Do you know what the differentiating factor between a successful business and an unsuccessful business?
The successful ones listen and understand the needs of its customers.
They pay close attention to what their customers are saying because they are aware that in future these customers are going to directly impact the top and the bottom line of their business.
Gordon Ramsay, a famous restaurateur, and television personality once rightly quoted
” Key to a successful business is remembering the customer is the king, because without them we are nobody”
Listening to the customer is a skill which every business leader must possess. It requires a lot of patience and an in-depth understanding of customers. And that’s the only formula to become successful.
But the question remains “How can you understand what your customers want?”
Understanding your customer and building a strong relationship with the customer is not a daunting task. There are a number of techniques available that can help you do this.
Out of all the techniques for understanding customer needs, the one which has worked wonders for many is capturing the voice of the customer
What is the voice of the Customer?
Voice of the customer is a process that captures all of what a customer is saying about business, product, or service.
It helps you know the gap between what your customers perceive about your brand their actual experience. Not only these, Voice of customer process lets you understand the following aspects as well.
Understand early warning and potential brand crisis
Capture insights into new concepts, ideas, and solutions
Helps in increasing customer retention
Top voice of customer methodologies to capture feedback
On-Site Customer Surveys
Voice of the customer (VoC) programs has become a strategic asset for most of the growing companies. Customer experience is being prioritized by some of the fast-paced growing companies in the world like Zappos, Uber, Airbnb.
In an era where we are saturated with information and data, strategies to cut through the noise are fundamental for long-term business growth.
The need of the hour is to provide a personalized customer experience which is far more superior than the competitors.
The insights captured from customers using the different voice of the customer (VoC) programs can be used to directly improve the companies products and service offerings.
Let’s dig a bit deep to understand the benefits of Voice of the customer tools/programs and the real benefits of Voice of the customer (VOC) programs
1. Service Improvement :
One of the first and the most basic benefits of Voice of the Customer (VOC) program is service improvement
Companies are using customer opinions to improve their service offerings and the overall customer experience.
More than two-thirds of marketers responsible say their companies compete mostly on the basis of CX, according to the 2017 Gartner Customer Experience in Marketing Survey. And in two years’ time, 81% say they expect to be competing mostly or completely on the basis of CX.
When McDonald’s Corp. faced slumping growth and customer loss to competitors, marketers at the company listened for signals of customer preferences and needs. For years, diners clamored for the restaurant chain to serve breakfast during lunch and dinner hours. As a result of the voice of the customer (VoC) surveys, McDonald’s rolled out an all-day breakfast menu and promptly experienced a 5.7% jump in the fourth quarter 2015 same-store sales in the U.S.
And it’s not just offline, e-commerce companies like Amazon, Alibaba are using customer feedback and analysis to improve the navigation experience of their customers.
For example – Based on the previous searches, customers will be able to view best selling products or products which are associated with their past searches.
2. Brand management :
The second point for the benefits of Voice of the Customer (VOC) tools is to help in Brand Management purpose. Voice of the Customer programs let companies understand what the customers perceive about their brand.
Voice of the customer tools and programs provide a direct line to the customers convey what they feel about the brand, their problems, and their frustrations.
Companies have started using social media as a channel to directly communicate with the customers, understand their problems and provide quick solutions to their grievances.
3. Product innovation and development :
Listening to your customers ardently can help companies make in product innovation and new developments.
Understanding what the customer wants or what additional benefits they require from the existing product, can help companies grasp the new trends and can form the base of future developments.
Developing products with a proper understanding of the needs and wants of the customer and is willing to pay is what makes it a success.
Let’s take a look at two examples: Porsche Cayenne and Chrysler’s Dodge Dart.
Both models were launched in the early 2000s, yet we likely only see one of these still on the road in the latest offering: the Cayenne. Why?
The product team over at Porsche underwent exhaustive customer research and surveyed target customers on every single feature the car might possibly have and gauged their willingness to pay for it.
But yet, the story changes for Chrysler. They were trying to target an entirely new segment of buyers with their reintroduction of the Dart, a model from the 1970s.
They went from product development straight to engineering, totally forgetting that the car should be defined by their end-user, not by the company.
The only thing the Dart is now known for is being one of the biggest product flops of 2012.
4. Marketing Efficiency and Market fit :
The 4th benefit of the Voice of the customer (VOC) program is that it lets you understand about the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
VOC lets you understand the customer’s buying patterns their preferences; gather trends and get information about the social, political and environmental impacts on customers buying behavior and what do customers say about competitors and their products and services.
Final thoughts on the voice of the customer
Though Voice of the customer (VOC) programs seems to be a lot of work, they are totally customizable and businesses can adapt these, basis their objectives and the outcomes they want to achieve out of this exercise.
A successful VoC program will provide you with all the insights that you’ll need to understand customer preferences, problems, and complaints.
The last step of the journey will be to use these benefits of voice of the customer programs and put the insights captured into action, make changes in the business strategy wherever and whenever required so as to meet the customer expectations.
Also, learn more about the voice of customer tools which organizations are using to capture customer insights and use for their future business strategies.