The Power of Voice of the Customer Data

January 25, 2024
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Do you base your business decisions on gut instinct, assumptions or actual customer feedback and data? A real understanding of your customers is powerful knowledge that will inform your decision-making, putting your customers’ needs and preferences first. The data provided by Voice of the Customer programs and analysis will unlock customer insights and drive your business forward.

What is Voice of the Customer (VoC) data?

Voice of the customer (VoC) data is a collection of your customers’ feedback based on their experiences with your brand during the customer journey. That includes everything from social media comments and online reviews, to customer support chats and survey responses. This helps you to understand customer sentiment and their perception of your brand.

Why Voice of the Customer data matters

VoC data informs nearly every aspect of your business. It’s an effective customer research tool to help businesses boost revenue and customer retention, and highlight opportunities for improvement. Truly listening to, and understanding, your customers paves the way for customer success in your business.

What are the benefits of Voice of the Customer data analysis?

Gathering and analysing VoC data allows you to engage with customers at every touchpoint along their customer journey. In turn, you can improve their customer experience with your business. Some benefits of employing VoC tools include:

  • Discover and fix customer pain points early on
  • Test out new ideas, features and product developments to drive innovation
  • Tailor your products, services, and initiatives to meet your customers’ needs
  • Monitor conversations around your brand in real time
  • Increase customer retention and customer loyalty
  • Develop marketing campaigns to attract more qualified leads
  • Target new customers better
  • Reduce customer churn
  • Optimize the customer experience.

Types of Voice of the Customer data

VoC data is gathered from many sources. You can collect customer insights, data and feedback using multiple techniques. There’s no single right or wrong way and many businesses choose to use a mix of data collection tools.

There are three types of feedback - direct, indirect and inferred.

Direct feedback

This VoC data comes directly from your customers. The information can be in the form of social media comments, questionnaire or survey responses, customer interviews, customer calls or focus groups. These interactions with your customers can take place in person, online, via email or phone calls. Each of these scenarios may affect the customer feedback provided. It’s also worth remembering that the way your phrase your interview and survey questions will affect the answers given. Take time to find the right questions to pose.

Indirect feedback

VoC programs can also collect customer feedback from channels other than your own. This VoC data is indirect feedback (not direct between business and consumer). It would include customer reviews (or online reviews from people who aren’t your customers), social media comments on other social media platforms or forum discussions. Social listening tools can find this useful information on third party sites and include it in your VoC data for analysis.

Inferred feedback

This refers to all of the data gathered about a customer from the various touchpoints online. That would include their interactions with your website (time spent on site, page visits, conversions etc), your CRM (email open rates, survey responses) or app downloads and usage.

Using Voice of the Customer tools to combine direct, indirect and inferred voice of the customer data, means you collect robust market research, but it’s lower cost and far less time-consuming than traditional research methods.

Collecting, analysing, and applying Voice of the Customer data

All of the three ways to collect VoC data described above have merits. Your VoC strategy needs to define the best techniques for your business. This four step process has useful insights to help you collect, analyze and apply VoC data.

1. What’s your aim with the VoC program?

You can gather an overwhelming amount of data with a VoC program, so it’s important to be clear about what you want to achieve from it. Do you want to develop new products or services? Are you hoping to boost sales and revenue? Is it simply about understanding the motivations of your customer base better?

2. Choose the most appropriate VoC data sources

Once you know what you’re fishing for, you can choose the appropriate tool to tackle it.

Customer interviews

A direct conversation with your customer will get the most in-depth and personal responses, be that one-to-one or in small groups. These are really valuable insights into your target audience and help to strengthen customer relationships with your brand. The downside is that they’re time-consuming and costly.

Survey responses

Surveys are easily scalable and can be sent out to a niche or wide customer base. Once the survey template’s created, it’s easy to adapt and reuse. But survey responses can vary in quality and usefulness. They depend greatly on the messaging and questions asked. A mix of open ended questions and qualitative metrics like ratings, can garner valuable insights from voice of the customer surveys.

Social media platforms

Social listening tools will gather conversations and identify trends from across your competitive landscape. Social media VoC data is great for seeing customer sentiment towards your brand, understanding your customers’ needs and monitoring your competition. You get a real-time snapshot of customer’s experiences with your brand.

Online customer reviews

Ratings and reviews left on websites will reveal how well your product or service meets customer expectations. You’ll get very relevant feedback on customer satisfaction with various aspects of your business, not just the product itself - think delivery, pricing, customer experience and beyond. These insights can be actioned by team members across your business.

Website data

This inferred feedback can tell you about customer behavior on your site. These metrics highlight necessary improvements to the user journey, SEO or content. With data insights from your customers’ purchase history, you can target them with tailored ads, emails and relevant offers.

Customer service contact

Contact with your customer service call center can be a goldmine of customer insights. You’re getting direct feedback via calls and emails and this shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, it’s really good practice to follow up with these customers to show that you’ve listened to them and acted upon their comments.

3. Analyze the VoC data

There’s a wealth of data that can be collected via a VoC program. It can be categorized into two main types:

Quantitative data - these are the stats and metrics including Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSat), customer effort score (CES), website and social media data analytics. You have definite numbers to benchmark against and set targets for improvement.

Qualitative data - this is more about words and conversations, think sentiment analysis, social media comments and open text survey responses. In real time, you can keep abreast of the keywords and terms being written about your brand and/or industry.

4. Act upon the VoC data

All this information about your customers and potential customers is powerful for business owners and their team members. It’s important to create a culture of basing decision-making on VoC data. Putting the customer at the center of everything you do will inform everything from product development to marketing and customer service.

The future of customer-centric business with VOC data

In today’s competitive environment, it’s the customer-centric businesses that are thriving. Business leaders who implement a voice of the customer strategy to truly understand their customers see increased revenue and higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Using customer analytics to inform decision-making results in developing products and services that meet customer needs and expectations, seamless customer journeys and an exemplary customer experience with your brand.

Voice of the Customer tools keep your finger of the pulse of brand sentiment and conversations that are happening in real time. Agile companies use that data to adapt and flex according to customer needs and feedback.

To sell amazing experiences, we need to stay closer to our guests, and that’s why everything we do is based on customer feedback,” Customer Insights Manager, LimeHome.

LimeHome, the leading technology-based provider and operator of serviced apartments in Europe, used Chattermill’s powerful VoC programs to channel the voice of the customer into every department. Discover the incredible results - an 81% increase in bookings.

Boost business growth with Voice of the Customer data

Your customer is the key to business success, so it’s vital to listen to them. A Voice of the Customer program facilitates that and makes it easier for businesses to understand their customers. With VoC data, you have the knowledge to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, and to invest in the areas that will make a real difference to your business.

Book a demo to see how a Voice of the Customer program can transform your business.

Discover how Chattermill can analyze customer feedback at scale.

See Chattermill in action

Understand the voice of your customers in realtime with Customer Feedback Analytics from Chattermill.