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How to use voice of customer to build a customer-centric tech or entertainment business

The voice of the customer is an extremely useful tool in the consumer insights toolbox. Whether you’re an app builder or a software company, the next video streaming service or something else entirely, a voice of customer programme can help improve your customer experience. Let’s find out how by looking at key voice of customer methodologies.

People with speech balloons

Voice of customer, or VoC, is a process of collecting customer feedback at every touchpoint and using these insights to improve the customer experience. It goes beyond ad hoc feedback to seek out customer thoughts at every interaction with your brand and feed these findings directly into your business operations to satisfy customer expectations, make them happier and, ultimately, to ensure business success. Voice of customer includes not just asking for feedback, that is, recording what customers say to you, but also keeping tabs on what people are saying about you.

VoC is particularly important in the highly competitive entertainment and technology sector. After all, a unicorn tech company is created in the UK each week. Customer feedback, brand reputation monitoring and management are all essential for staying relevant and competitive in this environment.

When implementing a voice of customer programme, it’s helpful to focus on something specific. We recommend starting with a question you want to know the answer to. For instance, this could be something like ‘Why have repeat sales dropped?’ ‘Why are we seeing a dip in new subscriptions?’ Or ‘Why was there a spike in customer service queries?’

Come up with a goal connected to your question—something you want to achieve. Maybe you want to increase repeat sales by 10% by the end of the quarter, to grow new subscriptions 20% by the end of the year or reduce your customer service response time by half. Setting a goal means you’ll be able to measure the impact of any changes you make.

Bearing in mind the question you want to answer, consider the best method of gathering customer feedback. You might want to use one of these methods, or combine several for a holistic view:

  • Focus groups
  • Online or phone interviews
  • Live chat
  • Online surveys

Focus groups and interviews are more time-consuming to run and can accommodate less people. But they allow you to delve into the detail, asking follow-up questions when appropriate to better understand the motivations and thoughts behind your customers’ answers and actions.

Online surveys and asking questions via live chat are much more scalable, so they’re perfect for getting a large number of responses. However, you can’t ask for more information to put a response in context, or clarify if your question is misunderstood. That’s why it’s so important to design your survey carefully from the start. SurveyMonkey templates can help with this, as they’re designed by survey experts.

But which survey template should you use for your voice of the customer programme? The following will serve you well:

Did you know? You can even embed your survey directly in your own website or within your social media posts.

Remember that a proper voice of customer programme is an ongoing process, rather than a one-off. It’s really useful to gather customer feedback about specific topics at regular intervals. This way, you can track your performance, see improvements and spot issues. And you can make sure you’re up to date with what customers are thinking, setting you up to better meet their needs.

When you’re just starting out with a VoC programme, you might find it useful to use a broad survey so you can establish a baseline to measure against future performance. You can also use industry benchmarks to compare your performance with other businesses in your sector.

Make sure you give customers different opportunities and means of getting in touch and sharing their feedback, across different platforms and in real time. This means people can use their preferred method of communication, at the time the feedback occurs to them. The end result? More feedback that’s fresher.

Once you’ve gathered your feedback, the next step is to make sense of it, and see how it can help you answer your initial question. Tagging, filtering and categorising responses helps you spot themes and trends and to draw overall conclusions. And SurveyMonkey’s data insights options make all of this a breeze.

Once you’ve drawn some conclusions and identified recurring themes and patterns, feed this information back to the relevant teams, whether that’s customer service, payments, product development or marketing. This step is crucial. Without it, your business won’t be able to properly learn from its customers.

It can be frustrating to spend your time providing feedback, only to see it disappear into the ether. Don’t put your customers in this position. Instead, thank them for their feedback. Or better yet, tell them and show them what you’ve done in response. Let’s say a customer complained that it took too long to get through to the customer service team. If you apologise, explain that you’ve allocated more staff during peak times and cut the average wait time in half, then you’re likely to leave that customer feeling well chuffed. Because not only has their feedback proved useful, it has also made things better for them and others. Who knows—maybe that customer will even go on to become your best advocate!

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