7 Tips for Effective Voice of the Customer Programs

6 Tips For An Effective Voice of the Customer Program

Have you ever felt like your customers were trying to tell you something crucial, but their voices got lost in the noise? Or maybe without systems in place, you weren't able to capture their feedback effectively? That's where a Voice of the Customer Program can help.

Instead, imagine turning every piece of feedback into a stepping stone towards growth. Businesses with a Voice of the Customer Program in place are able to operate with this approach, in a way others can't. With 60% of organizations planning to add indirect feedback to their customer feedback programs by 2025, the race is on to truly listen to your customers.

But these programs aren't just about listening, they're about understanding – deeply, accurately and with full context. Insights are what bring you into your customers’ shoes, so you can better serve their needs.

In this article, we'll explore how to build a robust Voice of the Customer Program (VoC program), and how it can benefit your business.

What is a Voice of the Customer Program?

In this section, we'll explore the essence of an effective Voice of the Customer Program and why it's a game changer for driving customer satisfaction.

Definition of Voice of the Customer

Let’s kick things off with a quick definition. The Voice of the Customer, or VoC, is all about your customers sharing honestly with you – their likes, dislikes, wishes, and needs. This could be from direct, or indirect sources. At Kapiche, we think of VoC as providing a direct pipeline into the thoughts and desires of your customers.

Role of VoC feedback in customer satisfaction

Gone are the days when businesses could afford to fly blindfolded. Today, customer loyalty and retention drives the bottom line more than ever. That's where VoC data excels – it shines a light on those dark corners of our data, where guesswork used to live. It bridges the gap between the service we deliver, and our customers' lived experience of that service Fundamentally, it helps make sure every decision has your customer at the centre.

"VoC data shines a light into the dark corners of our data, eliminating guesswork. It bridges the gap between our expectations, and our customers' lived experiences."

The Basics of Voice of Customer Programs

Before we dive deep into the building blocks of a great VoC program, let's establish some fundamentals. Underlying all your processes, tools, and KPIs, your aim should simply be to listen and learn from those who matter most: your customers.

A good voice of the customer program:

  • Listens loudly. A robust VoC program actively seeks out customer feedback across multiple channels - surveys, social media conversations, and service interactions, among others.

  • Analyzes wisely. Gathering customer feedback data is only part one. A great voice of the customer program helps transform collected data into practical knowledge, and spark tangible shifts in your business strategy.

  • Learns continuously. There’s no ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ here. Continuous improvement based on ongoing feedback keeps businesses evolving alongside their customers' changing desires.

Mastering these basics is what turns 'satisfied' customers into die-hard advocates who will stick around beyond the initial purchase journey. This gives you a set of customers ecstatic about what you do, and the opportunity to improve your products and services tailored exactly towards what they want.

Key Takeaway:

VoC is your direct line to customer thoughts, turning feedback into actions and evolving with their needs. It's about listening widely, analyzing deeply, and learning continuously to transform satisfied customers into loyal fans.

Benefits of a voice of the customer program

Benefits of a VoC Program

Wouldn't it be nice to have a crystal ball that tells you exactly what your customers think and feel? Short of having this reality, a well-built voice of the customer program can get you pretty close.

Why is Voice of the Customer important?

First off, let’s get one thing out of the way – your business isn’t just selling products or services, it’s delivering experiences. And who better to critique these experiences than the very people living them? A robust VoC program gives you insider access to your customers' unfiltered thoughts and needs. It's like a cheat code to create better customer satisfaction.

Benefits and impact on your business

The benefits are huge. From making decisions with confidence, to taking new directions with your product, insights from your VoC program hold the keys to effective innovation and more profits. They enable:

  • Better products: tailored based on actual customer feedback.

  • Precise marketing: speak directly to wants and pain points.

  • Loyal fanbase: customers stick around more when they feel heard and valued.

Let's dive a bit deeper into the benefits we've seen brands unlock through VoC programs.

Improved customer experience

Gathering customer feedback gives you a deeper understanding of their needs, preferences, and pain points. With this data in hand, your team can more easily tailor your products, services, and experiences to better meet these customer expectations.

Voice of the customer programs increase customer loyalty

Increased customer loyalty

We live in a world where one tweet can tank your brand image overnight. But the good news is that a solid VoC program acts as both shield and sword against the volatile digital marketplace, and changing consumer preferences.

By listening to customer feedback and taking swift action to resolve concerns and pain points, you can proactively foster trust and loyalty with your customer base.

Improved data-driven decision making

Customer feedback gives you a powerful set of data points you can use to optimize your business strategies. Whether it's refining marketing strategies, optimizing customer service processes, or identifying new business opportunities, insights from a VoC program provide powerful guidance.

Increased revenue growth

There's plenty of data showing the correlation between voice of the customer programs, and increased revenue. And it makes sense – satisfied customers are more likely to make repeat purchases, and advocate for your brand.

For example, a study by Aberdeen group found that the top 20% of businesses who use the voice of the customer had 9.8x greater year-over-year revenue over the remaining 80% of businesses. Another research survey by Bain, on Customer Experience Tools and Trends, found that companies actively monitoring VoC feedback grow 4% to 8% more than their competition.

