No one becomes an industry leader without listening to the customer. Superior products and low prices are simply not enough to grow and maintain market share these days. Instead, customer-perceived quality is the main ingredient for a successful business. Enter VOC.
What is VOC? Let’s start with a definition, first, so we’re all on the same page.
Voice of Customer (VOC) programs aim to gather and analyze customer insights, which ultimately enable you to improve customer experience (CX) and deliver positive business outcomes. When implemented correctly, VOC programs can:
- Identify and rank customers’ needs and wants
- Streamline processes
- Maximize profits
- Improve cross-sell and upselling metrics
- Gain and retain customers
To truly capture the voice of the customer, the most effective technique is listening to the customer. Although surveys may seem like the most apparent way to do this, in reality they are too one-dimensional. Surveys provide close-ended responses, and thus are limited in the scope of information they can provide. On the other hand, feedback from internal sales teams and customer-facing teams can be biased. Furthermore, tools like analytics and website heat mapping only show how customers behave.
Enter qualitative research.
To obtain unbiased, unfiltered, and holistic feedback on a customer’s journey you must incorporate Qualitative Research into your VOC process. This will not only help you obtain insights on what customers prefer, but will also allow you to understand why customers behave the way they do and what they would change about your product or service.
VOC programs can range from omni-channel contact center programs to training the sales teams to capitalize on upselling and cross-selling opportunities. Similarly, methods to gather customer feedback are equally varied in nature.
Qualitative Research is a form of market research that relies on two-way dialogue and person-to-person insight. From interviews, to hosting focus groups, to interactive customer journey mapping exercises, these research techniques enable the use of targeted questions creating a space for constructive feedback. VOC Qualitative Research is conducted both internally with sales, customer experience, marketing, and product teams, and externally with customers. Building a VOC program is challenging, and requires buy-in from cross-functional teams. But this combination of insights gives a clear idea of actions needed to be taken to maximize success, based on real behavior and needs.
When qualitative market research methodologies are implemented correctly into your VOC process, you will see significant rise in Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT), Customer Loyalty (measured through Net® Promoter Scores), and an increase in sales, referrals and retention.
If you wish to be an industry leader, you must have a successful Voice of Customer program. And to have a successful Voice Of Customer program in place, you must not forget Qualitative Market Research. It’s time your customers’ voices were heard.