Voice of the customer analytics
Voice of the customer analytics captures customers' experiences, expectations, preferences, and aversions. Brands that understand the VoC, that listen to consumers, will find insights that when actioned, will give them the competitive advantage. I'm going to show you how to employ a VoC methodology, act on your customer feedback, and prove the ROI of your marketing efforts.
Voice of customer examples
In our latest industry report, we look at some of the actionable insights brands can find through voice of customer analysis. Highlighting insights, and predicting future trends in the CPG industry, to inspire the analysis for your sector and brand. Grab it by clicking the link above.
What is voice of the customer analysis?
Voice of customer analytics is a market research technique, that gives brands a comprehensive understanding of customer needs and wants. It collects data from a wide variety of sources - email, phone calls, social media, surveys, call center transcripts, CRM systems - creating a powerful overview of the customer. Identifying intentions, desires, and aversions. Enabling data-driven decision making across your company, that'll help multiple teams - sales, marketing, product, customer service, PR, and more.
Examples of data you can combine to complete your voice of the customer.
But that’s a very dry definition of something that could revolutionize a company. Particularly considering it’s potential brand impact in an uncertain world. Let’s break it down...
Why is voice of customer important for your brand?
We're living in a post-pandemic world and subsequent economic changes will see a decrease in consumer spending power over the next few years. Voice of customer research helps your brand grab a large share of that available spend...
- Voice of the customer finds the gaps in your customer experience
VoC identifies what people expect from your brand, and where real-life experience falls short of those customer expectations. Which in turn, lead to a better customer experience overall.
- Customer experience - CX - leads to customer loyalty
CX drives over two-thirds of customer loyalty, as all consumer/brand interactions combine to create a simple perception... If I enjoy a brand's products, I'll want to buy it again.
- Loyalty helps maintain sales
During a crisis, consumers rely on the brands they are loyal to. When spending power is cut, people still turn to the brands they love for the day to day essentials - from the weekly shop, to one-off treats.
With effective voice of the consumer monitoring, you can build brand loyalty, retain customers, and increase existing spend. With customer retention a more cost effective sales driver than acquisition, which is essential when budgets are being cut.
And that’s not all. Listening to your customers can also help with...
- Product conception
Consumers often discuss products they would love to see. If an idea gets enough buzz, that identifies a concept you know would pay off.
not to go down the “why isn’t there grape ice cream” route again but why isn’t there white chocolate ice cream— adam zafrian (@adamzafrian) May 16, 2020
White chocolate could be your next popular ice cream flavor. Or maybe even grape.
- Product development
Adapt your flavors, packaging, products, or services, etc., based on what your clients say. What they want. The more you meet their needs, the more sales.
- Crisis aversion
Spot product complaints and major issues as in real time, then join the conversation to tackle an issue before it becomes a PR crisis.
- Customer journey analysis
Find the gaps in your customer journey, to help boost sales, encourage faster purchases, and keep your customers happy.
What should you include to complete your VoC program?
Analyzing the customer voice is an essential part of a successful marketing strategy, as it relies on data. A lot of data collection. To complete this data collection puzzle, you need to combine all the pieces of the puzzle in one place.
First, let’s take a look at the data sources you should include...
Social media listening
Pros - Social media gives you valuable voice of consumer insights, that aren't shaped by any preconceptions. It’s raw, real-time voice of the customer data, that molds itself around the current trends and topics. If you want the most current category insights, social media listening is the only accurate way.
Cons - The data is raw, with few ways to shape the conversation as you want. You can try to herd consumers, by raising questions through owned channels, otherwise, you need to monitor your data effectively to pull actionable intelligence.
i hate how fast i finish starbucks drinks— francheska🐲 (@itsfrenchiiie) June 12, 2020
Is social media data hinting that consumers want larger portion sizes at Starbucks?
Pros - Focus groups and interviews bring the niche details you want information on. You get to shape the questions, and investigate your audience’s perception. Plus, consumers appreciate the personal touch this method offers.
Cons - Focus groups and interviews are time consuming and costly. Plus, the data provided is time-specific. A new crisis or global change can make the data irrelevant overnight, so you should try to combine your findings with more sources.
Pros - Surveys sit somewhere between social media and focus groups. You can automate them, to get instantaneous results, while still maintaining a level of depth to your data. You can also adapt them for various stages of your buying journey, to gather relevant data.
Cons - Surveys have to be carefully designed. You may want to try and gather as much information as you can, but too many questions and consumers will click away. You also run the risk of focusing on one area and missing a major issue. Additional data will help you shape the questions you need to be asking.
Net promoter score® - NPS
Pros - I’ve covered the net promoter score before, as it’s a valuable metric that brands can use to quickly benchmark their customer satisfaction performance. It also helps track people who'll promote your brand - those that rank you 9 or above - and those that'll criticize your brand - people scoring 9 or above are likely to promote your brand, and those ranking you 6 or below.
Your overall score can be reviewed regularly to help predict a crisis. Or to assess the impact of a brand awareness campaign.
Cons - The score is just a number. It doesn’t provide any clues as to why people scored you as they did. Therefore, you need to include other tangible information to help you track why your score has changed - for better or worse.
How you rank a brand demonstrates whether you’re likely to promote it or criticize it.
