Customer Satisfaction and Voice of the Customer: Is There a Difference?


Share on LinkedIn

customer satisfaction feedback form Customer Satisfaction and Voice of the Customer: Is There a Difference?At a CCNG meeting last week, there was quite a discussion about the difference between customer satisfaction (CSAT) and voice of the customer (VOC), with a number people surmising that they’re interchangeable terms. Are they?

CSAT measures how satisfied a customer is with your product or service . . . after they’ve had the experience of using the product or after they’ve contacted your company for service. CSAT typically measures whether or not the customer’s expectations were met or exceeded. Smart companies—those that want to be market leaders—then use that information to make improvements in their product or in the service they provide customers.

VOC, on the other hand, is a market research technique pioneered by Abbie Griffin and John R. Hauser to provide insight into a customer’s needs, desires, perceptions, and preferences. For example, many Six Sigma companies conduct formal VOC studies to gather insights from customers before they develop a new product, service, or process. The information gathered is used to inform the design thereby closing the gap between customer expectations and the offering of the company.

So, back to the CCNG discussion. Is there a difference between customer satisfaction and voice of the customer? Technically. And it’s important to know the distinction when you’re speaking with others to be sure there’s no misunderstanding. However, the real learning in this comparison is how you can use these two concepts to create more loyal customers. First, use the VOC concept to gather input when developing products and services. Send a CSAT survey to customers after they’ve used the product or after they’ve interacted with your company’s service or support department and determine whether or not you’ve met their expectations. If so, fantastic! If not, then it’s back to the VOC concept. Gather more information from customers to guide you as you redesign the product, service, or process, order to improve the probability that you’ll exceed customers’ expectations. When you do, those customers will not only stay and buy more, but tell their friends and colleagues.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peggy Carlaw
Peggy Carlaw is the founder of Impact Learning Systems. Impact helps companies develop and implement customer service strategies to improve the customer experience. Their consulting services and training programs help organizations create a customer-focused culture while producing measurable business results. Peggy is also the author of three books published by McGraw-Hill including Managing and Motivating Contact Center Employees.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here