Do you hear that? It’s the sound of thousands of people crying out, sharing their product needs, purchasing preferences, and experience issues. This is what businesses refer to as the voice of the customer (VoC). Wait, you don’t hear it? Damn, I must be losing it.
Hallucinations aside, the voice of the customer is a valuable asset. It’s a rich source of insights that can tell you what your customers need from your company, where you’re falling short, and how you can make them happy. Teams across your organization, from customer experience, to marketing, to sales, to the C-suite can use these insights to improve their strategies.
But it can be challenging to collect voice of the customer data. To do so effectively and at scale, you need the right technology and strategies in place. And, once you’ve captured VoC data, you need to ensure your organization is aligned on how you should act on it.
Keep reading to learn how to overcome the biggest roadblocks stopping you from tapping into the voice of the customer. Meanwhile, I’ll go get these voices in my head checked out.
Simply put, the voice of the customer (VoC) is what customers are saying about your business. You can capture VoC insights through any of the channels your customers use to engage with you, including: emails, chatbot conversations, social media posts, phone conversations, online reviews, satisfaction surveys, and more.
The goal of collecting voice of the customer data is to learn your customers’ expectations regarding your business’s products and services. With this information, you can cater to their needs, improve your advertising creative, enhance your sales scripts, and make it easier for them to buy from you.
Despite the importance of understanding the voice of the customer, many companies aren’t tapping into it. It turns out, getting VoC data isn’t as easy as cupping your ear. Below are the common pitfalls that make it difficult to capture voice of the customer data — and some tips to overcome them.
You want to make it easy for customers to engage with your business on their terms. Therefore, you’ve likely given them a variety of channels they can use to contact you, like emails, chatbots, social media, and phone calls. Each of these interactions contains rich insights you can use to learn more about your customers and the needs they have.
But when you’re trying to put rubber to road and implement a voice of the customer strategy, looking at all of these channels can be overwhelming. It’s hard to know which will give you the best insights, and trying to piece everything together can feel like information overload. To overcome this, start by prioritizing insights from one of your channels and build your strategy from there.
Any of your channels can give you helpful information about your customers, but phone calls are often your richest source of VoC insights. According to our research, 68% of consumers called a business at some point during their buying journey in 2022. People are especially likely to call organizations in these industries: automotive, financial services, healthcare, home services, insurance, telecommunications, and travel.
Not only are phone calls a critical touchpoint in the purchasing journey, but they also contain information you can’t get anywhere else. On the phone, your consumers are telling you what they need from you, how you can make them happy, where your experience is falling short, what’s making them upset, and much more. These are dynamic, free-flowing conversations that contain more insights than you could capture from a social media post, email, or online form.
Right now, you might be asking, “That’s great and all, but how can I actually capture this data?” The answer is simple: you can use conversation intelligence. Solutions like Invoca make it it easy to get insights from phone calls at scale (more on this next.)
Once you’ve determined the channels you want to mine for voice of the customer insights, it can feel intimidating to get started. One of the most common issues is that you don’t have the right technology in place to collect all the data you need. The good news is that there are a lot of tools available to help you understand VoC.
Below is a breakdown of the technology solutions you can use to capture VoC insights from each of the channels customers use to engage with you.
You can use social media monitoring software to capture voice of the customer insights from your social accounts. These tools flag all of your mentions, track your share of voice, perform sentiment analysis, and identify trends.
Want to learn more? Check out this list of the top social media monitoring tools.
If you want to retrieve VoC data from text such as emails or website form submissions, you can use text analytics. This solution can quickly summarize and identify trends from unstructured text, such as emails, website forms, support tickets, and more.
Interested in reading more? Here’s a list of the top text analysis and mining tools.
Customers will often leave an online review for you after they’ve interacted with your brand. Some customers will gush about your service, but most are there to vent. In fact, customers who have a bad experience are twice to three times more likely to write a review than customers who had a great experience. If you want to aggregate your reviews from across the internet and identify trends, you can use reputation management software.
Want to learn more? Check out this list of the top reputation management tools.
Sometimes, you want to get specific VoC insights from your customers — whether it’s their opinion about a new product line, recent promotion, or store experience at a particular location. To get this highly specific information, you may need to ask your customers for feedback directly via a survey. Online survey software tools allow you to customize your own survey questions and get detailed analytics on the answers.
Do you need to survey your customers? Check out this list of the top survey tools.
Phone calls are an extremely rich source of voice of the customer insights. Often, they’re underutilized, as business don’t realize just how easy it is to mine them for insights. Spoiler alert: you don’t have to listen to all of your calls. Conversation intelligence solutions like Invoca automatically record, transcribe, and analyze every phone conversation, so you can learn exactly what your customers are saying when they call you. You can then use AI to identify key moments in the conversations or run a keyword search of the transcripts. You can also set up “signals” that enable you to trigger actions like agent follow-up, ad retargeting, email campaigns, and more so you can stay engaged with your customers.
Watch the short video below to see how Invoca works:
So, you’ve identified your most important channels and started collecting voice of the customer insights, that’s all well and good. There’s just one problem: you’re absolutely drowning in data. There’s just too much to process — you don’t know what’s worth paying attention to and what trends are emerging.
This is an all-too-common problem for teams that try to implement a VoC strategy. To meet this challenge, some teams will hire big data teams or business intelligence analysts to wrangle the data and put it into a comprehensible format. They can then begin to understand trends and use those insights to guide business decisions.
In other cases, your technology solution may have an AI component that can help. Artificial intelligence can be an extremely useful tool for analyzing vast amounts of data and identifying important trends. It’s easy to use and can often eliminate the need for hiring a team of data scientists.
If you’re trying to capture VoC insights from phone calls, rest assured that conversation intelligence tools like Invoca have intuitive AI capabilities. With Invoca’s Signal AI, you can use AI to automatically detect certain words or phrases that you’ve deemed important. For example, you could set up a signal that identifies when customers ask questions about a specific product, have an issue with your online buying flow, or mention an issue at one of your locations. This will allow you to quickly identify and address key issues on your webpages and at your brick-and-mortar stores.
Sometimes, however, you may not know what words or phrases to look for. There may be issues impacting your customers that you haven’t detected yet. To identify topics and trends you may not have known to look for, you can use Invoca’s Signal Discovery. This feature uses unsupervised machine learning to discover macro and micro trends that are happening in your consumers’ phone conversations. As a result, you can detect new customer issues and barriers to purchase at scale, without having to listen to call recordings to find them.
See how it works in the video below:
Let’s say you’ve overcome all the roadblocks above — you’re not home free just yet. Having the right VoC data and the right tools to analyze it at scale mean nothing if you don’t have buy-in from your organization. The companies that reap the most rewards from the voice of the customers have built a culture of feedback — of listening to their customers’ needs and responding quickly to meet them.
Voice of the customer data is extremely valuable for teams across your organization: your customer experience team can use it to improve the buying journey, the marketing team can use it to improve their ad creative, sales teams can use it to enhance their scripts, and the C-suite can use it to guide strategy. To implement a successful VoC strategy, you need to share the data across your organization and ensure that these various teams are committed to acting on it.
Are you having trouble getting buy-in from your organization? Don’t worry, I’ve collected some handy statistics that can help you make the case. A recent study found that companies with best-in-class voice of the customer data experience:
Once your organization is bought in, you can use your VoC data to its highest potential and create truly exceptional experiences for your customers.
Want to learn more about how Invoca can help you improve your voice of the customer strategy? Check out these resources: