Voice of Customer (VoC) is a summary of the customer experience, which highlights their wants, needs, preferences, and expectations. VoC tools are used to collect customer feedback in an accurate, efficient manner, giving organizations the information they require to improve their products and services.
There is no underestimating the importance of using tools for VoC. These tools, which take the form of programs, applications, and processes, are key in gathering information from your customer base. They are necessary for extracting valuable customer feedback and opinions, whether this is done by collecting information proactively or passively.
The following blog post is an in-depth look at Voice of Customer tools. We explain the benefits of VoC tools, the best ones to add to your research repertoire, how to maximize performance, and much more.
Understanding customer feedback.
Customer feedback is a way for customers to disclose information that revolves around the experience they had with a specific product or service. The purpose of this feedback is for a customer to voice their level of satisfaction, whether they were thrilled with their purchase, disappointed, or indifferent.
Customer feedback comes in different forms. When it comes to product feedback, you may feel this is only found through customer reviews. However, it can also be obtained through usability tests, interviews, focus groups, surveys, consumer panels, complaints, and so on. In general, there are two main categories that customer feedback falls under: active and passive.
- Proactive feedback: This is customer feedback you attain through direct methods. Examples include surveys and focus groups.
- Passive feedback: Passive feedback is the type that is provided without a direct prompt. Think customer reviews and feature requests.
A Voice of Customer campaign is futile if you do not fully understand customer feedback. By knowing your audience, including their likes and dislikes, you are in a much better position to improve what you have to offer. That causes a positive knock-on effect which leads to numerous benefits for your company.
Benefits of using VoC tools.
Using VoC tools is beneficial. That much is obvious. What is less obvious, however, is the number of advantages gained from going down this route. Here are some of the key positives of using VoC tools:
Increased customer satisfaction: By listening to customers and acting on their feedback, this naturally results in a deeper, more fruitful relationship between them and your business. Trust is built, and this contributes to more satisfied customers.
Improved product development: With VoC part of your development, it is easier to identify opportunities that help to optimize your products. VoC provides the answer in terms of what customers truly want from your items, and this can be incorporated into future manufacturing plans.
Better customer retention: Returning customers are always highly valuable for any brand. By meeting their wants and needs the first time around with your products and services, there is a greater chance they will stick around and continue to make purchases from your company.
Increased revenue: All of these improvements generate more sales, and that results in a healthy boost to revenue numbers.
Enhanced brand reputation: You have happier customers that stick around. Your products are more refined. You are bringing in more money and growing. This all leads to an enhanced brand reputation. Five-star customer reviews become more frequent, while customers are more likely to be advocates for your business.
Types of VoC tools.
We have established the importance of customer feedback and the benefits of using Voice of Customer tools. Now comes the next question: What types of VoC tools should you focus on for your business?
VoC tools fall under various categories, and there are ample tools for each one, which can make selecting the right ones a tricky process. Fortunately, we have you covered in both areas.
Surveys are one of the most effective methods to proactively collect feedback from your customer base. They can be distributed in several efficient ways – on your website, in emails, as an app pop-up, etc. – and it is not difficult to entice responses. Furthermore, with the right VoC tool in place, you can also collect and analyze this data with ease.
Our recommendation: TypeForm
TypeForm is the tool we suggest when it comes to surveys. This software makes it effortless to craft engaging, personable surveys that are built “like a conversation” rather than the standard by the numbers document for someone to fill. Importantly, TypeForm also presents responses and reports in an easy-to-consume way for your VoC efforts.
Online reviews are generally a passive way to gain customer feedback, although you can take an enterprising approach to generate responses. Either way, online reviews are packed with valuable feedback from customers. They share positive comments, negative opinions, and give constructive criticism. All of this can assist your business in the present and future.
Our recommendation: GapScout
GapScout is the number one solution when analyzing customer reviews. Imagine if you had hundreds of reviews for a product. Now think about trying to go through these manually, one by one, attempting to track and pluck out common themes that are worth tracking. This is both tricky and time-consuming.
GapScout eliminates those issues. Using AI technology, it automates the process with intelligence, pulling out all the key data for your convenience.
Social media listening tools
Social media platforms are another excellent source for customer feedback. Even small brands typically receive plenty of engagement and mentions on social media, particularly if they directly participate on certain platforms. Yet to discover and learn about references, it is important you utilize listening tools.
Our recommendation: Brandwatch
Brandwatch is a comprehensive social media analytic platform, making it ideal as a listening tool. This tool is capable of tracking billions of conversations each day across the likes of Twitter, Facebook, forums, videos, and blogs. While useful for many points, such as learning about trends and influencers, Brandwatch is excellent for learning about current brand perception.
