There are many benefits of commissioning and using market research. Some reasons stem from proof of concept to start a new business venture. Other objectives include identifying new geographies to expand your reach or market potential. Another common reason organizations explore the use of market research is simply to reach out and learn from customers.
Enter Voice of Customer market research or VoC.
VoC market research is purely designed to gather feedback from? You guess it. Customers.
This type of market research provides several advantages which I'll discuss in this post. It's why we love it at Drive Research (and you should too). You'll learn about the benefits of VoC for your organization and how it can make a true impact. It's more than just the data.
Voice of Customer (VoC) techniques have evolved over the years.
(1) Asking customers for feedback
(2) Analyzing and interpreting results
(3) Follow-up on cases that need immediate action to improve the customer experience (CX)
(4) Continually monitoring and measuring results
There are a few different methodologies that can be deemed VoC market research. These include online surveys, phone surveys, mail surveys, and intercept surveys. Each has their own way of acquiring VoC feedback. Each have their own pros and cons.
Here is an overview of the cost, turn-around time, and quality of data provided from our Ultimate Guide to Market Research for Small Business.
Although VoC can be accomplished through several qualitative and quantitative approaches, we like to recommend online surveys as our methodology of choice. This is for a variety of reasons and they all happen to coincide with reasons we love VoC.
Benefits for our VoC company that mesh with benefits for our clients create a win-win for both parties involved.
Here are the 5 reasons we love VoC research and why our clients do as well.
Reason 1: Cost Effectiveness
VoC addressed through an online survey is cost-effective for clients. Your benefit is that you can conduct market research efficiently and our benefit is it provides our firm greater flexibility to meet the necessary budget requirements of clients.
By completing this through an online survey it eliminates several costs that come with other methodologies. You don't have to pay for a call center and caller time to place phone calls to each and every one of your customers to collect feedback. This is very costly.
Mail surveys incur a large overhead expense for printing, envelopes, postage, and return postage. This can add significant expense to your customer survey.
Finally intercept surveys involve in-person time to be on-site to collect surveys. In addition to potential costs for securing a facility or mall if they are not done directly on-site and on-premise of your location(s).
Online surveys incur none of these costs. The cost to set up an email survey to be sent to customers is the same for 100 customers as it is for 20,000. Once set up, it's the click of a button. In order to complete this VoC survey all you need is an email list of your customers.
If response rates falls below expectations then we work with our clients to buy an allotment of caller hours to boost the number of completes. It's methodical approach and cost-effective for clients.
Analyzing the costs of market research you'll quickly realize the ROI of VoC done online through email surveys is unmatched.
Reason 2: Quick Turn-Around
Unlike other VoC methodologies, online market research offers a quicker turnaround. Telephone surveys can take weeks to complete and mail surveys can take weeks to months.
Email surveys are quick. The majority of your responses are received in the first 24 to 48 hours. Reminders will produce additional completes but depending on the first invitation they may go unneeded. This means fieldwork can be turned around in just a few days if necessary.
Quicker turnaround means you get your results back fast. As a market research firm we can turn your entire project around quicker which means rollover to your other market research needs and other VoC projects.
Reason 3: Quality Data
The one downside of online surveys is it is passive communication. You are at the mercy of whatever the customer types in the comment box. It could be 2 words or 200 words.
In many cases you have no way of impacting this. However, as respondents become more and more comfortable with online surveys and the platforms find better ways to engage and interest survey participants, this becomes less of a problem.
Some advanced software even allows the survey designer to add programming in to include follow-up questions based on responsive text. Meaning if a respondent types "Product ABC" in an open-end of 250 words, the survey can then ask a follow-up that says, "What else do you know about Product ABC?"
Although the communication isn't completely two-way like a phone survey, the argument is made that the data quality drop-off from an online survey is not worth the trade off for the cost savings and time savings. All things considered the ROI of an online survey done through email far outweighs any increase in data quality from other methodologies.
Reason 4: Immediately Actionable
One of the greatest benefits of VoC research is the ability to create a closed loop system. The closed-loop process allows your organization to follow-up on customer cases immediately. Survey software allows us to flag cases and pass them along for follow-up.
Have a customer who was so pleased your sales rep went above and beyond? We can forward him or her the customer response to let him know his or her manager is aware.
Have a customer who is wondering why his order is 2 days late and is getting impatient? We can work with you to forward this to the customer support team so they can call with an update.
Have a customer who was extremely unhappy with a recent order? This can be emailed to the sales management team so they can devise and strategy and identify a way to fix it.
You get actionable data as soon as you are in the field to make improvements to the customer experience (CX) and we get to hear all of the wins you now achieve on a daily basis.
The market research report also provides you with high-level global improvements and actionable changes. It rolls up all of the daily CX feedback into a weekly, monthly, quarterly and/or yearly report. This helps organizations like yours focus on larger-scale operational, marketing, and strategic changes.
All of these mini-actions are immediately actionable and when combined together can make a huge impact. Which leads us to our next point.
The benefits of VoC create domino effects across all levels of an organization. This are daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and ongoing impacts.
Reason 5: Impactful
Perhaps no research is more impactful. Ask customers what they want. Listen to the customers. Take the feedback to make changes. Make changes. Happier customers.
Seems like a pretty straightforward and well-aligned approach no?
Far too many companies try to make changes without receiving customer feedback first. They make decisions based on gut feelings. They are not fact-based or evidence-based decisions. Therefore they have no way of truly knowing if the changes they make at their company will impact customers for the better. Perception is everything and you need to ask first.
It's so impactful, our clients rave about the VoC research. When our clients rave about how they were able to help their customers with VoC, our market research company wins through the association. Positive word-of-mouth, referrals, and testimonials.
Drive Research is a Voice of Customer (VoC) market research company in Syracuse, NY. Our company specializes in a variety of customer market research using methodologies such as online surveys, phone surveys, and intercept surveys.
Interested in receiving a quote or asking about the next steps involved to get started with VoC? Our team can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 315-303-2040.