Voice of the Customer or VoC programs consolidate customer feedback into a formal, integrated and actionable insights generation engine. In recent years, VoC programs have emerged as an important CX priority, primary due to their outsized impact on revenue generation and customer engagement.
According to Gartner, collecting customer feedback can increase your upselling/cross-selling success rates by up to 20%. You would also spend 25% less on customer retention than your non-customer feedback collecting counterparts. A different study also correlates VoC programs with greater retention, employee engagement, and customer service costs.
To unlock these benefits, you need to understand what is VoC and how to kickstart a VoC program at your organisation.
What is the Voice of the Customer or VoC?
Voice of the Customer can be defined as the cumulative feedback you receive from customers at the different junctures of their journey, across various channels and modes of interaction, in order to capture their expectations, needs, aspirations, demographic context, and subjective opinion with maximum accuracy. By implementing a VoC program you can spot dominant trends across your intended customer base and bring about product/service improvements that are perfectly attuned for ROI.
Essentially, VoC helps to substantiate the findings of one-off feedback exercises and isolate recommendations so you can act on them (and invest in business decisions) with confidence.
For example, a customer of a mobile app might recommend a feature that seems viable to the product team. A VoC program would validate the recommendation through further feedback surveys, telling you whether you should or should not actually invest in this development.
What are the Channels for Conducting a VoC Program?
Feedback collection and VoC must be spread across your customers preferred digital and analogue channels to obtain comprehensive results. This includes:
- SMS questionnaires
- Mobile app surveys
- On-site customer surveys
- Social media
- Live telephonic surveys
- Focus groups
- Email questionnaires
- Physical feedback forms
Essentially, any location where you would interact with a customer – whether that is a kiosk at a trade show or a social media page where customers post their experiences every day – is a good place to start a VoC program.
What is the Objective of a VoC Program?
The core purpose of collecting customer feedback and conducting a VoC program is to ensure alignment between your product/service and the customer’s needs/expectations/desires so that there is a maximum chance of adoption. Typically, VoC programs are carried out when an organisation wants to introduce a new product, improve their services, reduce inefficiencies – or wants to bring about any major change to the product/service portfolio.
Apart from this, Voice of the Customer can help you keep an eye on the market sentiment so that you can anticipate any shift in demand dynamics, and prepare accordingly.
Steps in Executing a VoC Program
A VoC program will comprise the following five steps:
- Set KPIs and program objectives in line with your business goals
- Create the program architecture, using the right questions, technologies, and stakeholder involvement
- Collect feedback across channels and ensure agent availability to look after queries
- Analyse the results to discover insights
- Act on the insights to grow or pivot your business