VoC is another elusive acronym that is an important part of the customer centric approach to marketing. It is a vital part to consider when building your marketing strategy. In this article, guest writer Haley Jensen uncovers this topic, giving you a good beginning to understanding what the voice of the customer is and how it is used.
In this article she covers:
What is VoC?
Google tells me that the Voice of the Customer (VoC) is “the in-depth process of capturing customer’s expectations, preferences, and aversions”. The methodology is rooted in market research. The goals of the program are to produce a detailed set of customer wants and needs. Those datasets are then organized, ingested, augmented, and mechanisms are set up to track trends.
How companies use VoC
Generally, VoC studies are mixed-methods (i.e. quantitative and qualitative) and use varied research mediums to gather the information — from focus groups, 1–1 interviews, surveys, contextual inquiry, ethnographic techniques etc.
Most commonly, I’ve seen VoC programs tracked to NPS (Net Promoter Score) and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) metrics. While I’m by no means an expert, it seems like the other customer research methodologies sit more under the user research umbrella and that VoC is more tied to market research and benchmarking teams.
Ideally, the VoC program serves as the core mechanism to track the heartbeat of the product or service. By listening to customers, the company is able to contribute to long term fluidity and improve the intuitiveness of customer experiences with their product or service. As opposed to a long-term longitudinal user research project, VoC programs allow for rapid and immediate feedback.
How a company uses this data is more important.
Sometimes it feels like apps and websites collect your feedback because they think that’s what they should be doing. However, if the company has no plan to use or integrate your feedback in a thoughtful way, they shouldn’t be wasting your time by collecting it. Plain and simple.
Not using this data is like leaving money on the table. Metrics provided by VoC programs provide real time insights from customers. If leveraged, this data can influence, course-correct, and improve the customer experience. Which, will make customers happy and return to your product.
Customer trust is hard to earn and easy to loose.
I’ll end with this. Irregardless of the methodology for collecting customer feedback on your product, it’s important that you are listening to them. It’s even more important that you’re taking their feedback and doing something with it. A customer will only keep using your product so many times before frustrating experiences deter them from coming back. If you’re not listening to them, you can sure as heck bet your competitors are.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation.
Market Research: An organized effort to gather information about target markets and customers.
Net Promoter Score (NPS): A market research metric that typically takes the form of a single survey question asking respondents to rate the likelihood that they would recommend a company, product, or a service to a friend or colleague.
User Research (UXR): Focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies.
Voice of the Customer (VoC): The in-depth process of capturing customer’s expectations, preferences and aversions.