How to Work With the Voice of the Customer


Every company dreams of getting inside the client’s head and discovering his thoughts about the product and what he wants. Usually, the client, especially a dissatisfied one, tells everything himself: he calls the contact center, writes on social networks, or leaves a review on the website. The company, in turn, listens to problems and conducts surveys. 

However, the results often depend on the accuracy of the questions, and not every client is willing to spend time filling out a questionnaire. The list of sources largely depends on the company and the industry. It is necessary to consider all available channels of customer interaction with the brand: from calls to direct communication in stores, social networks, and service centers. 

For example, reviews of a washing machine can be found on retailers’ or manufacturers’ sites, while the software is more likely to be discussed on specialized forums. So what is the right way to collect and analyze the Voice of the Customer?

Determine Information Gathering Channels

The list should be as broad as possible. Feedback is not just criticism or complaints. Consumers turn to the brand to ask questions about product features, find out the purchase status, make an order, clarify contacts or points of sale, solve problems with the personal account or payment, etc. 

Analyze how the company worked with feedback before: whether it conducted surveys or studied customer behavior on websites and social networks. Ensure there is no data duplication — otherwise, the information will be unreliable. 

Classify the Collected Data

A massive array of disparate data needs to be broken down. It will require an information system, such as a CRM. Data can be categorized by, for example, source, tone, topic, line of business, importance, impact on sales, etc. For instance, for a manufacturer of home appliances, the Voice of the Customer can be classified by product type, model line, components and accessories, product functionality, cost, service, point of sale and distributors, delivery service, and pricing policy.

How Important is the Information?

What problems did the customer name most often? What area are they related to? How critical are they, and how do they affect sales? And finally, what benefits will it bring to correcting deficiencies? For example, a manufacturer of household appliances notices many mentions of a model of kettles recently launched for sale. 

Part of the appeals can refer to the company’s partners — the delivery service or the distributor. Consumers may be dissatisfied with their work, affecting the brand’s overall perception. It is a good idea to use this input for further analysis and development of the customer journey. Especially mapping the customer journey is an important factor.

Implement Change

It is a crucial step. Collecting and analyzing are often done formally. It is viable to pass the results of the VOC analysis to the appropriate departments with specific recommendations: take the product offline, as in the first example above, or find a new delivery partner, as in the second. In departments where changes are being implemented, it is not unreasonable to appoint people responsible. And VoC analysis doesn’t end there; the data needs to be collected continuously. Voice of the Customer is not a one-time effort but a regular activity.