The Voice of the Customer (VoC) has never been more powerful. We’re living in the age of social proof, where consumers look to existing customers for feedback and reviews before making a purchase. At a time when customer service is more transparent and more public than ever, it’s imperative for businesses to gather and process all this information to get a deep understanding of the needs and values of their customers.
However, collecting and accurately analysing so much data across disperse channels is an insurmountable challenge for many analysts, draining them of time and resources.
Advanced AI technology is helping companies to consolidate information silos and quickly and accurately process thousands of comments and reviews within a matter of minutes, freeing up time for analysts to distil advanced Voice of Customer insights.
Find out what Voice of Customer is, examples of where to source customer feedback data, and cutting-edge ways of collecting, consolidating and analysing feedback for advanced and accurate insights.
What is Voice of Customer?
Quite simply, the Voice of Customer, also referred to as Voice of the Customer or VoC, is the process of gathering customer feedback about their experiences, needs and preferences regarding a brand and its products and services.
The aim is to understand what customers want and expect from you and to what extent your offerings meet their desires and expectations.
Voice of Customer can be conducted on your existing customer base, or on potential customers from, for example, competitor brands.
Voice of Customer Examples
Here are some examples of sources of customer feedback you can use to inform your VoC insights:
Customer surveys enable you to directly ask your customers specific questions about their experience with your product, service or brand.
Use open-ended questions to get more detailed insights and to allow your customers to freely express their experiences. The resulting qualitative data is rich in useful and actionable information, but is also notoriously more challenging to analyse than closed-ended questions (for example, yes/no or multiple-choice questions). We’ll get onto why that isn’t an issue with the right text analysis technology later.
Customer feedback interviews require more time and resources than surveys, but the advantage of interviews is that you can allow your customers to direct the conversation and openly share their experiences without being led by a series of (potentially biased) questions.
A skilled interviewer can extract useful responses from customers and, if necessary, go off-script to gain original insights.
- Review sites
Review sites are rich in highly useful qualitative data directly from customers. Unlike the two methods above, reviews are generated organically and are not subject to many of the biases present in interviews and surveys.
- Social media
Social media is another major source of organically generated data, rich in insights.
Depending on the size of your business, social media can produce thousands of ready-to-analyse data points without having to spend time and resources sending out surveys or conducting interviews.
- Customer service emails and chat logs
Customer service emails and chat logs are other examples of pre-existing customer feedback. Your customer service agents are also useful (albeit indirect) sources of information. Ask them about the most commonly occurring, or most insightful customer conversations. Customer-facing representatives have direct, day-to-day contact and experience with VoC.
- Direct observations
So far we’ve looked at methods of sourcing explicit customer feedback, but direct observation can sometimes enable you to implicitly intuit your customers’ needs.
For example, when Hewlett Packard wanted to develop technologies for use in the operating theatre, they observed surgeons using their equipment. They noticed that as surgeons were using a camera and screen to see what they were doing inside the body, there were several moments when their view was obstructed by assistants and nurses moving around the room. This observation led Hewlett-Packard to develop a lightweight helmet that suspends a screen in front of the surgeon’s eyes.
The Challenge of Customer Experience Data
When it comes to organically generated customer feedback (e.g. through social media, review sites, CRM data, chat logs, etc) the greatest challenge for big brands is the sheer quantity of information created daily.
Analysts must find a way to quickly parse useful data (much of which is in unstructured text form) before it becomes irrelevant.
Surveys and interviews are often designed with the aim of making them easier to analyse. This means including closed-ended questions that are easy to quantify. But this type of data is very limiting.
Furthermore, surveys and interviews are subject to other biases such as leading, loaded or assumptive questions. In this sense data that is organically generated is more likely to accurately reflect consumer sentiment.
Consolidation and correlation
As you can see from the examples above, there are multiple sources of customer feedback. One of the challenges is finding a way to consolidate all the data from information silos and analyse and correlate it in order to obtain consistent insights.
Up to 80% of an analyst’s time (PDF) is spent gathering, cleaning and organising data, time that could be better spent gaining insights and developing actionable steps for improvement.
Get High Quality, Fast and Accurate Insights With Symanto
Symanto is a world leader in natural language processing (NLP) technology. We develop industry-leading models to derive deep insights from unstructured written data wherever it occurs.
Our technology can collect and analyse thousands of data points across disperse channels within minutes. It can be as simple as entering the domain of a review site or social media channel you’d like to analyse.
With our advanced NLP capabilities, you can accurately detect topics and assign sentiment within written text including comments, reviews, open-ended survey responses, chat logs, customer service emails, and more. Consolidate your information silos and get consistent Voice of Customer insights.