Harnessing VoC Surveys for Product Growth
Harnessing VoC Surveys for Product Growth
Voice of the Customer (VoC) has never been more important in today's competitive marketplace. 73% of consumers pinpoint customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions. And, according to the Temkin Group, companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience.
These stats essentially reflect a key fact for product teams - the customer is king in 2023. And, to keep the customer happy, you need to know what they're thinking, how they feel about your product, and how your brand makes them feel. Enter customer feedback and the voice of the customer survey.
What is a Voice of the Customer Survey?
A VoC survey is a tool that businesses use to gather feedback directly from their customers. Through these customer surveys, you can illuminate the thoughts, feelings, and preferences of customers.
By capitalizing on VoC insights, businesses can tailor their offerings to meet and exceed customer expectations, increasing customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.
The Evolution of VoC Surveys
Customer feedback has come a long way since the humble feedback box or paper customer satisfaction surveys.
Now, businesses can query existing customers with customer survey questions at various stages of the customer journey. That's thanks to the digital revolution and the power of sophisticated online platforms enabling access to an increasingly diverse audience.
Businesses can gather both positive and negative feedback from online reviews, gather customer feedback through a voice-of-customer program, and, of course, request customers to complete voice-of-the-customer surveys to collect valuable insights. There are now several sources available to businesses to help them assess how customers feel.
Why Are VoC Surveys Essential for Contemporary Businesses?
We live in an era driven by consumer preference. If you can't keep your loyal customers happy, a competitor is lurking, ready to coax them away. In this environment, a customer satisfaction survey has become a guiding compass for businesses.
Through intelligent VoC survey questions, you can capture customer feedback that holds immense value to your business. Utilize the feedback to enhance the customer experience you provide, tweak your product, and shape your overarching business strategies going forward to keep customers happy.
And why is it important to improve customer satisfaction? The proof is in the bottom line: Customer-centric brands report profits that are 60 percent higher than those that fail to focus on customer experience.
Key Components of Effective Customer Surveys
Not all VoC surveys are created equal. The key to a fantastic voice of customer survey that reaps rewards for your business is to leverage the technology available to you. You also need to perfect the art of your questions to gather relevant pain points and customer insights.
Effective VoC surveys have:
- Clearly defined objectives.
- Relevant and unbiased questions.
- User-friendly design.
- Appropriate distribution channels for diverse feedback.
To craft an engaging survey:
- Keep it concise and culturally sensitive.
- Use a blend of questions to receive both quantitative and qualitative feedback.
- Regularly test and refine the survey.
- Ensure data privacy and participant anonymity.
You want your customers to actually answer the questions with a little thought. So, make it easy and not too strenuous for them to do so. Take inspiration and empathize with your audience - how do you feel when you are asked to complete VoC surveys? Nobody wants to hit obstacles during these things, so try to make it as streamlined and accessible as possible.
From your side, each customer satisfaction survey question should be meaningful to your product team. You want to gather valuable insights and actionable feedback. Otherwise, what's the point? Don't go asking what a customer's favorite color is if you're not going to use the information.
Craft your customer surveys with this advice in mind, and you'll be gathering customer feedback that can help you effectively build brand loyalty.
Common Pitfalls and How to Sidestep Them
You don't want overly complicated, tedious surveys that present leading questions. Not only will this be a negative brand experience for the customer to have to complete, but it will also result in potentially compromised data. Remember, the whole purpose of the exercise is for you to gather feedback. You're then planning to adjust your brand experience based on the feedback to align it with customer expectations.
In this way, you'll want to avoid anything that prevents a useful collection of data, such as:
- Long, time-consuming surveys (10 mins max)
- Clunky software
- Confusing layout
- Only one channel (solely email surveys, for example). Also, complement your surveys with focus groups, customer interviews, social media monitoring, etc.
- Ambiguous questions - customers won't know how to answer, and you'll find it challenging to interpret the data.
