Surveys Aren't the Starting Line of Voice of the Customer (VoC) Anymore

Feb 25, 2024

Today, as consumer demands rapidly change, market leaders in marketing, CX, and research are shifting to customer experience strategies to stay ahead of consumer expectations, embracing the modern opportunity to drive loyalty and increase sales.

Poor customer experiences resulted in an estimated $35.3B churn cost by U.S. businesses yearly because of avoidable customer experience issues such as fair treatment and other emotional factors, and 89% of consumers purchase from a competitor following a poor customer experience. With a narrow window to listen to customers and resolve issues, businesses are more aware than ever of the immediate and long-term cost of neglecting VoC in their company operations.

Traditional customer surveying isn’t cutting it— 30% is the best average response rate across industries, leaving a significant portion of customers unheard, and in turn, a large portion of customer experience issues remain unresolved or addressed a little too late as customers find quick connection with competitors.

What is Voice of Customer (VoC)?

VoC is your customer’s feedback about their experiences in relation to their expectations of your product or services. It focuses on the needs, expectations and understandings of customers and its direct and active impact on product improvement.

Businesses that invest in Voice of Customer better understand and meet customer needs and expectations by improving their offerings based on the collective voice of their customers. Programs built to amplify VoC and center their business around these programs are able to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty, efficiently.

To improve how a customer experiences all interactions with the business, Voice of Customer data best captured and understood using technology that includes text and sentiment analysis ensures businesses can find true meaning in customer feedback data.

Over the years, Voice of Customer programs have gained traction, becoming the core strategy for organizations fueling the fast-growing segments. As customers demand more direct engagement with a business, and because capturing and acting on customer feedback is critical in understanding consumers’ complex journey and decision-making process, brands are wasting no time in making the shift to VoC listening.

How companies are evolving with VoC

Customer-perceived quality and better-than-normal customer service are proven drivers leading business success. When your business shares its customers’ voices in real time, they expect you to listen, act, and be a part of the progress loop.

52% of consumers expect personalized offerings, a feat nearly impossible to achieve with delayed survey data. Leading brands drive business embracing Voice of the Customer, experiencing 40% average growth compared to their competitors.

Amazon: Real-time approach

Amazon, a global retail giant, has swiftly moved past traditional surveys, implementing a real-time feedback loop through its customer reviews and question sections on product pages. This approach allows for immediate consumer reactions to be captured and addressed immediately. Amazon reported that products with higher ratings and more reviews tend to see an increase in sales, demonstrating the direct impact of real-time feedback on business performance.

Zara: In-store feedback system

Global fashion retailer Zara, takes a different route using in-store feedback systems. Sales associates equipped with tablets collect customer opinions on styles, fit, and fabric quality directly on the shop floor. This data influences inventory and design decisions within weeks. Zara's parent company, Inditex, attributes this strategy to their ability to quickly adapt to fashion trends, leading to a reported 5% increase in sales in the first half of 2019 alone.

VoC vs. traditional surveys

Before you jump into the best practices to embrace VoC in your journey to becoming a customer-centric business, you’ll want to know the factors at the core of achieving customer experience maturity. By shifting focus from traditional surveying to VoC feedback, you can keep up with and stay ahead of consumer demands.

Voice of the Customer best practices

Voice of the Customer gives an organization foresight to address immediate and preemptive friction points based on what your customers are thinking and feeling. Consider these three top factors for implementing continual improvement with VoC feedback.

Connect feedback across data sources and channels

Relying on one or two channels to measure and optimize interactions with customers limits the accuracy and depth of customer insights. Without a multichannel feedback tool to unify the voice of the customer feedback, you risk creating action plans with incomplete information about customer preferences, behaviors, and satisfaction.

Leading brands and organizations that want to collect customer feedback everywhere and anywhere their customers are to create a seamless customer experience with every touchpoint considered, analyzed, and optimized.

Enhance cross-department collaboration in planning

Any effective action plan centered in VoC feedback requires multiple departments involvement in collecting, analyzing and acting on the insights. To do this, it needs to be easy for collaboration across departments using AI-powered analytics tools — Monterey AI allows you to collaborate on projects or topics with smart tagging on relevant insights from your unified data.

Surface insights to the right people, relevantly and clearly

AI VoC tools effectively allow you to make sense of every operation in your organization. You’ll need a platform that enables you to customize dashboards for every role to get the relevant insights at a glance.

Monterey AI allows you to set up automatic workflows and alerts to route the right insights to the right people as they come in on any channel. By the right people getting the most relevant insights to them in the workspaces and tools they use, there can be organization-wide customer-centric synergy from leadership to the frontline.

Bonus: Incorporate the voice of the employee

Unifying the employee and customer experiences gives an organization the full view of what is going on and why. Understanding this connection will help your organization deeply understand the impact of employee engagement on contributions to driving organizational growth. Employee feedback directly correlated with customer experience does these three key things:

  • Provides employee engagement context for customer experiences

  • Brings friction points in processes, policies and technology that risk quality customer experiences to light

  • Gives insight into employee’s experiences with measurable quality at scale

Focus on the customer

The evolution from surveys to real-time feedback calls for a deeper understanding of the Voice of the Customer. By engaging customers directly, and analyzing their feedback promptly, businesses can confidently make informed decisions that resonate with their audience immediately and long term. This shift doesn't eliminate the value of surveys altogether but rather repositions them within a broader, more dynamic strategy of customer engagement.

Get started with VoC feedback at Monterey.AI or book a personalized demo of our platform today.