Some people confuse Voice of Customer (VOC) with customer satisfaction surveys. These are actually two very different aspects of customer opinion. VOC is a more forward-thinking approach to gathering data, assessing the customer expectations which will in turn impact customer satisfaction down the line. Both are important and provide valuable data. Here, we will examine VOC vs. customer satisfaction at greater length.
Customer data collection can be placed into two categories: proactive and reactive.
This is about discovering expectations before the product or service is delivered. Understanding the customer’s needs before delivery can avoid customer satisfaction problems in the future. Common methods for proactively gathering VOC include sending out surveys to your potential customer base and directly interviewing customers and associates to personally ascertain their views.
Although the proactive approach is a highly effective means of gathering information, this doesn’t mean there is no value in pursuing reactive sources. Collecting reactive data may be quite simple. Your organization likely already has a vast amount of it, from online feedback to social media opinions and review sites. Many businesses, brands, and service providers are leveraging their Yelp reviews or utilizing Angie’s List to gain exposure and positive feedback. And, of course, you always have the option of sending a survey right after making a sale or performing a service.
Is Voice of Customer really that important?
Most business owners understand the concept of customer satisfaction. Simply put, this is a matter of gauging how satisfied your customers are with your product or service. This is important data to collect and especially crucial for predicting future sales and customer loyalty. However, VOC may be even more critical because its proactive approach aims to identify and avoid risk, rather than always strategizing in hindsight.
Perhaps you have spent a lot of time and effort creating a product or service, only to find it is not what the customer needed. This kind of waste is not only disconcerting, but it can also be devastating to a business.
Many businesses believe they understand what their customers need; very few take the time to inquire and verify. Soliciting Voice of Customer is significant because without your customers, you’ve got no business. The best way to achieve higher customer satisfaction is to ensure you’re giving the clients what they need from the outset. To really comprehend and clarify what it is they want, you need to ask. You must reach out to providers, clients, associates, and customers to make certain you are hearing what is vital to them. In turn, happy customers are more likely to give you repeat business and may even help market your services and products.
Your customers’ needs and desires are constantly changing. When you gather VOC, you are collecting the expectations of the customers as stated by them in their own words, so you can stay ahead of the curve.
You need to look forward (to see where you are going) and look back (for feedback).
Both VOC and customer satisfaction data are crucial to a business. These metrics provide immensely valuable information to assist marketers and business owners. “Know your customer” means more than simply having a feel for your target demographic. To truly know your customers, you must understand their specific needs and desires. You can save your business significant time and money by learning what your clients expect before you go about developing and providing your product or service. And this should be an ongoing process; it is important to continuously seek up-to-date information about your customers’ evolving needs.
When it comes to data collection, it is optimal to gather both VOC and customer satisfaction information. Gathering relevant VOC data can significantly increase your customer satisfaction rates, and evaluating customer satisfaction can help ensure that you hit the target you were aiming for. This will create the most comprehensive and useful data strategy for your business.