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Voice of customer is a modern world term defined as the process of understanding customer expectations, preferences, and aversions. Learn importance of VoC.
In a subscription based business model, customers play an important role in achieving your business success. Your business is not siloed anymore and you need to integrate the opinions of all the stakeholders that participate in running your business. You are a part of a bigger ecosystem and your services and products must incorporate all the aspects of it. To understand this more thoroughly you have to consider what is Voice of Customer (VoC).
Not only SaaS but every business is driven by their customers. Using many metrics like monthly or annual revenue or churn rate tell only a part of your business story. To understand the deeper nuances of your business, you need to consider your customer’s perspectives too.
Voice of Customer aims exactly at that. It is a term businesses use to gather the customer’s opinions, feedback and comments on the services and products they offer. It is a technique of collecting your customer’s feedback and bundling them to form a collective perceived opinion of your brand from your customer’s viewpoint. Through this, brands can find the gap between what their customers are expecting and what they are receiving in return. Then companies take specific measures to fill those gaps to provide better services to their clients.
Until there is a feedback loop on what you offer to the market, there is no way you can optimize your product to its best level. To run a successful business, you need a loyal customer base who are committed to using your product for long-term. Hence, you need to know their perception of your product.
For a holistic understanding of the perceived value of your product, you have to understand what they like as well as dislike in your product. Based on their likings, you would want to know why they do so for it would help you in expanding that experience for them. And what they don’t like would tell you how you can improve upon your product.
While positive feedback is important to keep you motivated towards your job, negative feedback is even more important. Through constructive criticism, you can understand the pain points of your customers with your product. Acting on them and resolving those issues would help you give them better experience with your brand.
While making strategic decisions for your business, considering the customer’s feedback gives you more input to examine your decisions. This way you can make more informed decisions and would be prepared for your customer’s reactions from them.
When your CSM is more in touch with your customers, they can share the Voice of customer with other teams like marketing and sales, product management and customer support teams. By going through the comments and feedback from the customers, they can adjust their strategic decisions to improve customer retention. It also helps them provide more customized and contextual service to the customers.
There are various methodologies you can deploy to gain the customer feedback. They all must be aimed at getting the most detailed and honest comments from the customer. While one works better than another in your specific business environment, it is recommended to use all these voice of customer examples to get the maximum out of this practice.
These interviews are held in person and are among the most effective forms of gaining the VoC. You can go into utmost details of understanding the nuances of customer experience through these interviews. But since there is a limit to what you can achieve through manual interviews, it is wise to conduct this practice only with your most valuable customers.
Voice of the customer survey is another useful methodology to receive customer feedback. You can use one of three most commonly used surveys to gain their direct feedback. These are Customer Satisfaction Survey, Customer Experience Survey and Net Promoter Score. Choosing a right platform like SurveyMonkey is paramount in conducting these surveys and it can be scaled to reach a vast audience.
Social media is one of the most powerful voice of customer tools that you can use to receive customer feedback on your products. Through social media customers are more open and honest in sharing their views about your product. This is also helpful in engaging many other customers into your discussions and gives you a lot of insight about your service.
For more options on VoC methodologies, you must read this article: Top 10 Ways To Get Actionable Feedback From Your Customers
While there are multiple templates you can design to suit your business niche, there are few common ones that we would like to list here for you to get started. These are the generic questions that you can ask your customers and you can add more specific questions to this list that are contextual to your business needs.
VoC should be a continuous process that you must conduct at every milestone of your customer journey. Your customers evolve with your business and have the capability of giving you the outsider’s perspective of your brand. Hence, it is important to keep up with their change in perspectives and act upon them regularly for the continued success.
Different channels have different capabilities for you to gain customer feedback. You must make use of all the possible channels for a holistic and detailed interaction with your customers. These channels may include:
You must collaborate with other departments like customer success, marketing, product management and customer support to gain their feedback. This doesn’t end there. There should be specific action steps which each of these departments must take to respond to those feedback.17
Using the right tools would allow you to glean useful insights from the customers feedback. These tools would help you collate the customer data and make proper analysis of them for further use. It is best that you outsource all the complexity of analyzing and collating the customer data to one of the tools and use your valuable time on building strategies from the insights you gain from them.
Shoeb lives and breathes Customer Success and SaaS. He has a passion to research on the latest innovations happening in SaaS and Customer Success. Shoeb hails from a Software Architecture background where he worked for many years with Indian Tech Giants like Wipro and ITC building software solutions for their MNC clients in the UK and Denmark.
Published July 28, 2020, Updated August 19, 2022
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