The Voice of the Customer (VoC) is the collective opinion of your customers. It’s what they say about your product, your service, and how you interact with them.
Gartner defines the Voice of the Customer as a method to capture, store, and analyze direct, indirect, and inferred customer insight using social media monitoring, enterprise feedback management, speech analytics, text mining, and web analytics.
Brands can use several methods to collect and analyze VoC data. The most common methods include social media monitoring, enterprise feedback management, speech analytics, text mining, and web analytics.
Social media monitoring tracks online conversations about your brand (or keywords related to your brand) across social media platforms. This can be done manually or by using software that automates the process.
Enterprise feedback management (EFM) collects customer feedback from various sources, including surveys, emails, chats, phone calls, social media, and review sites. These systems typically have built-in analytics that helps you track customer feedback and see how it changes (or doesn’t) in response to new product releases, marketing campaigns, etc.
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Speech analytics is the process of extracting insights from spoken customer interactions. This can be done through manual transcription or speech-to-text technology. Speech analytics can provide insights into what customers are saying about your brand (both positive and negative), as well as help you identify areas for improvement in customer service processes.
Text mining is extracting information from text data sources, such as customer reviews, social media posts, call center chat transcripts, etc. Text mining can help you identify trends in customer sentiment, understand what customers are talking about most (positively or negatively), and find new opportunities for product innovation.
Web analytics measures and analyzes website traffic data to understand how people interact with your website. This can include measuring pageviews, time on site, bounce rate, conversion rate, etc. Web analytics can help you understand how customers navigate your website and where they’re dropping off or converting. This data can be used to improve your website design and content to better meet customer needs.
Why is this important?
The Voice of the Customer is important in helping brands understand their customers and go to market with more effective messaging and campaigns. This approach is fundamental to your customer experience strategy because you can’t make customer-centric decisions without it. Brands that don’t use customer insights usually find themselves missing the mark with their campaigns and customer experience.
Collecting VoC data helps brands understand how customers feel about your products, services, and experiences. The insights from this data can inform decisions related to product development, pricing strategies, marketing messaging, customer service processes, and more.
For example, you may collect customer feedback on topics such as the quality of product features, user-friendliness of the website or mobile app, ease of completing transactions online or in-store, satisfaction with customer support interactions, etc. Insights collected through surveys, and other means can help you identify areas for improvement and opportunities to create better messaging, marketing materials, and a more integrated customer experience that resonates with your audience.
In addition to providing feedback on existing products and services, consumers can also be an important source of innovative ideas. Brands can position themselves as market leaders by quickly focusing on customer needs and responding to feedback. For example, you may find in your customer data that they wish to have a new feature, app integration, or a different subscription pricing model. If it makes business sense, you may consider making those changes to accommodate their requests. This is innovation.
Also, engaging with customers directly on social media can provide valuable insights into what is working well and what opportunities there may be for improvement from both a customer experience and marketing perspective. By listening to what customers say, you can better understand their sentiments toward your brand in real-time, similar to an “always-on” focus group.
You can also analyze customer sentiment over time, look for patterns and trends, identify emerging themes, and uncover market white space. This data can then inform decisions about product development, messaging, campaigns, and long-term business strategy.
Ultimately, the Voice of the Customer should be at the core of any customer engagement strategy. By understanding what customers are saying about your brand—even if they’re not actively engaging with you directly—you’ll be able to create more effective campaigns that resonate with them.