Call center feedback
A call center is not for everyone. This strategy is best suited for high-priced products and services. If you utilize a call center, however, this can be a great source for customer feedback. You can be passive and wait for comments and criticisms to filter in through your audience. Alternatively, it is possible to take the initiative and conduct telephone surveys over the phone.
Our recommendation: third-party support
Okay, this is more of a solution rather than a tool. Yet if you decide to use a call center – let alone gather feedback – we recommend you go with third-party support. Outsourcing saves you a lot of money and time compared to doing the work in-house. Furthermore, a specialist third-party call center provider will have the necessary tools to collect and manage feedback from your customer base.
Customer interviews and focus groups
Another advised proactive technique for gathering customer feedback is with interviews and focus groups. Although this tactic generally takes up more time and resources than other methods, it is also highly productive in gaining relevant, direct, and in-depth feedback from your customers. You get to ask customers follow-up questions, gain their opinions for specific elements of your product or service, and generally learn more about your offerings.
Our recommendation: VisionsLive
For qualitative market research, a highly recommended VoC tool is VisionsLive. This solution makes it easy to manage online focus groups and interviews, and that includes tracking and measuring feedback from participants.
Choosing the right VoC tools for your business.
We have provided you with a number of suggestions in terms of VoC tools. With that said, that does not necessarily mean they are the right tools for your business. There are certain factors you have to consider.
The first element is to identify your business goals and needs. These will determine what VoC tools are required. For example, if you need to facilitate call center functionality for your business, this needs to be factored into the tools you select.
Another aspect to keep in mind is to understand the limitations and advantages of each VoC tool. GapScout is the ideal solution when analyzing customer feedback within reviews. It is not suitable for gathering feedback from surveys and interviews. As a result, you would have to add multiple tools to cover these feedback paths for your business.
Furthermore, you have to know how VoC tools will be integrated into your current business operations. Do you have other software solutions to consider? Will these solutions match up with the VoC tools you are planning to use? Can they combine and benefit from one another?
Tips for getting the most out of VoC tools.
Even if you are using specialist VoC tools, this does not necessarily mean you are getting the most out of these solutions. Employing the tools in your operations is not enough – you also have to change everything from how to collect data to your entire business philosophy to maximize results.
Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
Prioritize customer feedback: This may seem obvious, but you need to prioritize customer feedback when using VoC tools. This means you have to think about encouraging customer feedback across different channels, ensuring you receive the comments and opinions that will assist with improving your products and services.
Ensure data accuracy and quality: Any feedback is not necessarily good feedback. Simple comments such as “good product” or “poor service” are not worth adding to your data bank. It is vital that, for both accuracy and quality, you are careful in both acquiring and selecting feedback.
Use data visualization tools: Looking at a page of stats and content can quickly become confusing. To ensure you are consuming all of the data that is collected, it is recommended you use visualization tools. Solutions like GapScout include these as part of the package.
Encourage a customer-centric culture: To maximize the amount of valuable feedback your company receives, you should encourage a customer-centric culture. By placing the customers at the forefront of your operations, this guarantees you have an emphasis on gathering – and, importantly, benefiting from – customer feedback.
Challenges of using VoC tools.
It is not all positive. Yes, VoC tools can deliver a wide assortment of benefits for your business. However, there are certain challenges you have to overcome when using these solutions. These include:
Data overload: If you are using multiple VoC tools to collect data from multiple sources, it can stack up – fast. The result: data overload. Trying to cut through all of this data, and getting to the real value and points to act on, can be a challenge.
Misinterpreting data: Again, another consequence of dealing with so much data is the potential to misinterpret the information you have collected. This can be a dangerous mistake. For example, if you make a change to a product that was not requested within your feedback, that could upset or even alienate your customer base.
Addressing negative feedback: It can be tough to take negative feedback. Sometimes it will feel unjustifiable, which can make you disregard what has been said by customers. However, if a common theme is established with this negativity, it suggests an issue does exist, and you are best served to resolve this as soon as possible to ensure you turn it around.
With the right approach, you should be able to avoid these potential pitfalls when using VoC tools. Yet it is important you know about these challenges so you can circumnavigate them successfully.
Wrapping up this overview of voice of customer tools.
VoC tools are essential for any business that strives to improve. The customer may not always know best, but they can be a goldmine of information when the mission is to enhance your products and services. VoC tools allow you to effectively collect, analyze, and use feedback, whether positive or negative, from your customers.
Do you want to improve your overall company performance? Do you want to enhance the customer experience? Then you must add VoC tools to your business operations. Learn more than ever from your customers, and use this information to push your organization to the next level.
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