Voice of the Customer (VoC)

Voice of the Customer (VoC) refers to the feedback received directly from customers. This can come from a variety of sources, including call centers, in-store conversations, social media, focus groups, or ethnographic research. In gathering this data, organizations can take a more proactive approach to shape products and services by listening empathetically to customers’ needs and wants, then acting on those insights.

This approach allows companies to shift away from reacting to sales decline or customer churn and proactively develop a growth path aligned with customer expectations.

What is Voice of the Customer (VoC)?

VoC is the data that stems from the customer sentiment around your brand. This data goes way beyond an NPS score or simple one-to-five rating. It’s an omnichannel approach to gathering qualitative and quantitative data for your buyer.

Today’s customers hold immense power to shape the reputation of a brand. In monitoring what’s said across review sites, in comments, and more, brands can shape the 360-degree view of their customer’s most critical wants and needs. This data allows brands to uncover the “why” behind the data received, bringing clarity to the problems and opportunities facing a business.

Omnichannel Customer Feedback

Customers aren’t shy about sharing their experiences with a brand. The challenge organizations face is that sharing negative experiences primarily happens externally on review sites or public forums. The positive experiences are typically only shared in a smaller setting, such as with friends or family. Having a variety of ways to tap into what’s being said by your customer is crucial.

By understanding what’s being said across all platforms, you can gather critical data points around the way a customer feels about your brand. Combining the multiple sources of feedback allows you to develop a VoC strategy that’ll pinpoint the pains and motivations of your customers and why they engage or disengage with the products and services you offer. When applying this data to a framework, you have a powerful guide to the growth initiatives for an organization.

Applying VoC Data to a Framework

It’s a huge task to gather, mine, model and visualize the data you gather from VoC data. One of the best and most powerful ways to start is by using an empathy map paired with a data-driven radar graph to understand how all the various data sources come together.

The challenge with this approach is that empathy data is typically qualitative in nature. By quantifying that data, your teams are able to get a better understanding of what your customers are thinking, feeling, saying, and doing, as well as their motivations, struggles and desired solutions.

VoC Data Collection Methodologies

Social Sentiment Analysis

Social sentiment analysis, or social listening, includes tracking down public references to the brand online. Looking at social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and others, or digging through the treasure trove of reviews allows you to better understand your customer’s brand sentiments in their own voice.

1:1 Interviews

Structured interviews are one way to get statistically accurate data around specific questions your customers are asking about your brand. When done correctly, you can remove outside factors, honing in on the specific patterns and experiential expectations.

Text-Based Surveys

Customer surveys open a tremendous opportunity for brands to gather more data and detailed feedback around their experiences. In order to be effective, these surveys must go well beyond simple quantitative metrics. Instead, they must open the door to customer responses via text inputs, allowing them to share their wants, desires, and expectations in their own words.

Employee Feedback

One of the most overlooked methods for gathering VoC data is employee feedback. By talking to your front-line employees, such as those in call centers or behind the sales counter, you can better understand what the customer is saying to your team about your brand. These conversations offer a wealth of insight into what customers are frustrated with and what they want to see from the business.

Customer Experience (CX) Terms