Voice of the customer

What is Voice of the Customer(VoC)?

Voice of the Customer (VoC) is the process of capturing customer's expectations, preferences, and aversions. Specifically, the Voice of the Customer is a market research technique that produces a detailed set of customer wants and needs, organized into a hierarchical structure, and then prioritized in terms of relative importance and satisfaction with current alternatives.

Voice of the Customer studies typically consists of both qualitative and quantitative research steps. They are generally conducted at the start of any new product to better understand the customer's wants and needs and as the key input for new product definition, Quality Function Deployment (QFD), and the setting of detailed design specifications.

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Why is Voice of the Customer important?

Voice of the Customer (VoC) is crucial for the following reasons:

  • Customer Insights: VoC provides direct feedback on customers' needs, preferences, and pain points, allowing companies to tailor their offerings more effectively.

  • Product Development: Insights from customers guide product enhancements, ensuring that new features align with actual user needs.

  • Improved Customer Experience: By understanding and acting on customer feedback, companies can enhance the overall customer journey, leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Operational Efficiency: VoC can highlight inefficiencies or pain points in operational processes that, when addressed, can lead to cost savings and streamlined operations.

  • Competitive Advantage: Companies that effectively listen to and act on VoC can differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

  • Risk Mitigation: VoC can alert businesses to potential issues or challenges before they escalate, allowing for proactive solutions.

  • Increase in Revenue: Satisfied customers are more likely to make repeat purchases, refer others, and increase their spending.

  • Strategic Alignment: VoC ensures that company strategies align with market needs and expectations.

  • Builds Trust: Demonstrating that a company values and acts on customer feedback fosters trust and strengthens the customer-brand relationship.

  • Employee Engagement: When employees see that the organization values customer feedback and acts on it, they are more likely to engage and support those efforts.

What are Voice of the Customer metrics?

Voice of the Customer (VoC) metrics provide quantitative measures of customer feedback, satisfaction, and loyalty. Common metrics include:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Measures customer loyalty by asking how likely they are to recommend a product or service.

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): Assesses short-term customer satisfaction by asking about recent interactions or transactions.

  • Customer Effort Score (CES): Evaluates how easy it is for customers to get their issues resolved or obtain desired outcomes.

  • Churn Rate: Calculates the percentage of customers who stopped using a product or service over a specific period.

  • Customer Retention Rate: Measures the percentage of customers retained over a given period.

  • First Contact Resolution (FCR): Assesses the efficiency of customer service by tracking how often issues are resolved on the first contact.

  • Average Handling Time (AHT): Captures the average time taken to resolve customer issues or inquiries.

  • Feedback Volume: Counts the number of feedback submissions received over a specific period.

  • Sentiment Analysis: Uses tools to analyze customer feedback for positive, negative, or neutral sentiments.

What are the advantages of a Voice of the Customer program?

A Voice of the Customer (VoC) program helps companies understand customer needs, preferences, and pain points. Advantages include:

  • Identifies Customer Needs: Reveals what customers want or require from products or services.
  • Improves Customer Satisfaction: Enhances experiences by aligning products or services with customer expectations.
  • Increases Customer Loyalty: Builds trust and encourages repeat business.
  • Guides Product Development: Informs design and feature improvements.
  • Enhances Marketing Strategies: Aligns marketing with actual customer desires.
  • Reduces Churn: Helps identify and rectify issues leading to customer loss.
  • Increases Revenue: Identifies cross-sell and up-sell opportunities by understanding customer behavior.
  • Supports Compliance: Ensures alignment with regulatory requirements by considering customer feedback.
  • Enables Competitive Advantage: Provides insights that set apart from competitors.
  • Facilitates Continuous Improvement: Fosters ongoing refinement and innovation within the company.

How to build a Voice of the Customer program?

Building a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program involves structured steps:

  • Set Clear Objectives: Determine the goals of the VoC program.

  • Select the Right Tools: Use surveys, feedback forms, analytics software, and CRM platforms to gather data.

  • Identify Data Sources: Collect data from customer support interactions, social media, purchase histories, reviews, and more.

  • Design Surveys: Create concise, relevant questions. Avoid leading or biased questions.

  • Collect Feedback: Engage customers across multiple touchpoints such as post-purchase, after customer support interactions, or through regular check-ins.

  • Analyze Feedback: Interpret user feedback to identify patterns, pain points, and areas for improvement.

  • Share Insights: Distribute findings across relevant departments.

  • Implement Changes: Use insights to inform business decisions, product development, and service improvements.

  • Monitor and Iterate: Continuously track progress and adjust the program based on outcomes.

  • Close the Loop: Inform customers about the changes made from their feedback to build trust and foster engagement.

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