How to Capture Voice of Customer

What is Voice of Customer?

Simply stated Voice of Customer (or VoC as it is often abbreviated) is capturing authentic feedback in the customer’s own voice.  Good VoC should be “listening posts” that are unobtrusive, confidential, and consistent.  Most important they should make customers feel you really care and that their opinions are helpful (meaning they help drive decisions).

Levels and Types of VoC

VoC can take many forms. Ideally your company should have a strategic approach to using client data in driving decisions throughout the organization. The most important consideration is to upfront determine what feedback is being requested and how you will respond to this feedback.

  • Tactical Feedback provides details on the experience the customer is having in the moment. The purpose of feedback at this level is to improve client satisfaction and retention. While your Customer Service team should respond and handle any customer complaints, it is also important to have a system to log and aggregate this feedback for use in decisions at the next two higher levels.
  • Service Direction is focused feedback on new products and services. The use of exit surveys can also assist in prioritizing product enhancements.
  • Voice of Customer is perhaps most critical in helping guide the company’s strategic direction.

The following chart illustrates several types and uses of VoC.

Types of VOCObjectiveBest PracticesWhat you should use it for
Social Media inquiries To get quick feedback on messagingUse only if you have a significant social media presence that represents your targetCustomer Service; Client voice/language in the creation of marketing materials or survey questions
Post-service or post-event surveysFast feedback right after a service, meeting, event, etc.Executed within 0-3 days from the interaction while still fresh in the customer’s mind; quick to complete (1-10 fast questions or ratings)Feedback for future events, feedback to service providers
Website pop-upsGet quick reactions to web pages, after service or checkoutOne quick question, non-obtrusiveHelps in testing new web pages and check out flows
Online QuizzesInteractive contentQuick, fun, instant feedbackHelps screen prospect and move thru buy cycle
Annual Client SurveyTo get overall feedback from customers that you regularly work with. To test customer service, product quality. To get ideas on future product offerings.Anonymous with enough demographics data to see if responses differ by group. Use same base questions YoY to see movements. Can be longer with open ended questions 7-8 min in total. Report back to clients how data is being used to improve your value.Important changes to services after first year benchmark. Ideas for new products.
Exit SurveysTo understand key issues in customer leaving your business/serviceBest to be done by third party for candorValuable feedback on client service, perceptions and expectations
Product TestingTest prototypes with target clientsCan be done online or in personCan help change direction or validate MVP
Client Advisory BoardGroup of key clients 8-12Needs to be planned and regularRegular feedback with strategic direction
Focus GroupsTo get honest feedback from clients/non-clients where they can build on each otherBest done by third party with facility, facilitator and ability to get at target groupTo test value propositions; understand brand perceptions and awareness vs competition
In depth Customer interviewsOpen ended dialogue to get customer perceptions of company or serviceShould be done by third party for maximum candorTest market segment needs and language; in depth service perceptions
Infographics, Data ReportsData collected and displayed on current topicsTied to top of mind or current eventsAttracting press attention; establishing thought leadership