The Voice of the Customer consists of all the feedback, opinions, and comments customers may express regarding a product or a service. It’s usually called just “Voice of Customer” or “VoC.”
Over the years, listening to the voice of consumers has become a key activity for businesses in order to assess performance and study possible improvements for their products and their customer service. In addition, by listening to the VoC, businesses can more easily retain their customers and hope they will recommend the product or service to their peers.
In this article, we’ll learn more about VoC and we’ll debunk some common (and untrue) myths on this topic.
Why Voice of Customer Has Become So Important
With so many new products and services popping up online every day in a very competitive market, Voice of Customer has become an important and often reliable way for businesses to perform R&D (research and development). That’s thanks to social media and review sites, where more and more consumers every day express their opinion on what they’re looking for in a product and post their reviews on products and services they’ve tried.
A research published by Gartner indicated that businesses that collect customer feedback can increase their upselling and cross-selling success rates by up to 20%.
Customers talk—today, more than ever before. And they do that often without being solicited, in a way that allows businesses to hear their opinions without needing to reach out for an interview or a focus group. That’s where social sentiment comes into play; users express their sentiments online, and businesses can track those sentiments down and perform sentiment analysis to study the market and draw useful conclusions.
Think of all the things customers may say that you might be interested in hearing: Customers saying they liked the product, but not the website they ordered it through; customers saying they did not have a friendly interaction with your customer support service; customers saying they would pay for your service more often if it was cheaper. As a business executive or manager, you may learn very important insights on pricing, service, interface, product, that you otherwise would not think about on your own.
A good customer experience, by the way, is not just good for your reputation—it’s also good for your business. A study by Oracle said that “86% of consumers will pay more [money] for a better consumer experience.”
And now, we will debunk the 5 most common myths about Voice of Customer; they are common statements that you should not believe in.
Myth #1: Voice of Customer is all about customer surveys and focus groups.
That would be an accurate statement if we lived in the 20th century, but we don’t. While setting up phone interviews or investing in a focus groups can still be valuable, especially if you want to hear a direct feedback on a product or service you’re developing; however, Voice of Customer nowadays is widely available on the internet, thanks to the widespread use of social media among consumers.
It’s therefore worth investing in market research based on sentiment analysis of social media threads (Reddit, Facebook, etc.) and customer reviews (Google, Yelp, etc.) to get an idea of what customers are looking for, what they like, and what they don’t like.
With an automated service like Revuze, you can easily gather a lot of valuable information with just a few clicks and visualize it in a practical dashboard.
Myth #2: Voice of Customer is a qualitative type of market research.
Well, that’s true if you’re basing your research on long transcripts of vaguely-conducted interviews. As we explained above, thanks to sentiment analysis, you can easily get large amounts of data that can be easily translated into numbers.
Sentiment, for instance, can be positive (+1), neutral (0), or negative (-1). Online surveys based on star ratings (1 to 5 stars) can measure satisfaction numerically. The Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is another measure of customer satisfaction, also gives quantitative results.
While the term “Voice of Customer” might make you think of endless “bla, bla, blas,” you may actually end up with a lot of useful numbers that can help you make smarter decisions regarding your product and your business.
Myth #3: Anyone in your company can do VoC gathering and analysis.
Sure! It’s easy, you might be tempted to say. Uh, oh, we say.
While the concept of Voice of Customer is quite straightforward, you should not rely on anyone for its implementation if you’re looking for valuable results. Gathering and analyzing data for your VoC must be a well-calculated, strategic effort. That’s why we suggest you rely on experts—possibly even a third-party solution like Revuze—so that you can be sure you’re doing it right and getting results that can truly help you.
Myth #4: The key question is: “What are you looking for?”
Consumers might not always know what they’re looking for—it is your job to find out for them. However, they probably have a very clear idea on what they’re trying to accomplish, how much money they’re willing to spend, which products they’ve already tried, what they liked and disliked in the products they have tried, and so on.
Be creative with the questions you ask. Check how often other brands are mentioned on social media; which companies have the best customer service; what’s the most important factor your customers care about in a specific product, etc.
Myth #5: The voice of your top customers counts the most.
This is an old-school methodology that should no longer be applied. Some companies think that the voice that really counts is the one of their most loyal, current customers, those that bring more money into the company.
What about the customers that tried your product or service once and then they abandoned it? Don’t you think you might want to learn what didn’t convince them?
And what about your competition’s customers? And potential customers? Everyone can teach you something, and you don’t want to miss out on those voices. Try a more “democratic” approach to VoC and you won’t regret it.
Revuze’s AI-powered solution enables brands to quickly understand their product and customer satisfaction issues, and to automatically score and rank their brand’s performance relative to its competitors and to the market.If you want to learn more about Customer Analytics and Sentiment Analysis, check out our Blog.