- Quantitative-heavy surveys - numbers offer great insights, but they often need complementary quantitative data to provide context and supporting information. If you want genuine insights into how customers feel, offer opportunities for them to express this in their own words.
Tools and Technologies Powering VoC Surveys
As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of sophisticated platforms out there that can help you conduct and analyze VoC surveys.
When you've gathered all your data, and it's time for you to extract those all-important customer insights, how do you efficiently sift through and organize the information?
We want to specifically highlight the interpretative power of Enterpret.
Enterpret leverages the state-of-the-art AI models to dissect and interpret complex feedback. Let's take a look at how Enterpret can help you with your surveys.
- Unified Repository of Customer Feedback: Enterpret combines customer feedback from various sources (support channels, surveys, reviews, social media platforms, etc.), providing you with a comprehensive view of the voice of customer.
- AI-driven Feedback Categorization: Enterpret uses AI to automatically categorize your feedback into digestible themes.
- Visualization and Trend Identification: Enterpret offers sophisticated visualization tools that allow users to easily identify trends in customer feedback. This is super handy for spotting key positive feedback themes (or negative!)
- Responsive and Supportive Team: The team at Enterpret is constantly improving the platform and is always there to help you team better evaluate customer responses.
How to Action VoC Insights for Business Growth
How can your feedback surveys and other VoC sources lead to business growth? How can you actually utilize the voice of the customer to encourage customer retention and meet customer expectations? When Enterpret or other technologies supply you with insights, what are you supposed to actually do with them?
Here are five suggested use cases for your VoC insights:
1. Create personalized marketing campaigns
Tools like Enterpret divide customers into groups depending on their preferences, behaviors, and demographics. You can create personalized marketing campaigns directed at these specific groups.
2. Optimise the customer experience
Your VoC survey should tell you about consumer pain points. You can even find the customer effort score at each and every touchpoint of your business. Whether it is a poor product, tedious navigation issues, or poor customer service teams, set about fixing these to provide an experience that meets customers' expectations.
3. Get Proactive
Use your VoC data to identify customers who may be at risk of choosing a competitor over your business. Create retention strategies to try and avoid this type of customer churn.
4. Competitive analysis
Through your VoC surveys, you can gather information about your customers' feelings in relation to competitors. Why do your satisfied customers choose you over others? Where does your experience fall short relative to the industry? This can help you build a picture of your place in the market.
5. Brand monitoring
Monitoring your brand reputation is vital in a fast-moving digital environment. Effective analysis of your VoC AI-powered customer feedback tools lets you address issues and act fast.
Here are two instances of major brands utilizing the power of VoC surveys.
Heineken operates both in the B2C and B2B sectors, utilizing a distribution framework that primarily targets bars and restaurants as well as supermarkets. To remain the choice of consumers across these channels, Heineken emphasizes Account Experience, where they consistently gather and respond to feedback from their key B2B partnerships.
Here's a quote from their Global Director, Roderick Rosenbaum: "If a bunch of customers say your invoices are unclear [...] we send them a message and say, 'we heard your feedback and here's the new invoices, tell us what you think.'"
This is part of their method of deliberately trying to find out what their B2B customers specifically didn't like about their products through surveys. They sucked up the criticism and adapted their products accordingly.
Just Eat has a similar approach with their B2B restaurant partners, setting up a whole account experience team. Part of their role would involve sending simple, short surveys to restaurant partners.
In fact, part of Just Eat's role is to actually encourage restauranteurs themselves to carry out surveys with the end customer (you guys getting a takeaway). This way, right through the interaction, there is the opportunity for the customer to get their voice heard.
The Future of VoC Surveys
Your business success depends on keeping your customers happy. In an evermore competitive environment, businesses that can adapt quickly to changing customer preferences are most likely to retain customers.
Therefore, VoC surveys are integral to consistently understanding your target audience. With the elevated importance of customer feedback and customer satisfaction, it's also vital that you are able to steal a march on competitors in your analysis of consumer sentiment. Those who don't leverage the latest AI-powered technologies risk falling behind with opportunities missed.