Understanding Your Customer Through VoC Data

A study by The Aberdeen Group, called “The Business Value of Building a Best-in-Class VoC Program” discovered that companies who implement a voice of customer (VOC) strategy generate a whopping 10x greater year-over-year increase in annual company revenue, as well experiencing a much higher client retention, employee engagement and spend less on customer service. ¹ Following on from our podcast with James White of Nosto this week, we are discussing all things personalisation and platform.

So What Exactly Is VOC data?

Voice of customer data is a research strategy aimed to help you discover what your customers think of your business, product or service. It aims to give customers a voice within your company, and allows you to analyse customer insights, identify trends and strategies to improve customer experience and deliver positive business outcomes. Some of the biggest companies in the world such as Amazon and Apple implement this, with Apple CEO Tim Cook personally responding to around 100 customer service emails every day. 

How Can It Be Collected?

Surveys and Interviews

Customer interviews are one of the most traditional techniques for collecting VoC data. You can choose to focus on a particular customer or a group of customers who fit a similar category. You can do this in person through a focus group, a one on one interview, on the phone or through an online method to gain insights into customer needs, opinions and to test new concepts. Interviews are a certainly an effective way of getting specific, in depth-information, but they can be costly (particularly in-person), and without asking a large group of people, the information you have could potentially be too limited.

Social Media

Social media is ideal for collecting information, whether actively or not. A good way to do this is to post questions, polls and other interactive content across your social platforms in order to get feedback on specific issues and find out what your customer thinks. Another very effective way to use social media for VoC data is to simply ‘lurk in the background’. This gives you the unique opportunity to tap into customer conversations, trends, opinions and look at who your customers are. It’s a real-time method to allow to you see totally unfiltered feedback from your customers or potential customers. 

Reviews and Feedback

86% of visitors hesitate to purchase from a business that has online negative reviews², so it’s absolutely crucial to avoid them or at least handle them very well. Reviews are often the first thing a customer checks after finding a product they like, and it can be a make-or-break for many customers, so it makes sense to actively gather as many positive reviews as you can. A way to do this is sending out an email when a customer is expected to receive their product, asking them to leave a review or prompting them on site, you can incentivise this with a discount or a £ off voucher for their next purchase to make it even more effective. Another option is to add a dedicated feedback form, and a great way to do this is through live chat. 

Live Chat

Live chat is one of the most effective ways of gathering VoC data and allows you to access information you wouldn’t usually be able to. From the get-go, you can assess what kind of person you are chatting with, as they may start with a formal query, or be extremely relaxed and informal. The opening statement a customer begins a chat with is a great way to see which questions are most frequently asked, so you can tailor your website content with this in mind.

Pre and post-chat surveys are another way you can use live chat for VoC data. A pre-chat survey can be as simple as a name and email address, or you can go a little more in-depth, asking for industries, company names etc. Decide what works best in the pre-survey and what is best gathered through the actual chat process. At the end of the chat, you can prompt the customer to leave some feedback, finding out what worked and what didn’t. The Gartner research recently discovered that collecting customer feedback can increase upselling and cross-selling success rates by 15% to 20%, so it’s super important to have this.

Take a look at just four of our post-chat survey comments from the last week:

Excellent! Helped me to make a decision that has taken me over a year to arrive at! Thanks again.

Extremely helpful and easy to talk to. Helped me through the process of getting the finer things done. Thank you so much, you’re an asset to the business.

It was my first time visiting the site online and already I felt very welcoming from the team. I did an online chat and she was excellent in answering my questions to the point.

I’d like to commend you on your professional yet friendly manner, and your timely response in helping with all matters. You’re truly an asset to your company and a fantastic example of customer service.

By connecting your live chat to a CRM system, it means you can personalise the service you provide during chat using the information they have provided previously. You can also use their data to tailor future content, and it means that you have instant access to all customer profile information such as contact details, order history and any previous correspondence.

Final Thoughts

Understanding your customer is absolutely crucial for building your business online and creating the best experience you can for them. Implementing a voice of customer strategy allows you to tap into knowledge you wouldn’t be able to otherwise, and use the information to inform your marketing and sales strategy, tailor your website, and ultimately creating the perfect sales experience for your customer.

Find out more about our live chat service here

Watch the full podcast here.

¹https://www.superoffice.com/blog/voice-of-customer/

²https://www.invespcro.com/blog/the-importance-of-online-customer-reviews-infographic/