Voice of customer analytics: The complete guide

Voice of Customer

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A good customer experience strategy is good for your business. When customers perceive a positive experience with your brand, you’re more likely to retain customers for longer. Happy customers are also more likely to respond positively in feedback forms and when talking about your brand on social media platforms.

Receiving feedback in the customer’s words is one of the most valuable data sources your business can collect. This is called Voice of Customer (VOC). However, this raw customer data isn’t useful until you have the right tools to analyze it properly. Using AI-based analytics tools, you can harness consumer insights to create a more customer-centric business that better meets your customers’ needs.

Is your business harnessing the power of your Voice of Customer data? In this article, we’ll define Voice of Customer analytics, the benefits of implementing a Voice of Customer analytics program in your business, and how to boost customer satisfaction and your Voice of Customer analytics results.

What is Voice of Customer analytics?

Voice of Customer (VoC) analytics is how you turn qualitative and quantitative customer feedback into categorized datasets that can be analyzed to fill gaps in the customer journey experience. This includes labeling and categorizing feedback into appropriate buckets so you can aggregate data like you would with numerical data.

Voice of Customer data comes from many sources, survey research being the most common source. It can also include other valuable data sources such as customer support cases, app or online reviews, social media comments, email messages, support call data, Net Promoter Scores (NPS), and online forums. While you can rely solely on customer surveys for Voice of Customer analysis, more data sources gives you a richer understanding of touchpoints along the customer journey.

Why is Voice of Customer important?

Successful Voice of Customer analytics programs provide your entire team from C-suite level to marketing, product, and customer and experience support teams with a data-driven understanding of what your customers want and how to make them happier. Happy customers are more loyal and will increase your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

Other benefits of implementing a Voice of Customer analytics program using customer feedback data include:

Filling in the gaps

Reading and analyzing customer feedback helps you see where there may be gaps in your communication, marketing, or product and services. It identifies where the customer experience doesn’t match customer expectations or your offerings, so you can pivot accordingly.

Increasing customer loyalty

Providing a good customer experience has been proven to support customer loyalty. One study by Gartner showed that customer experience contributes to two-thirds of what drives customer loyalty. You can boost customer retention by creating an experience that solves a pain point or positively affects their lives.

Product research and development

Your customers have valuable insights into your brand, products, and services. Using Voice of Customer feedback, you can get inside your customers’ minds to understand their pain points throughout their user journeys with your product or features. You can then use these valuable insights to add solutions for those pain points to your roadmap. Not only does it inspire new ideas for your team, but it can help customers feel heard when their feedback turns into something tangible.

Crisis management

When monitored in real-time, listening to Voice of Customer insights can be used proactively to predict issues, like a new product or feature not working as intended.

During a crisis, you can use Voice of Customer data analysis to see how your customers are responding to your crisis management messaging and action. This can be a strong indicator to learn if you are taking the right steps to earn customer trust back.

Customer journey

Understanding the customer’s actual journey is critical to understanding if you’re meeting their specific needs at the right time. You can use Voice of Customer insights to encourage faster purchases and customized upsells and cross-sells at the right times, thus increasing customer satisfaction and revenue.

voc analytics lifecycle wheel

Step-by-Step: How to measure Voice of Customer feedback

Starting your own customer analytics program to measure Voice of Customer data can be accomplished in six steps:

1. Ask a question

What’s the purpose of doing your Voice of Customer research and analysis? Start with a specific question you want to solve. Sample questions might include:

  • How can we reduce high customer churn at 12 months?
  • Why are subscription renewals dropping?
  • How can we minimize customer support inquiries?
  • Why has our consumer mobile app usage declined this quarter?
  • Is the public responding positively to the rebranding of our product lines?

When you start a specific Voice of Customer program with a question, you ensure your Voice of Customer data collection directly correlates with that topic.

2. Collect Voice of Customer data

Look at what sources of customer-supplied information you already have. These sources will be your Voice of Customer data. We recommend collecting customer feedback from various sources for a more in-depth analysis. This will help you uncover customer struggles and get data-backed consumer insights on the why behind them.

Here are some examples of Voice of Customer analytics data you can use in your customer analysis:

  • Social media data
  • Focus groups and 1:1 interviews with customers
  • Online customer surveys
  • Customer service conversations
  • Chatbot and live chat transcripts
  • Support tickets
  • Net Promoter Score (a measure of customer satisfaction)
  • Online customer reviews

👉If you’re seeking to answer a specific question, ensure you’ve created specific surveys or customer feedback outlets to speak to that question. Get started by using our Voice of Customer template to create a dedicated feedback form to collect Voice of Customer data to use with your existing data sources.  

3. Categorize your data

After you collect feedback and customer data, you’ll likely have qualitative (non-numerical) and quantitative (numerical) information. Your next step is to categorize that data so you can pull out the right insights.

