Voice of Customer (VoC) is a formal market research process structured to ask questions, collect feedback, tabulate results, and take action based on customer data. The program is designed to learn more from customers including their profile, their needs, their wants, and drivers to loyalty. VoC is a form of market research designed to better connect with customers.
The Old Days Versus The New Ways
In the old days of Voice of Customer (VoC) research everything was done through phone. Large call centers owned the world. Cubicles upon cubicles of people would be dialing numbers and convincing people to take surveys. Callers would dial number after number completing 10 to 15 minute phone surveys to households and businesses. It's easy to see how the timeline gets extended there and the cost increases quickly.
With the acceptance and growth of mobile phones, tablets, and PCs over the past decade or 2, it has completely revolutionized the market research industry. Surveys can be done more quickly, less expensively, and more efficiently. The timelines have been cut down from months to hours. The costs have been trimmed in half or more. Now because everyone has access to a cell phone, market research companies can work lists using phone calls, texts, and emails. All to one device.
When it comes to digital disruption, think about this analogy.
I saw this image on LinkedIn a few months back. Think back 20 years. We had 2 rules: (1) do not get into the car with strangers and (2) don't talk to people on the internet.
Fast forward 20 years and we are literally summoning strangers from the internet to get into their car and pay them money with services like Uber and Lyft.
How's that for change?
Types of Voice of Customer (VoC)
Types of VoC include both qualitative and quantitative market research. Qualitative is aimed at exploring while quantitative is aimed at measurement. The 2 most common forms of VoC are surveys and focus groups. Other forms of VoC include user experience (UX), intercept surveys, and mystery shopping.
How Does the Voice of Customer (VoC) Process Work?
The process at our VoC market research company follows a step-by-step process. It all starts with a proposal document which highlights the objectives, approach, timeline, fees, and deliverables. The VoC process moves from kickoff to workplan, design, fieldwork, and then reporting. The final report includes an executive summary with themes, recommendations, an infographic, customer persona, and appendix of question-by-question results.
The Drive Research VoC process is engineered step-by-step.
Why is Voice of Customer (VoC) Important?
There are several reasons as to why VoC is important to a business or organization. VoC lays the foundation for strategy. It's often used as a first step before a marketing plan is designed or a new strategy is implemented. VoC "quantifies the gut". Management may have gut feelings of who their customers are or why they act but without real data from customers, you can never be 100% sure.
VoC supports the theory that whoever knows the customer best wins. In a competitive landscape, understanding the customer is crucial. It makes sure the feedback you receive from customers that explains their wants and needs can be integrated into strategy and decisions. VoC ensures your decisions at a business are aligned with the needs of a customer. It's obtaining feedback from those who matter most.
At the end of the day, market research eliminates risk.
The Benefits of Voice of Customer (VoC)
Several benefits exist when an organization works with a VoC company. The first is profiling and segmentation. Not all customers purchase a product or service for the same reason. Collecting VoC helps you understand the demographics and behaviors of your 3 types of best customers, 5 types, or 12 types.
Understanding why customers buy, what makes them loyal, and why they choose your organization over other companies is critical data. VoC gives you an inside look into the mind of your customers.
Another benefit is using VoC to guide budget. What if you knew how many of your customers were on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and how many watch TV, use search, listen the radio, etc. It becomes much easier to dice up your marketing dollars accordingly.
An emerging benefit of VoC is to build content. Many organizations conduct industry surveys and decide to share the results in infographics and other press releases to share nuggets of information with news outlets. This type of content can position your brand as a thought-leader in the space.
The last benefit is KPIs. Google Analytics and big data does a great job of explaining the "what" of the data. VoC is an excellent way to provide depth around the "why". It provides additional detail and context for your marketing campaigns. VoC can measure awareness, perceptions, etc.
Should Voice of Customer (VoC) Be Conducted In-House?
The largest benefit of conducting VoC in-house is perceived cost savings. I say perceived because it will always take someone with less experience and skills longer to write a survey, write a report, etc. than an experienced market research consultant. So what is the actual trade-off of time and cost?
The largest con of conducting the VoC in-house is bias. Your customers will likely not give you an honest opinion. It's what we deem the "messy roommate bias". If you are looking for accurate and reliable feedback, particularly negative feedback, customers want to talk to a third-party.
The choice is a tough one. Perceived cost savings versus inaccurate or unreliable results.
Voice of Customer (VoC) Case Studies
Are you looking for VoC case studies from our market research company? Here are several which speak to VoC objectives, approaches, and reporting. Visit the following links below for more information.
Drive Research is a Voice of Customer (VoC) market research company located in Upstate New York. Our team has worked on a number of projects with clients across the country in a variety of industries. Wondering if we can help your organization with your VoC market research?
Contact us at 315-303-2040 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.