can then make informed decisions and craft stronger business strategies.

How Do You Capture Voice of the Customer?

There is no single way to conduct VoC research—and to maximize the data you obtain through your VoC program, you should use a variety of collection strategies. That way, you will have more information that can turn into useful insights.

Here are 5 different research strategies to use in your VoC strategy:

1. Surveys

Surveys are a tried-and-tested strategy that is highly effective; however, it is important that they ask useful questions. When running surveys, it’s best to choose a single topic to focus on—like a product, a service, a marketing campaign. 

By coming up with a targeted questionnaire, your survey will reveal more useful and specific data that can be acted upon more easily. This assures that you’re getting the best possible insights from your respondents.

2. Interviews

Another important strategy is to conduct interviews with your customers. These differ from surveys as they are more open-ended and tend to give the customer more control over the conversation. As a result, interviews will provide you with quality VoC data that is more valuable and more in-depth. 

You can do these interviews in person or remotely over the phone or with video call software. This type of feedback will often provide you with more personalized feedback that can help you to strengthen your customer relationships at the individual level. 

3. Social Media

Through social media, you can obtain direct and indirect data regarding your brand using social listening tools or by manually collecting interactions. It can also involve your own business social media channels as well as places in which your brand is mentioned, like community forums on Reddit or  Quora.

Direct information is composed of the replies or messages sent directly to your brand’s accounts. These interactions may be crowdsourced (such as a poll) or spontaneous (direct messages from customer accounts). 

Indirect information, meanwhile, includes trending topics, hashtags, and other conversations surrounding your product/service and business. This data is especially valuable because it gives you a more honest and unfiltered perspective from your customers.

4. Customer Reviews

If you have a website or other places where customers can leave feedback for you and others to see, you’ll have plenty of feedback from them detailing their experiences. 

These reviews will usually involve positive and negative feedback and tend to fall on the extreme ends of a rating system due to response bias. This means it’s important to sort these reviews to see which reviews are useful and which ones are not.

By evaluating what customers are saying, you can easily see what you’re doing wrong—or what you’re doing right. Then you can apply the feedback to better your customer experience, improve your product, and increase your brand reputation. 

5. Customer Support Interactions

There are two popular methods for customer support interactions. 

First, there is the traditional over-the-phone communication in which your customers call in their concerns or feedback. Additionally, there is the more modern “live chat” in which your customers directly message an AI or a customer service representative through an online platform. 

Like customer reviews, your customer support interactions will reveal the positive or negative experiences of your customers. Then, you can use these interactions to gauge customer satisfaction and uncover any issues with your product or service.

Implementing a Voice of Customer Strategy

After acquiring VoC data, the next step is acting on it. Now that you’ve collected and analyzed everything from surveys to reviews, you can make important changes that address various customer concerns and demands—directly improving your business.

Since VoC data includes information such as customer opinions, concerns, expectations, and satisfaction levels, it can be used across a variety of departments in your business. You can take your VoC data and use it to:

Your Customer’s Voice is Important

Customer feedback and satisfaction are essential for a business to succeed in the long term. If you want to create products and services that people love, you need to listen to what they have to say. And that’s where the Voice of the Customer comes in. 

Capturing the VoC can be tricky, but it’s essential if you want to design products and services that meet your customers’ needs and expectations. And if you have dissatisfied customers, then you can use VoC to learn what to improve—and how to do better.