Categorizing your data can take many forms. For example, you could categorize feedback by specific issues or root causes (crash reports, UX issues, bug reports, and platform up-time) or by the customer journey (prospects, onboarding, renewal time, repeat customers, off-boarding). How you categorize the data will vary depending on the question you’re seeking to solve.

An AI-powered platform like Idiomatic can help you categorize your data using machine learning. Idiomatic handles the categorization of your Voice of Customer data in real-time, so you get immediate feedback or alerts. You can set up an integration with a Slack channel to get notifications of deviations in expected data ranges so that you can act quickly to correct them.

👉 Learn more: How to approach customer unsolicited feedback

4. Generate actionable insights

Once your data is categorized, you can pull your learnings and results. This can either be done manually or with AI support, which we recommend, to help your team process large amounts of data quickly and get the most in-depth insights. When you use a Voice of Customer analytics platform (like Idiomatic), you can view each issue, sentiment, rating, or ticket volume in real-time or through daily, weekly, or monthly reports. Look for an AI platform that uses machine learning that’s not just keyword-based, but can understand and interpret the relationship and meaning between words. This helps ensure you get human-quality insights at scale.

5. Take action

Using your insights from Voice of Customer data, you can drive change that matters to your customers. You’ll know it matters because you’ve heard them say it in their own words and have the data to support it. Share insights across the company so other team members (such as sales or product development teams) can use them to create the ultimate customer experience across the company and throughout the customer journey.

6. Repeat

Voice of Customer analytics programs should be an ongoing process. After taking action on the generated insights, analyze your Voice of Customer data again to see if your changes had the impact you and your customers expected.

Your Voice of Customer analytics platform should continually collect and analyze data. This ongoing analysis helps you proactively address issues before they affect more customers, causing more poor customer experiences. A Voice of Customer software platform like Idiomatic can do this for you.

What is the difference between Voice of Customer and CX (Customer Experience)?

The difference between Voice of Customer and CX is that Voice of Customer data helps you fill gaps in customer expectations and experience, whereas CX is how your organization engages with customers during their customer journey. You can use your Voice of Customer data to provide data-backed insights to improve the customer experience.

How to improve Voice of Customer feedback

If your Voice of Customer feedback doesn’t meet your expectations or standards, you must first understand what your customers need from your brand. Use AI and machine learning to processVoice of Customer feedback to get actionable insights and next steps.

Your customer strategy will differ depending on what area of the customer experience you’re trying to improve. Here are some common ways to strengthen Voice of Customer feedback:

  • Customer journey analysis: As an organization, you likely have a scripted customer path you expect customers to take. Use Voice of Customer feedback to see if your customers have the same journey. For example, you might have expected that all customers watch your on-boarding video series immediately after registering, but your customer feedback may indicate that they don’t know that foundational knowledge you teach in the videos. Based on this information you can make business changes to make the videos more accessible or even a mandatory part of their onboarding process. This will ensure new customers get the information that need to use your product effectively, and cut down on support service calls. .
  • Create emotional connections: Humans are driven by emotions. Look for ways to increase the emotional connection between your organization and customers. This could include providing empathy training for your staff or looking for ways to provide more personalized experiences for customers.
  • Regularly review Voice of Customer insights: Whether you check Voice of Customer insights weekly, monthly, or in-real-time, ensure you’re constantly monitoring what your customer is saying about you. This will ensure you catch any major bugs or problems before they grow into widespread negative sentiments within your customer base.
  • Listen to your employees: Your customer-facing employees have a wealth of information about your customers. Create a mechanism for employees to report or track customer complaints and issues. Managers should do regular 1:1 or small group team meetings to collect their insights and feedback. If you notice a trend in employee feedback about your customers, you can dive deeper into the Voice of Customer data to see if their perception is valid.
  • Study good customer feedback examples: Instead of focusing solely on negative customer experiences, use examples of good customer interactions to see where you’re doing well. Look at what makes a specific customer’s experience positive and create frameworks or processes to apply to your customer program to improve customer satisfaction.

What is the best tool for analyzing Voice of the Customer feedback?

Having the right categorization scheme for your Voice of Customer data is critical to drawing the most in-depth insights from your data. Idiomatic’s Voice of Customer software turns customer feedback into a complete, data-driven Voice of Customer picture. It uncovers customer pain points and provides actionable insights into the “why” behind customer feedback.

Using world-class AI customized to your business, Idiomatic helps you save time on manual data categorization and get deeper analysis and reporting. With Idiomatic doing your Voice of Customer analysis, you’ll benefit from the following:

  • Custom data labels organized in easy-to-understand categories and issues
  • Human quality insights at scale
  • Real-time notifications with Slack integrations
  • Engineering-free integration
  • Custom tags and filtering
  • Daily, weekly, and monthly trends and insights in a variety of visualizations

Learn about how Idiomatic can help categorize and analyze customer feedback to generate data-based, actionable insights to improve customer experiences.

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