What is the Voice of the Customer? And how can it save your SMB?Small Business Management
It’s rightly said that your customers know the secrets to your success – all you need to do is simply “ask them”. This is the principle on which Voice of the Customer is based.
Voice of the Customer (VoC) is essentially a customer research mechanism deployed by organizations to ascertain whether they are able to meet customers’ expectations. It’s a proactive approach to capturing customer feedback with innovative methods such as direct discussions, interviews, surveys, focus groups, customer specifications, observations, warranty data, field reports, and complaint logs to name a few.
While KPIs such as revenue and traffic offer valuable insight into your operational health, Voice of the Customer provides an insight into the customer’s mind.
The information received through Voice of the Customer (VoC) is used to build products and services that meet the evolving needs of the customers.
Why Voice of the Customer is Important for Your Business
There has never been a better way to improve yourself than keenly listening to your customers. Voice of the Customer allows your customers to speak their mind which helps you develop key insight into their needs. It ultimately helps you build products and improve your services in ways that not only lives up to your customers’ expectations but surpasses them as well.
Let’s take a look at some of the potential benefits of Voice of the Customer.
Retain Existing Customers: Just because a customer is buying from you doesn’t mean that they are loyal to you. Even repeat business from a customer may not indicate loyalty. It could also mean the absence of compelling alternative options from the customer’s point of view. For many consumers, loyalty is not just a matter of pricing or quality of the products alone; in fact, it may go beyond the perception of the business.
This is where Voice of the Customer mechanism comes into the picture. By creating ample opportunities for your customers to express themselves, you gain a competitive advantage and bridge the critical gap between your product and your customer.
Minimize Negative Feedback: With an overwhelming presence of online review sites and social media sites, your dissatisfied customers have a plenty of options to voice their concerns with the world. With words flying far and wide in no time, this could potentially hurt your brand and your reputation. However, by allowing your customers to share their negative feedback in private, you not only save your brand from being tarnished, but also improve your offerings to turn your skeptics into brand advocates.
Get a Full Picture of Customer: What separates Voice of the Customer from conventional customer surveys is that it captures customer feedback at multiple touch points, meaning you can get a complete picture of the customer’s emotional profile. In other words, you can find out the areas of your business that need improvement in order to live up to your customer’s expectations.
How to Deploy a Voice of the Customer Program for Your Business
With the growing use of social media platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter, engaging with customers for feedback has never been easier. However, if you truly allow them to connect with you when it matters the most to them, you could consider offering the following touch points.
Pop-up Feedback Survey: Pop-up Feedback Surveys allow your aggrieved customers to chime in and share their concerns with you right away. It helps you address the issues in a timely manner as well as implement their feedback to improve the experience of other customers.
Feedback Forms in Emails: When you send emails to customers, be sure to add a link to a feedback survey at the footer. Alternatively, you could use your CRM system to automatically trigger feedback requests. This helps your customers share their feedback immediately.
Net Promoter Scores: Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple yet powerful approach to tracking brand loyalty. By offering customers an 11-point scale (0 being unlikely and 10 being very likely), you immediately capture customer’s loyalty at the very moment of a transaction. A positive or negative NPS will give you necessary insight to improve various aspects of your product, operations and customer services.
Pro Tip: How to Use Google Forms to Create Customer Feedback Survey
Regardless of the touchpoints, listening to your customer’s voice with rapt attention can help you build better products, offer better services and ward off potential damage to your brand arising out of negative word-of-mouth.
Have you ever used Voice of the Customer program to capture your customer’s’ feedback? Please, let us know in the comments below.