How to start a voice of customer program

Listening and recognizing the voice of your customers is the best path to business growth. Keeping an ear on the Voice of Customer (VoC) data can keep you safe from being a part of the junkyard. Having a Voice of Customer program is the best way to keep customers happy.

Today, it is more important than ever to stay in touch with your customers and understand their needs and wants. They want things here and now –same-day delivery, have an affinity towards online streaming against movie theatres, and more.

A robust Voice of Customer program is the need of the hour. How to collect and analyze the voice of customers? Most importantly, How to implement a voice of customer program?

In this article, we will explore what is VoC and how you can create a voice of customer strategy

What is Voice of Customer?

Coffee mug that says "see the good", representing the goal of f a voice of customer program.

Customers give their feedback in various forms, such as online reviews, social posts, or emails. A Voice of Customer (or Voice of the Customer) program helps you make sense of all this pouring feedback.

By analyzing the data gathered, you can better gauge the pain points and satisfaction levels. It becomes easier to serve them, and serve them well.

Whether you want to launch a new product or improve an existing product, VoC helps you plan it better. VoC enables you to deliver personalized experiences to the dot.

The best approach to capturing your customer’s voice.

Recording microphone

The best way to harness the power of the Voice of the Customer includes a closed-loop process. Here is what a powerful voice of customer program looks like:

Step 1: Listen

The first step in capturing your customer’s voice is to gather feedback from different mediums. You can capture feedback and enrich your VoC program in quite different ways, like monitoring the socials and tracking the review sites.

The goal is to gather as much information as possible about what your customers are saying about your product or service. Combining all the data gives you a comprehensive idea of public perception.

Step 2: Act

Once you have collected feedback, the next step is to take action. It’s where you identify the most common and most important issues of your customers.

After you identify the issue, you put your best foot towards resolving them and communicating the progress to the customers. It is best to keep the customer updated with the progress, whether positive or negative. The longer you take to respond, the colder they become.

An efficient VoC program ensures that you listen to your customers regularly and adapt your offerings as per the feedback.

Step 3: Analyze

The third and final step is to analyze the success of the program. Look for patterns and trends, repeat the practices that are working well, and work on the ones that need improvement.

A deep analysis leads you to well-informed decisions. You get to improve your products and services and meet the customers’ needs better.

5 steps to setting up your voice of customer program.

A sign that says, "We hear you."

Getting started with a VoC program is not as difficult as you may think. Here are some easy steps to take:

1. Set goals for your VoC program. 

To get your Voice of Customer program up and functioning, the first step is to set clear, realistic goals and expectations. Narrowing them down helps you focus on the business-critical areas. A strategy is just words without metrics.

Clear goals ensure that the program aligns with your overall business objectives. It ensures you drive your VoC strategy in the right direction.

Now, here are examples of the clear-sighted goals you should set:

  • Improve customer service/experience
  • Increase conversion of free users
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Reduce the cost of conversion
  • Reduce customer churn

The options are varied, so start small and start with a few. Just make sure to quantify your goals and adjust as you go.

2. Pick the right tools. 

After setting your goals, you need the right tools for your voice of customer program to get going.

An ideal feedback tool helps you collect data relevant to your goals, from the channels you wish to use. It does so, not once, but regularly, repeatedly, and reliably. An ideal tool makes it easy for customers to send you feedback.

Such tools should also integrate with other platforms you use. They ensure that the insights are available to everyone on the team, and not just the admin(s).

So, in short, a suitable Voice of Customer tool is easy to set up, easy to organize, and easy to access. It also grabs new customer feedback automatically.

Here are a few tools you can choose from:

  • GapScout: GapScout scans and scouts reviews to find out what customers want.
  • Feedier: Feedier manages all direct and indirect feedback in one central place.
  • CustomerGauge: CustomerGauge captures and distributes feedback in real-time.
  • SentiSum: SentiSum is for support and product teams to access customer sentiments.
  • AskNicely: AskNicely is for service businesses to measure customer experiences.

3. Gather Voice of Customer data. 

Once your goals and tools are in place, you are set to gather the data. It is time to decide the channels for collecting customer feedback and putting things in motion.

Choosing suitable channels is the key to gaining relevant insights.

You will also need to focus on individual metrics from your teams to focus on. After all, not everyone needs every insight generated.

For example, the marketing team mostly be interested in understanding the brand sentiment. On the other hand, sales would like to gauge customer value and deal size. The product team would be curious about feature requests, and the service team; about customer satisfaction.

Your VoC strategy is in motion when you start gathering customer feedback. While you are at it, also compile and categorize existing siloed feedback for analysis. They might have plenty of hidden intellects.

4. Analyze your VoC data. 

The next step is the analysis of the Voice of the Customer data. It is the moment the team prepare for, with days and nights of meeting, brainstorming, and collecting data.

VoC data analysis provides insights into the needs, wants, and experiences of the customers. It identifies areas where you are excelling or falling short. It also helps in benchmarking your performance against competitors or the industry overall.

While the method of VoC analysis can vary depending on your goals, here are a few common methods:

  • Natural Language Processing
  • Data visualization
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Statistical analysis
  • Text analysis

Pick a proper method of analysis and use the insights to get into your customers’ minds.

5. Monitor results continuously. 

The final step is actively using the insights to modify your plans. You might not get everything right the first time. You might not see the cracks in the strategy unless it is out there rolling for a while. So, monitor your results continuously.

If one plan does not fit the bill, try something different. And keep trying until you get the desired results.

Look for patterns and trends to make well-informed decisions. It is best to discuss the next course of action with your teams.

Also Read: 4 Steps to Build a Voice Of Customer Strategy

Voice of the customer examples.

You can capture VoC insights through different support channels. They come in various forms, like online ratings and reviews, call recordings, and qualitative feedback. Interactions on social media and website heatmap data also represent the VoC.

1. Product ratings and reviews. 

Gumroad users can collect ratings and review on the product download page. The link is sent to the customer’s email, where the creator can ask for a review.

Swiggy, a restaurant aggregator, has a similar page for restaurant ratings and reviews. Upon delivering the order, it asks what you loved about the restaurant as well as about the dishes you ordered.

2. Chat feedback. 

Swapstack, an online marketplace for newsletter advertisers, uses Intercom’s bot to collect feedback about chat support.

3. Google My Business reviews. 

Google My Business (or GMB) reviews are a treasure chest of VoC data for small businesses. It is public, and you can anytime analyze your and your competitors’ reviews to uncover hidden jewels spilled by customers.

Listening to the voice of customers proactively helps you form lasting customer relationships. It pays off in the long run and allows you to differentiate from your competitors. 

Start your voice of customer program with GapScout.

Implementing a VoC strategy may sound scary, unsettling, and like a Herculean task. But it gets easier with the right tools like GapScout. 

GapScout helps you collect and analyze the online voice of your customer to reveal what your customer wants, automatically. 

With us by your side, you can listen, act and analyze in real time. This way you can  make confident, customer-focused decisions and gain a competitive edge. So, why not start now?

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Anmol Sachdeva
Anmol Sachdeva
Anmol is an independent content marketing consultant who loves to write actionable pieces on small business growth, marketing automation, market research, and growth as a solopreneur. Reach out on Twitter.

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