Key Takeaway: 

Imagine having a crystal ball for customer thoughts. A great VoC program gives you the cheat code to increasing customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, by making folks feel heard. Investing time into this strategy will pay dividends in ways numbers alone can't measure.

7 steps to building an effective voice of the customer program

Building an Effective VoC Program

So, you're on board with the idea that a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program is the way to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. But where do you start? How do you build one that actually works?

Here we'll share 6 steps follow in building out your program.

1. Define your business objectives and goals

Why are you doing this? This is the first question you need to ask. Identifying your business objectives shapes everything that follows in your VoC strategy.

What specific insights are you looking to gather, and why? How do you plan to leverage them to improve your business outcomes? Is your goal to elevate the happiness of your customers? Increase customer retention rates? Or enhance product development? Once you nail down your why, aligning your team around these goals becomes much easier.

2. Identify feedback channels

Identify touch points along the customer journey where you can capture valuable insights. These touch points may include your website, mobile app, customer service representatives, or physical locations for brick-and-mortar businesses.

You want to aim for a blend of solicited, and unsolicited feedback, to ensure you don't overlook any points of the customer journey and true sentiment.

3. Decide what data is important to collect

All feedback is not created equal.

You have limited time and resources, so focus on gathering info that directly supports those business objectives you outlined. Which pieces of information can genuinely propel your business forward? Is it understanding customer pain points more deeply or getting clearer visibility into their journey with your brand?

Once you've picked your top customer feedback channels, and know what data is important to hit your goals, you can put motion in place to start capturing and working with data. Your data inputs might look like direct feedback from formal surveys, in-depth customer interviews, or customer feedback widgets installed on your website.

Kapiche's data visualization view makes data analysis seamless

4. Choose appropriate tools and technology

Survey technology matters because at its best, it turns raw data into gold dust: clear guidance on how to improve customer experience.

You'll need a data analysis tool to help you efficiently gather, organize, and interpret customer feedback. At Kapiche, our feedback analytics platform helps you automate your data collection, identify emerging trends, and extract actionable insights from large volumes of feedback data. Here are a couple of guidelines to help you pick the right tech for your team:

  • User-friendly: The last thing anyone wants is a clunky system that feels like deciphering ancient hieroglyphs. You want a platform that enables agile, fast time to insight.

  • Analytical capabilities: You need something sharp enough to slice and dice data in ways that unearth actionable insights—not just spit out numbers. Pick a tool that enables true bottom-up analysis, to reduce bias in your interpretation.

  • Scales with growth: Pick tech that can grow as fast – without crashing or burning up your budget. You’ll want the ability to connect all your data sources in one tool, for a comprehensive view of your customer feedback.

5. Foster a customer-centric culture

While not done in a single step, this element is really key. Since customer satisfaction is a function of the overall experience with your brand, a focus on customer insights needs to be a team effort.

Find ways to encourage cross-functional collaboration and communication across departments, and get customer feedback inputs from all corners of the organization. Ask your frontline staff to regularly collect customer feedback, and use it as an input into your analysis.

6. Measure and communicate your results

Whatever KPIs you established in the beginning, you'll want to monitor those continuously and watch for fluctuations in your data. Metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT), and Customer Effort Score (CES), are all great ones to start with, to start collecting benchmarks around customer loyalty and sentiment.

Along with KPIs optimization, make sure you adopt a mindset of continuous improvement. When you detect complaints or themes dissatisfaction, have a process to plunge into your insights tools so you can unearth what may be driving certain themes.

The bottom line: Alignment, action, patience, and commitment in implementation

To turn these plans into reality requires alignment across all levels of your organization—from execs who give the green light down to frontline employees who interact daily with customers. But remember: Rome wasn't built in a day. It takes time and consistent effort to see results from any new strategy. Be patient but persistent.

An effective VoC isn’t set-and-forget; it’s more like tend-and-grow. You need ongoing commitment not just when setting it up, but throughout its lifecycle. This means revisiting goals frequently, tweaking methods based on outcomes, and keeping everyone motivated towards continuous improvement. All while making sure actions align back to business objectives and customer expectations alike.

In essence, building an effective VoC program boils down to three things:

  1. Making every interaction count,

  2. Gleaning actionable insights from data collected,

  3. And putting those learnings to work promptly and effectively.

Key Takeaway: 

Set your VoC program up for success by focusing on strategic engagement, meaningful collaboration, and actionable learning from feedback. Remember, it's a team effort that requires patience and ongoing commitment to truly thrive.

Voice of the customer program best practices

Best practices for a successful VoC Program

A killer Voice of the Customer (VoC) program doesn't just happen overnight. It needs time, attention, and the right blend of elements to truly shine. Exploring top-notch strategies can elevate your Voice of the Customer initiative, setting it apart from the rest.

In addition to the steps above, here are some best practices we've used in helping our clients run Voice of the customer programs with Kapiche.

Connecting feedback across data channels

Gone are the days when customer feedback was siloed. Nowadays, the focus is on weaving together different input strands into a cohesive whole. Imagine piecing together a puzzle where each piece is feedback from a different data channel. That’s what you need to do.

