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How to use voice of customer data to improve your customer relationships

A happy customer is a repeat customer. To truly understand where you’re succeeding in customer satisfaction, you need a voice of the customer (VoC) program in place. Having an active and planned VoC program keeps your business informed on customer satisfaction and can help improve your products or services overall.

So what is VoC and how does it help you improve your customer relationships?

What is voice of the customer & why is it important?

Voice of the customer is a market research term for the process of collecting, analyzing and implementing customer feedback data. A company will use a VoC program to understand their customers better.

Through collection methods like surveys and reviews, the data will then be analyzed and distributed to relevant departments. If you’ve shopped online in the last few years, you’ve very likely encountered a brand’s VoC program in action.

This feedback loop benefits multiple departments and can lead to innovations like new products and customer experience changes. For example, a product development department for a shoe manufacturer might want to know which color the next shoe would be.

Through a VoC program, data can be collected from customers on shoe color preferences, which would then help the department make a decision.

What are the 3 main stages of a successful VoC program?

A successful VoC program begins with the right questions. These questions will change depending on any department’s needs and will affect how you collect the customer data.

Questions can be as broad or detailed as:

  • Why is the steak dish in this restaurant location so unpopular as compared to another location?

  • How consistent is our customer service quality?

  • What is the most in-demand feature for our app?

Once you have questions established, it’s time to move on to the first stage: collection.

VoC stage 1: Collection

There are many ways to collect customer feedback, which we’ll outline in more detail later on. Some collection methods, like Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews, constantly collect feedback without your direction. Others, like surveys and customer interviews, require a more active approach. In any case, you should explore any and all collection methods that are available to you.

Customers aren’t on every platform. Limiting yourself to only the ones you’re familiar with will only keep you going back to the same customers while ignoring those that speak out on other platforms.

After a customer purchases online and the product is delivered, RoomMates sends an automated email to ask them to review the product. This is a common collection method for online retailers.

VoC stage 2: Analysis

In the analysis stage, you sort through the collected data to find the metrics that help you answer your questions. The analysis is then presented to the relevant departments to help them move onto the next stage.

Let’s take a look at one of the example questions: “Why is the steak dish in this restaurant location so unpopular as compared to another location?” The collection stage uses social listening, review sites and on-site survey cards. In the analysis stage, we’ll look at commonalities within the collected data. After looking through the data, you might conclude that the recipe is off or that the dish isn’t being advertised enough so customers don’t know about it.

VoC stage 3: Implementation

You’ve got the data and the analysis, now what? It’s time to make some decisions about what changes, if any, need to be implemented. Customer behavior analyses get added to social media personas, product feedback reviews become incorporated into new products and customer service quality checks smooth out friction in the service process.


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