When we use the term Voice of the Customer (VoC), most people will automatically think of Net Promoter Score (NPS) or some form of customer satisfaction measurement tool.
VoC actually refers to the way a brand captures customer feedback, and how they analyse and interpret these customer insights to improve the overall customer experience (CX).
Not all brands are effective in using VoC. When capturing customer feedback, more often than not, a brand’s core objective is actually to learn how great the customer thinks they are! You will be familiar with the questions; would you recommend us? would you visit us again?
These questions may help the brand boost their NPS score, but the responses are based only on customer intent. The power of VoC goes much deeper than this.
What do customers want?
Brands love referring to themselves as ‘customer-centric’ or ‘customer-obsessed’, but what does this actually mean? We think it means having the ability to ‘understand the customer’. But if some brands are too focused on trying to improve their NPS, then surely they can’t truly understand their customers, can they?
Customer demands and expectations are continuously evolving. Brands have a real challenge in keeping up with the customer. What was important to them last month, may not matter today. Don’t assume you understand all of your customers. If you did, you would have 100% retention rates.
Not understanding your customer prevents you from knowing what the customer wants to do next, which makes personalised targeting extremely difficult.
Add this to today’s competitive landscape – it’s a scary place to be.
Benefits of Voice of the Customer
Rather than asking your customers on their likely future intentions – if they ‘would’ do something. Use this opportunity to 1. Ask them about their experience and pain points, 2. Ask them about their needs and wants.
In doing so, you will realise many benefits, such as:
– The ability to resolve customer issues and ‘fix things’ in real-time. In doing so, the customer will feel valued, appreciated and likely portray your brand in a better light than they did before something went wrong.
– The opportunity to capture additional information on the customer. This will help to strengthen your customer relationships as the more information you have, the better you will understand the customer.
– Ability to use this understanding to tailor future messaging, be more relevant and continue the conversation
– Invaluable customer insight to help drive decision making. By understanding customer pain points, wants and needs, your brand can make strategic customer growth decisions and investments.
– Learn how the customer perceives and values your brand.
– Generate context for future customer experience strategy and design initiatives.
Using Voice of the Customer to understand your customers
For our Customologists, the ability to understand your customers is the strongest advantage a brand can have. Customers are demanding personalised experiences – this is nothing new, however, we’re now using the term ‘hyper-personalised’. This demonstrates just how fast personalisation demands are evolving.
Consumers who believe personalised experiences are very appealing are
10x more likely to be a brand’s most valuable customer –
those expected to make more than 15 transactions in one year¹
Think of the strongest personal relationships you have, I bet you have used phrases such as ‘I know you better than you know yourself’ or ‘you’re like an open book’.
Imagine having that level of understanding for your customers, an understanding that enables you to anticipate their future needs, before they have even realised what they need themselves. Think of the impact on customer advocacy and loyalty (not to mention your bottom line).
VoC provides the opportunity for you to better understand your customers. Use VoC to ask your customers what’s important to them, what interests them, what frustrates them and what their preferences are. This information can be fed into both your customer experience and marketing strategies.
To win the hearts and minds of your customers, you need to succeed in delivering (hyper) personalised, targeted communications and experiences. This can only be achieved if you genuinely know your customers, and which stage of the customer lifecycle they are at.
If you’re going to invest in Voice of the Customer, you need to think much broader than customer satisfaction measurement or ‘close the loop feedback’. Rather, think about the invaluable customer data it enables you to capture. How it can help you strengthen the relationships you have with your customers. How it can help you continue the conversation.
You’re probably already spending a large portion of your budget on marketing automation platforms. Data captured from the VoC can add great value to the strategic input these platforms crave. Feed them the right data, and they will send the right message, to the right person, at the right time.