Methods to capture Voice of Customer feedback
15th Jul, 2022
The difference between successful and non-successful businesses is that the former understand their customer.
Gartner's research recently discovered that collecting customer feedback can increase upselling and cross-selling success rates by 15% to 20%. The same report found that customer feedback can also help decrease the cost of retaining those buyers – as companies that actively engage in a voice of customer programs, spend 25% less on customer retention than those that don’t.
The first step of implementing an effective Voice of customer (VoC) program is to collect customer feedback which is as simple as asking your customers questions to uncover their expectations. There are many different methods to collect customer feedback. To help you get started, here are a few of the most common ways to collect customer feedback.
Customer interviews are one of the traditional techniques to collect the Voice of customer data. It is commonly used to understand particular customer point-of-view regarding product or service issues, attributes, and performance measures.
Usually executed in person, on the phone, or through email, however, in all cases, interviewers have the opportunity to dig into the customer’s responses and pull out additional insights that other Voice of customer methods may miss While Speaking with customers can be intimidating, difficult, time-consuming, and certainly, the cost of in-person interviews is the highest among all forms of interview, it is still considered to be the most useful form for building trusting customer relationships.
Customer surveys offer the most flexible and scalable way to gather structured customer feedback. Once the questionnaire is built, you can use it to survey as many customers as you can get to fill it out
Depending on the business goal they can be implemented at any stage of the customer journey and can include three questions posed immediately after signup or can be in-depth, 100-point questionnaires sent to the most engaged customers via email. Besides, surveys can be launched
- When people are browsing the brand website, businesses can ask them quick questions in context with the page they’re on.
- When interacting with customers in real-time, via phone surveys, for instance.
- At the end of the live chat
However, it is really important that before you start writing questions in your survey, think about the end goal and what you are trying to achieve with the survey results.
Social media is a great resource for collecting VOC data online. Connecting over social media often allows for a more informal, two-way, and real-time conversation versus email or phone calls. They also open up the opportunity for social listening.
While customers’ interactions with the brand on social media are a valuable source of Voice of customer data, customer posts describing positive interactions or sharing complaints with businesses also provide a great insight into their expectations, and how you’re currently delivering on those. By monitoring how customers talk about business and the product when they aren’t speaking directly to businesses, you can get a more honest, unfiltered view of their feedback.
Also, Social listening is more than Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter. Other sources of feedback are online forums, blog comments, product review sites and any place customers can express themselves online.
While a good way to gather feedback, look for trends, and create stories, it may be more challenging to turn this into hard data.
Recorded Call Data
Recorded calls with the customers whether they’re sales calls, demos, customer support calls, or something else entirely, are a gold mine for Voice of the Customer data and can give a broad overview of how they perceive a brand, what sort of objections do they have, and what else do they expect from the brand.
Reviewing these conversations offers both macro and micro information and helps to identify broader trends across customer complaints, objections, and successes.
Though this technique requires a lot of time, it is always advisable to do this now and then. What it'll also do is help with training the customer support team with better objection handling and enhancing customer service.
Online Customer Reviews
Monitoring a brand’s reputation on the web is vital to winning new customers — and it’s also a good option for Voice of the Customer research. Depending on the venue, online customer reviews can include everything from a basic 5-star rating to rating breakouts for individual aspects of a product and company to lengthy open-ended reviews.
Reviews are one of the most effective ways to tap into both positive and negative feedback. Plus, reviews on third-party websites are the most direct way to find unsolicited customer opinions.
Focus groups involve gathering a small group of people with a moderator where they are asked to share their perceptions, beliefs, and opinions about a product or service. The group participants are free to openly talk with one another.
This data collection method is used to gain insights into customers' prioritization of needs, or to test concepts and get feedback. Focus groups are sometimes used in addition to interviews and surveys as the last step to further investigate and understand the Voice of the Customer for each of the company's touchpoints.
Dedicated Feedback Form
Regardless of whether you’re actively seeking Voice of the Customer feedback or not, it’s a good idea to have a form available where customers can share their feedback at any given time. This is separate from the Customer Support operation, and it can be an invaluable way to keep a pulse on how customers feel about the brand and product.
Often hosted right on the website, a feedback form allows customers to share their thoughts whenever they arise. That’s useful because it provides unsolicited feedback which means each customer who submits a form was inspired to do it, whether by a positive or negative experience.
Talk to customer-facing employees
With all the emphasis on going out and soliciting customer feedback, it's easy to forget that the employees within an organization are already well-versed in the Voice of the Customer. Team members who talk with customers regularly are often the best window into the customer's mind.
That includes, most notably, the Support team, who spend the majority of their time with customers. When problems arise (like a software glitch or a product deficiency), the support team will often be the first to know and the first to identify widespread problems from isolated issues.
The majority of these methods will help the business to derive qualitative information from their customers. However, you need to ask thought-provoking questions that motivate participants to provide insightful answers. For some companies that may be easy, others not so much. Keep in mind that it's not the customer's responsibility to provide you with any feedback, let alone productive feedback.