Customer expectations of brands are higher than ever. In the age of disruptive technological advancements (known as the fourth industrial revolution), products and services that are innovative today become outdated tomorrow. In this scenario, the experience provided by a company is one of its key differentiators.
According to one survey, 76 percent of consumers said they expect their needs and expectations to be understood by companies. But customer experience is evolving as well, to the extent that brands cannot rely only on customer interactions, marketing, ecommerce and more to acquire and retain customers, but they must demonstrate they have their customers’ interests in mind.
Considering these facets, the onus is on brands to keep a close watch on the customer journey and identify ways to refine their product and service offerings.
Voice of Customer (VOC) helps understand the pain points of their customers and provides the foundation for improving products and services, which can lead to happy, loyal customers, and increased business revenue.
Also read: Voice Of Customer Analysis For The World`s Largest Sports Goods Retailer.
What is voice of customer?
It is the process of collecting and analyzing feedback data (comprising of emails, service interactions, chatbots, social media, et cetera) from customers to understand the potential areas of improvement for services and products and, importantly, improve customer experience.
Capturing customer feedback has been fundamental to improving and growing a business but VOC focuses on gathering individual data over cumulative data, thus ensuring the feedback is incorporated to improve products and services.
Text analytics tools have the capability to analyze large volumes of customer feedback data in real-time and provide actionable insights.
A well-executed VOC initiative will ensure all departments of the company work in harness to resolve an issue. This approach helps improve the overall customer experience, solve the challenge that come along the way and drive business growth.
What can voice of customer do for your brand?
Without a solid VOC strategy aka churn prevention strategy, brands run the risk of missing out on valuable opportunities to reduce dissatisfied customers and leverage happy customers, who stay loyal and become brand ambassadors.
That said, VOC is not just about surveying existing customers and hoping for a positive response. Brands must be willing to understand feedback from each customer, analyze their main concerns, and resolve and respond back to them.
Advantages of voice of customer
Listening to customers and working to enhance their experience can benefit a company in multiple ways.
Enhance customer experience
It is important for brands to be holistic about their VOC program whereby they are engaged with customers at every stage of their journey (from awareness to decision) to understand key issues and highlight the positive aspects of the brand and its solutions.
This will help identify areas that need to be improved, which is the first step in taking the necessary action to resolve the problem and also show the customers they are being listened to.
The global pandemic, too, has played its part in shifting the mindset of buyers, who are now more online than ever and therefore expect quick, easy online experiences. One report states that 65 percent of customers prefer buying from brands which offer fast and easy online transactions.
Performing voice of customer analysis will also help improve processes such as onboarding and delivery and provide a unified omnichannel customer support.
Churn rate reduction
Identifying the areas of concern in the customer journey helps brands understand why customers may be leaving — known as customer churn.
Targeted customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys at the time of opting out can, for example, indicate the reasons for customer churn. Voluntary feedback from churned customers on social media channels can also be helpful information for spontaneous feedback is usually the most honest.
As per a 2020 survey of product managers, 52 percent of respondents said their products and features were mainly inspired by customer feedback.
Because customers pay to acquire and use products and services, they understand the usability and the value better than most. Thus feedback from customers not only helps with adding new product features and enhanced service offerings, it also keeps customers happy.
Enhanced customer experience, reduced churn rate and improved product and service help boost business revenue.
Happy, satisfied customers are likely to not only repeat purchase, but they are also potential ambassadors, who will recommend other potential buyers to their preferred brand.
Voice of customer analysis also drives data-driven decisions, less overall spending and, ultimately, more revenue.
Steps in voice of customer
A typical VOC program involves three main steps: feedback data capture, data analysis and implementation.
Feedback data collection: Brands are already probably collecting large volumes of customer feedback data from customer relationship management (CRM) systems, service feedback tools, emails and more. In addition, building a customer support ticket management system helps funnel all customer support to one destination, simplify processes, facilitate data collection and more.
For data collection, web scraping tools can also be helpful in extracting comments from social media websites, which even provide APIs to directly connect to their data, online reviews and so on.
Data analysis: As mentioned above, text analytics tools such as teX.ai help analyze customer feedback data and generate actionable insights.
Sentiment analysis solutions can be implemented on the voice of customer data to identify public opinion about a brand (whether it’s positive, negative or neutral). Text analytics solutions also help generate text summaries, which help uncover emerging trends and topics.
Among the key advantages of using such software is they help perform real-time analysis, can be trained to cater to specific needs of a brand, analyze multilingual data and provide high accuracy.
It might be interesting to read on the importance or why sentiment analysis plays key role in strategy formulation.
Implementation: After the voice of customer data is analyzed, it can be brought to life with easy-to-understand visualizations, which help identify the problem areas or even the individual aspects of the data. Data visualizations make it easier to follow VOC through the entire customer journey and to know, almost instantly, where changes may need to be implemented.
Achieving customer success is the main goal of voice of customer programs, proactively understanding customer challenges or questions and quickly and promptly providing solutions and answers. Customer feedback generated from VOC initiatives helps work towards customer success and ultimately provide customers with a seamless, satisfactory experience from start to finish.