Every so often, different advocates across organizations ignore the Voice of the Customer. This may be due to changes in business priorities, redistribution of resources, focus on new trends, or that they clear a profit regardless. This brings the value of the customer's voice into question: should we still allocate time and effort towards listening to customers when following new trends is the norm?
The short answer is a resounding yes.
But before we can explore the details of why Voice of the Customer is relevant, let’s go over some of the basics.
Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a term that refers to the collection and analysis of customer feedback. It gives businesses an idea of how customers feel about their product or service through the feedback they provide.
Customer feedback is generally collected across touch points where the customers are able to communicate with a business, for example, email, interviews, social media, etc. In analytics, this can be collated through features like Net Promoter Score (NPS), surveys, and ratings or inferred through A/B testing and usability tracking.
Overall, in terms of its relevance, research confirms that VoC continues to be a priority for businesses and a welcomed value-add for customers due to three aspects:
In CMSWire's 2023 State of Digital Customer Experience Report, 79% of businesses polled indicated that digital customer experience is extremely or very important. The responses remained consistent with the previous year, with respondents prioritizing customer experience to “grow revenue and/or customer base” (58%), “to improve customer success / retention metrics” (54%), and “to delight customers / strengthen brand value” (50%).
VoC provides an advantage to businesses that extends beyond just developing a product. It can help growth and branding, proving its value across business objectives. With 2023 continuing to experience tougher markets and smaller budgets, customer retention and growth can still be achieved through VoC strategies.
In Experian’s 2022 Global Data Management Research Report, 52% of organizations surveyed say that customer experience continues to be their top priority since 2020. 88% say that being data driven helps them stay on top of customer needs and market trends.
2020 saw a lot of businesses having to rethink their approach to business strategy. VoC programs can help businesses leverage customer data so that they can improve their service offering and take calculated risks when it comes to trends, increasing their chances for success.
It’s not just businesses that want better customer experience. More than one-fourth of respondents in a PwC survey stopped using or buying from a business due to bad experiences — with products or services and/or customer service. 82% would share some type of personal data for a better customer experience.
Not only is VoC incredibly valuable from a business perspective, but it’s something that customers actively want. For many, it’s a deciding factor in whether they use, or remain loyal to a business.
VoC provides essential strategic value as it connects products to the people who use them, with actionable insights that can help businesses optimize their offering and grow. As such, it requires some guidelines to fully maximize its value. This is where the VoC program or framework comes into play.
Implementing the framework requires four steps:
VoC is recognized by businesses as a way of meeting their objectives in a difficult market, which is definitely an advantage as we continue into 2023. Having a VoC framework allows the product analytics process to meet business objectives, creating a better product experience for customers while also meeting customer demand. With all of this in mind, customer experience and VoC is as relevant as ever.