Email, chat, call data
Pros - This is where consumers contact you and tell you what you’re doing right or wrong. It’s up-to-date and constant, providing you with a steady stream of insights.
Cons - This data is often siloed, held by the customer service team, marketing, sales, product, etc. Trying to add it to the rest of your data, can be tricky, unless a solution with adequate integration capabilities is found.
Pros - Much like email and call data, reviews help you see what consumers are saying at a macro level. Often, they will be created based on a highly positive or negative experience, so will highlight the extreme highs or lows of the customer relationship.
Cons - Depending on your industry, you could find your reviews segmented across numerous sites. This, along with the complication of collating and understanding a quantity of long-form content, makes monitoring them a challenge.
Review data adds additional insights from customers.
Blogs and forum mentions
Pros - Blogs and forums are similar to social media mentions. User-generated content talking about your products. This tends to be long-form content - offering more detailed perspectives of the topics being discussed.
Cons - As with social media data, the content can be raw and unexpected. Your brand can be pulled into a wide range of topics and conversations. Some positive. Some negative. Managing the data effectively is vital for understanding what’s important to your brand, and what’s just noise.
How to improve voice of the customer?
An effective voice of the customer plan a brand that collects, analyzes, and acts on feedback to build a customer-centric mindset.
Journey to being customer-centric, to drive revenue, increase retention, save costs.
Customer-centric brands put the customer at the heart of their business. They're customer obsessed. This company culture drives improvements - brand, product, customer service - creating the ultimate customer experience.
Learning how to improve your CX isn't easy or quick. It takes an analysis of the entire customer journey at every touch point to understand what you’re doing well and what you're doing wrong. Check out my post, for more information - 19 customer experience metrics to monitor.
If you're looking to improve your customer experience journey, it has to be more than a quick customer satisfaction survey - CSAT. You need to understand how consumers - your audience - feel at every stage of the customer experience lifecycle. Are they happy, angry, frustrated, satisfied. What are they saying?
Collect this real-time voice of customer data and you'll be equipped to make improvements to your CX, that'll give you the cutting edge in your industry and drive revenue growth.
How to measure voice of customer data?
You can't just guess how customers feel about your brand. Time spent on your blog and lots of sales only give half the picture. You need to understand how consumer interact with your brand, if you want to improve your business. Win new clients, increase revenue, decrease churn. Voice of the customer data provides insights into how consumers feel about the customer experience you provide.
Voice of customer data includes consumer opinions, criticisms. What they like. How they feel. This VoC data can be found on social media, review sites, forums, surveys, call center transcripts, emails, phone calls, and more. A comprehensive VoC plan measures sentiment, emotions, attitudes, likes and dislikes, so you can created a targeted marketing strategy.
Voice of the customer marketing uses tools to identify and measure how consumers interact with your brand. They analyze every step a buyer takes. From visiting your website and reading a product page, to your pricing page. From a sales call to a purchase. From customer service to after care. Only then will you have a complete picture of how consumers are interacting with your business.
How to analyze voice of customer data?
With all that data, you need the right VoC tools to manage effectively. Especially if you’re looking at handling potentially millions of bits of data. But there are great techniques you can use to make the task easier.
Sentiment analysis uses the power of AI to identify and categorize the sentiment of a mention - is it positive, negative or neutral? You can then quickly divide your analysis into two sections...
- What people like, that you should increase
- What people hate, that you should improve
Sentiment at scale isn’t as easy as it sounds. You need a system that understands sarcasm and context, to ensure accuracy. And, the ability to customize the analysis to fit your use case, so that it learns from you as you review the data over time, and helps improve your workflow and time-efficiency.
Check out Meg’s blog on online sentiment analysis to discover more.
In this example, sentiment analysis helped a brand spot a peak in negative mentions. It reacted quickly, and turned a negative into a positive.
Natural language processing
NLP can help you make sense of all that information. By analyzing the language used across all your data, it pinpoints the topics, trends, and issues that are discussed the most.
Conversation Clusters is an advanced visualization with NLP at the core (it also does Natural Language Understanding - NLU).
The visualizations help translate masses of information through automated data segmentation. In the example above, I analyzed the biggest complaints around cell phones over 30 days, which were led by third party app issues and spyware risks. With hardware issues making less impact.
Sometimes, data in isolation means nothing. It’s only as you combine different bits of information that a picture is revealed.
For example, comparing your NPS against your social media sentiment can reveal the conversations that impacted your score.
Or, you could be stuck on why a certain issue has suddenly appeared as a focus in surveys and calls. Compare that data to your reviews, and you could find the cause is one negative review impacting opinions.
The problem in completing your voice of the customer program
In an ideal world, you would want to collate data from all of these sources to create a complete understanding of your customers. This boosts the benefits, and cancels the negatives from each source.
The problem is, finding a way to do that. Integrating these sources, often from different sectors of the business, into one platform can be a challenge. Then formatting them in a way that they’re comparable is another.
Find your voice of the customer
The economic downturn is impacting businesses every day. The coming months, even years, are going to be hard. But those businesses that are customer-centric, that listen to the voice of consumers, will be the ones that come out on top.
Take a peek at some of the consumer insights that you can gather by downloading the free report below...