Most businesses collect structured customer data (often called behavioral data) such as website clicks, purchases, time spent on a certain page, scroll depth, etc. While this information can help to inform many business decisions, it’s missing any type of qualitative data that can give much clearer insights into what the customer needs from a business.
When you’re able to collect valuable qualitative data in one place, from all channels and sources, you’re able to better make business decisions that’ll drive your company forward, provide your customers with a better experience, and set you apart from your competitors.
That’s where a Voice of the Customer template comes in (also known as VOC template).
In this article we’ve included a free voice of the customer template, instructions on how to use it, and best practices for collecting and aggregating your data.
Let’s get started.
- What Is the Voice of the Customer?
- What Are Voice of the Customer Examples?
- How to Collect Voice of the Customer Data
- Ask the Right Survey Questions
- Voice of the Customer Template [Free Download]
- How to Use the Voice of the Customer Template
- Automate Your Data Analysis Process
What Is the Voice of the Customer?
Voice of the Customer (abbreviated as VOC) describes a customer’s expectations and experiences with your brand. It also includes their wants, needs, preferences, and aversions regarding your products or services. Voice of the Customer is essentially a holistic view and understanding of the customer’s feelings and desires in regard to your company.
When businesses understand the voice of the customer, it helps them better understand every aspect of their audience including:
- Customer experience
- Customer journey
- Customer satisfaction
- Customer loyalty
- Customer retention
- Customer wants and needs
Understanding how a customer perceives your brand and their experience with it can help you make better business decisions to improve operations and generate more revenue.
What Are Voice of the Customer Examples?
Voice of the Customer examples include the results from a customer survey, interview, or focus group. It can also be the contents of an email, live chat, online review, or social media engagement. Lastly, another example of the voice of the customer includes their website behavior (e.g. clicks, time on page, purchases, etc.).
How to Collect Voice of the Customer Data
To find the voice of your customer, you have to start by collecting customer feedback and communication data through several communication avenues, including:
- Surveys: Customer surveys are a great way to collect customer feedback and get direct answers to questions regarding your product or service. If you let customers know that their feedback will be anonymous, this is often the best way to get true, unfiltered feedback.
- Interviews and focus groups: Interviews and focus groups allow customers to really dive in and explain how their experience was with your company. It provides space to collect a lot of detail about their experience.
- Communication channel monitoring: Monitoring communication channels such as emails, live chats, and even phone recordings is another method to collect data for Voice of the Customer analysis. Pulling direct quotes from both written and auto files can be used in the template below.
- Online reviews and social media monitoring: Companies can gather valuable voice of the customer data from online reviews and social media platforms. When collecting feedback and customer comments, you’ll want to pull both positive and negative feedback. Solely collecting positive comments won’t help your company grow. Customer complaints are what will really help build your Voice of the Customer template into a helpful tool to evolve your business.
Ask the Right Questions
If your Voice of the Customer data collection methods include surveys, interviews, or focus groups, you’ll want to be sure to ask the right questions to get the most valuable input from the customers.
Voice of the Customer data can be both qualitative and quantitative. For example, you can collect quantitative data through Net Promoter Score surveys and qualitative data through focus groups or online reviews. Feedback can be written, provided as an audio recording, or verbalized in person. Questions can be both close-ended and open-ended and use a mix of both; however, open-ended questions will give companies a deeper understanding of customer sentiment.
Examples of Voice of the Customer-related questions:
Close-ended Voice of the Customer question examples:
- Did our customer service representatives resolve your issue?
- On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate your overall experience?
- Did our product/service meet your needs?
- Would you recommend our product/service to friends and family?
Open-ended Voice of the Customer question examples:
- How would you describe your experience with our customer service team?
- How can we improve our product or service?
- How does our product or service compare to the competition?
The next step is to input this data into a Voice of the Customer template (sometimes referred to as a voice of the customer translation matrix’).
Voice of the Customer Template
A voice of the customer template gives you a holistic, bird’s eye view of the expectations and experiences your customers have had with your brand. Use this template to collect customer feedback, determine what the customer needs, and how you can use this information to improve your business.
How to Use the Voice of the Customer Template
To use the voice of the customer template you have to understand the different sections and how to fill them out.
There are three sections to any voice of the customer template:
Verbatim is the section of the template that is a collection of the exact words that were used by the customer (in their own voice) to describe their expectations and experience with your brand. This is where you’ll include exactly what was said by the customer so no assumptions are made and no context goes missing.
This type of qualitative data is the treasure trove for businesses. Despite it being hard to deal with, it’s what will truly provide data-driven insights for your company. True Voice of the Customer turns this qualitative data into quantitative data so you can analyze it the same way you do behavioral data (e.g. a customer’s behavior on your website).
Examples of verbatims:
- Review: “I love the new donut flavors but there are no options with sprinkles, which is one of the best parts of a donut!”
- LiveChat: “Lindsay was really helpful during our LiveChat session but I don’t remember all of his recommendations.”
- Focus group: “I love their product, but I’ve heard it’s not ethically made.”
The need section of the template is where you use your sentiment analysis skills to decipher what the customer needs (and wants) based on their words in the verbatim section. Here, you should list the needs you’ve identified through analyzing the customer’s feedback and try to identify patterns, commonalities, and trends. It’s here that you’ll be able to pull action items from the customer’s insights.
Examples of needs:
- Review: Sprinkles on our donuts are important to the customer.
- LiveChat: LiveChat conversation history is not easily accessible after the window closes.
- Focus group: Sustainable practices are important to the customer.
The requirements section is where you insert your plan to fulfill the customer’s needs. Here is where you will start to develop your business strategies based on what you’ve observed in the ‘needs’ section of the Voice of the Customer template. This will serve as your roadmap to help build the things that will make customers’ lives easier and make operational improvements. Be sure to use your Voice of the Customer template as a way to listen to what your customers say is going wrong and their pain points, not for listening to what your customers think you should do about it.
Examples of requirements:
- Review: Consider keeping a donut with sprinkles in every seasonal menu rotation.
- LiveChat: Update our LiveChat function to give the user an option to have the conversation thread emailed to them or have the conversation history attached to their account somehow so they can access it the next time they visit our site.
- Focus group: Plan sustainability campaigns to better spread awareness of our ethical practices.
What is a Voice of Customer Strategy?
A Voice of Customer strategy (also known as VOC program) is a plan that is devised after you collect Voice of the Customer data and analyze the customer feedback to help improve your business. A Voice of the Customer strategy can include things such as a plan to reduce a product’s price point, fixing the UX design of an app, or implementing a call back feature when customers are on hold. Your Voice of Customer strategy will include all the necessary steps to implementing these changes to improve customer satisfaction.
Automate Your Voice of the Customer Data Analysis Process
Analyzing Voice of the Customer data doesn’t have to take weeks (or even months). Idiomatic’s Voice of the Customer software makes Voice of the Customer analysis quick, efficient, and error-free. With the assistance of AI, our platform frees up time for your valuable team to strategize and execute plans that will move the needle for your business and improve the customer experience as a whole. Request a demo to see how Idiomatic can enhance your Voice of the Customer strategy.