How To Craft a Powerful Voice of the Customer Strategy

January 18, 2024
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Gathering customer data is only one part of a Voice of the Customer program. It’s all very well having a mass of information, but it’s what you do with it that counts. It’s not enough to simply collect customer feedback, you need to analyze, understand and react to it.

That’s where a Voice of the Customer strategy comes in. The VoC strategy is your plan of action; your route to better products and initiatives that are in tune with your customers; as well as creating a loyal, satisfied customer base.

Here’s how and why to craft a powerful Voice of the Customer Strategy.

What is a Voice of the Customer Strategy?

If you want to understand why customers do certain things or act in a particular way, you need to understand them. Paying close attention to what your customers are saying is your key to business success.

That is at the heart of a Voice of the Customer strategy. A VoC strategy involves gathering and acting on customer feedback. It arms you with the information to understand what your customers want, what's important to them and any frustrations they experience with your business.

This VoC data is powerful information for team members across your business.

Product development - discover how to enhance current or create new products that your customers really want or need.

Marketing - refine your brand messaging and tailor campaigns to target existing and new customers.

Digital - improve the user experience, SEO and content on your website and apps.

Customer support - enhance your customer service and understand customer needs better.

These business functions, and others, can use VoC data to enhance all stages of the customer's journey and address any pain points. Successfully implementing a Voice of the Customer program will bring you closer to your customers, but will also encourage better collaboration between internal teams too.

But how do you develop a VoC strategy? It’s a five-step process:

  1. Outline an objective or question to be answered by the VoC program. Eg. why has customer churn increased this month or what’s customer sentiment towards our new product?
  2. Choose a Voice of the Customer tool to gather the most appropriate customer data
  3. Start the VoC data collection
  4. Analyze the customer insights and data, sharing the information with your team members.
  5. Act upon the findings and make the appropriate changes.

Unlock the benefits of a Voice of the Customer Strategy

Become a customer-centric business. Putting your customer first and listening to their feedback is a proven tactic for business success.

Gain understanding of customer behavior. You know your product or service inside out, but you’re not your customer. Their customer expectations may not align with your own. A VoC program will put you in your customer’s shoes and help you to see it from their perspective.

Strengthen customer relationships. When customers see you responding to their feedback and creating products and experiences that work for them, you’ll boost customer loyalty and customer retention.

Encourage continuous improvement. With regular customer insights highlighting issues, you can make tweaks and refinements to your products and services ongoing.

Stay ahead of your competitors. Voice of the Customer data reveals market trends or shifts that affect your business. By keeping your finger on that pulse, you can pivot or make proactive decisions quickly to ensure you remain ahead of the competition.

Understand your customer better. Gaining more empathy for your customer means you’ll deliver a better customer experience. Plus, you’ll make customer-centric decisions to improve your business.

Improve internal team collaboration. Your VoC strategy will set specific business goals for your teams to work towards. This can be motivating and encourages team members to work together.

Develop better products or services. By listening to your customer, you’ll understand what they like and dislike. That’s powerful information to help you create exactly what they want or need.

Implement an effective customer feedback plan

Secure team buy-in for your strategy

VoC data insights shouldn’t be the preserve of a few key stakeholders. The information is super helpful for all aspects of the business, and should be used to inform their decision-making. The integration of VoC data into their daily work is transformative for you business and leads you to customer success.

When every team is aware of your business goals and challenges, they can tackle them collaboratively. Ensuring they’re all enthused about the power of the Voice of the Customer program is integral to its success.

When all team members understand your customer preferences and pain points, they can work together with a customer-centric focus. The Sales team may adjust their messaging to show how they can solve customer problems. Developers may amend their workflows to address immediate user experience issues.

How To Collect Useful Customer Data

Voice of Customer programs can pull data from myriad sources. Choose the most appropriate methodologies to achieve your specific aims. It’s common practice to incorporate multiple sources, rather than relying solely on one.

Direct feedback sources include:

  • Customer surveys
  • Customer interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score(CES), Customer satisfaction (Csat) online surveys
  • Customer calls.

This is direct communication between your business and its customer base to glean useful responses. It’s a straight forward dialogue between you and them, asking specific questions. It’s important to ask the right interview or survey questions though, in order to get valuable insights that you can act upon. A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ isn’t as useful as a fuller explanation.  

Indirect feedback sources include:

  • Online reviews and ratings
  • Social media comments
  • Forum discussions.

This is unsolicited feedback. People are likely to speak differently about your brand when they’re not commenting on a brand platform.

Inferred feedback sources include:

  • Website data analytics
  • App usage and downloads
  • Social media metrics.

These metrics give details of customer behavior online, such as time spent on site, page views, referrals and search terms used. It shows what customers actually do, rather than what they say. There’s often disparity between the two.

Organising, analysing, and acting on feedback

Now you’ve gathered the customer data, you need to do something with it to make it useful. You could dedicate significant time and effort into manually looking through survey responses, social media comments, website data and more. You could input the data on a spreadsheet and create graphs and charts. Or you could automate this process by using an efficient, AI powered VoC tool.

VoC tools like Chattermill’s Customer Feedback Analytics platform analyze all your customer feedback data in one place and empower your teams with actionable insights. Customisable dashboards present the relevant, real time data to the appropriate team members. It allows the right people to keep their finger on the pulse of brand activity.

It’s important to look for trends in your data. You don’t need to change your product to reflect every piece of market research - that’s not viable or realistic. However, if you notice that several users with a high customer lifetime value (CLV) cite the same pain point, it’s worth looking for a remedy. If website metrics highlight a drop in visitors or conversions, it needs to be investigated. Perhaps a certain marketing persona isn’t engaging with a campaign. That reflects a need to tweak the messaging or channels being used. Maybe the pricing of a new product or service is the issue. Knowledge of the customer issues is power.

This analysis will result in a list of ideas, features and fixes to be worked on. Your organized data will inform the priorities. You can work on the ideas knowing your choices are driven by customer feedback. It’s useful to consider:

  • Impact: will this fix have a significant, positive impact on your customer base?
  • Confidence: how confident are you that this can be dealt with now?
  • Ease: is it a quick fix or does it require longer time from your team or external providers?

Prioritising and executing actionable steps

With access to data and feedback on touchpoints along the customer journey, you really get an understanding of the entire lifecycle of customer experience with your brand. But it’s always evolving, so you need a roadmap for continuous improvement.

Living up to the customer-centric value means follow-up communications once feedback has been given. You’ll nurture and strengthen your customer relationships if you acknowledge their feedback promptly, explain what you’ll do with it, and then keep them updated.

ManoMano case study

The ManoMano team wanted to adopt a more customer-centric approach to their business. They partnered with Chattermill to gain a single source of truth which would empower teams to make better decisions.  

ManoMano leveraged Chattermill's cutting-edge technology to analyse their customer feedback in near real-time and at a granular level. That insight helped ManoMano to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and identify the underlying root causes of their challenges. Plus, they were able to scale a customer-centric culture internally across the organisation.

Use customer feedback to drive business success

When you gather, analyse and act on customer feedback, you’re able to create products and services your customers actually want and love. That is a key factor in driving business success.

Knowing what data to gather, how to analyse it and what to do with that information is an integral part of your Voice of the Customer strategy. Empowering your teams with access to the customer insights will transform your business into a customer-centric company that makes data-driven decisions.

If you want to know how to empower your teams with real-time customer analytics, book a demo with Chattermill today

See Chattermill in action

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