Voice of Customer (VoC) is one of the most popular forms of market research. It is the essence of market research: reaching out to customers, asking for feedback, listening, and taking action. I spent the last week traveling across the northeast to present at several Digital Marketing Bootcamps in Worcester, MA, Albany, NY, and Syracuse, NY. There, I spoke about the benefits of using VoC for digital marketing strategies.
Here is a recap of the 5 rules of VoC I discussed. Most of these center around email, online and mobile surveys as this is the most popular form of market research. As a market research supplier in Syracuse, we know a thing or two about survey rules.
The 5 Rules of Voice of Customer (VoC)
Rule 1: Short Email Invite
In order to get customers to complete your survey, you first have to get them to the survey. It's important to keep your email language short and to-the-point. Don't include 5 or 6 paragraphs of text inviting the participant to the survey. Include the length of survey, why it is important, what will be done with the results, the name of your third-party market research supplier, and a way to contact them with questions. That's it. Short and simple.
Rule 2: Keep The Survey Short
In addition to the survey invite, the questionnaire needs to be short too. As a market research supplier, would we love to ask 50 questions? Yes. But respondents are not willing to take that much time. We design our surveys with the respondent in mind. They are willing to offer feedback if the time commitment is a short one. Our best practice is 3 to 5 minutes and 15 questions. No longer.
Rule 3: Make the Survey Engaging
This goes hand-in-hand with the short email invite and short survey. Nowadays you cannot visit a McDonald's or Dunkin Donuts without being asked to participate in a survey. You need to break through that noise and make your survey a little fun and engaging. This includes changing scales, using slider scales, star ratings, etc. It's also okay to use some lighter language to keep the respondent interested to continue with the survey.
Rule 4: Design for Mobile First
Greenbook reported 2017 marked the first year more surveys were taken on a mobile device than any other device including desktop, laptop, or tablet. With this in mind, a mobile first mentality is paramount for market research suppliers. Mobile devices have given companies the ability to collect VoC data at any time during the day. Participants are literally attached to the hip to their mobile devices opening doors to collect feedback 24-7.
Rule 5: MECE
MECE stands for mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. It is one of, if not the most useful tip when designing your VoC survey. Mutually exclusive means separating categories uniquely from one another (18 to 24, 25 to 34, etc. instead of 18 to 25, 25 to 35, etc.) Collectively exhaustive means covering all the potential answer categories. If you want to test social media platforms your customers are spending time on, you should include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and include an "other(s)" just in case. Do not include more than 8 to 10 categories or the survey may get too overwhelming and long.
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