  • Email surveys? Check.

  • Social media chatter? Absolutely.

  • Live chat transcripts? You bet.

The magic happens when these insights interlock to reveal the big picture—your customers' true feelings and experiences with your brand.

Promoting cross-departmental collaboration

This one is crucial but often overlooked. A successful VoC program isn’t just a project of the customer service team—it’s an organization-wide mission. Think Avengers-level teamwork here.

We’re talking marketing teams aligning with product development folks who then high-five customer support reps on their way to share insights with salespeople. Why does this matter? Because every department influences—and is influenced by—the customer experience in unique ways. Cross-departmental collaboration ensures everyone moves in harmony towards delivering exceptional customer experiences—a symphony rather than solo performances.

Employee voice is a powerful data source for VoC Programs

Incorporating employee voice in the program

Your employees aren't just cogs in your corporate machine—they're on-the-ground experts who interact directly with your customers daily. Their suggestions could offer a treasure trove of knowledge for refining operations, enhancing offerings, and elevating customer experiences. So yes, while we focus heavily on capturing our customers’ voices through various channels and methodologies, let's not forget about those within our own walls. Listening to your employees could be akin to discovering hidden treasure maps leading straight to improved satisfaction scores, loyalty metrics, and ultimately revenue growth.

There you have it—connecting dots across data channels, fostering teamwork, and listening to both external voices and internal whispers, can transform how you capture customer feedback.

Adopt these best practices, and watch as they propel your business toward.

Key Takeaway: 

To make your Voice of the Customer program successful, blend feedback from various channels like surveys, social media, and live chats. Encourage teams across your company to work together, and don't forget to listen to what your employees have to say—they're closer to the action than anyone.

Tips for collecting and analyzing VoC data

Collecting and Analyzing VoC Data

Gathering the Voice of the Customer (VoC) data is like going on a treasure hunt. You know there's gold out there—insights that can transform your business—but where do you start digging? Maybe you've secured invaluable data, but don't have a strategy for filtering through millions of data points to unearth the bits that are truly insightful. Let's break down how to gather feedback.

1. Techniques for collecting VoC data

First things first: capturing customer feedback. It’s not just about throwing out a net and hoping for the best. There are strategies to use. Here are the top channels we see unlock valuable insights for our customers at Kapiche.

  • Surveys: A classic move. But make them engaging – nobody likes a long and boring questionnaire.

  • Social media listening: Customers aren’t shy online. Monitor what they're saying about you in their natural habitat.

  • User testing sessions: Get up close and personal with how users interact with your product or service in real-time. Focus groups are helpful here.

  • Email feedback requests: A simple “Hey, how did we do?” can go a long way after a purchase or interaction. Leave your question open-ended to collect customer feedback gold: qualitative responses.

The key here is variety. Mix and match these channels to get both broad feedback themes and detailed insights into customer sentiment.

2. Types of feedback used in a VoC program

Let's say you've gathered your intel. Now let’s explore different types of customer feedback, because not all are created equal, right?

  • Promoter scores (NPS): A quick numerical gauge on whether customers would recommend you to others—a litmus test for satisfaction if ever there was one.

  • Detailed survey responses: Here lie those golden insights I mentioned earlier — qualitative insights give you the ‘why’ behind the score.

  • Social media comments: Unfiltered opinions that tell us what you’re doing right (or wrong).

  • Support emails from customers: Often overlooked but packed with rich details straight from those experiencing friction in your product or service.

This mix gives you both quantitative data to fuel metrics like NPS scores, and qualitative gems hidden within open-ended responses.

3. Analyzing customer data for insights

You've collected all this amazing info—now what? It's analysis time. This is not just a matter of sifting through data to explore themes you already know; it's an opportunity to discover fresh perspectives, and have our perspectives changed with new knowledge.

Analyze VoC data with Kapiche

One of the ways we do this at Kapiche, is by providing a visualization of your entire data set that can be sliced in any way. See a theme that looks unfamiliar? Dive into a specific piece of feedback attached to its entire context network, to get the full picture behind the data. Rather than looking at feedback in a silo, NLP-powered technology like Kapiche lets you get a true view of your customer needs, and understand how your customers perceive your brand.

Key Takeaway: 

Gathering VoC data is your key to unlocking business transformation. Use a mix of surveys, social media listening, user testing, and email feedback to catch all the insights. Remember, it's not just about collecting data but diving deep into analysis to find those golden nuggets of wisdom.


So, there you have it. The Voice of the Customer program is your blueprint for turning customer whispers into deep wells of insight. A well-crafted program should piece together fragments of customer feedback into a mosaic that guides your business strategy.

Ready to Build a Successful VoC Program?

If you're ready to take your Voice of the Customer program to the next level, we invite you to experience the power of Kapiche first hand. Book a demo today to learn how our advanced feedback analytics platform can help you unlock the full potential of your customer data, drive actionable insights, and achieve tangible results for your organization.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to transform your organization with a strategic VoC program. Get started with Kapiche today and pave the way for success in the digital era.

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