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How to Develop Your Voice of the Customer Survey

Customer feedback plays a critical role in improving a business’s product and service delivery. However, many companies rely on outdated methods of gathering data and implementing the results. A Voice of the Customer (VoC) analysis uses modern methods to analyze sentiment and improve customer experience. And a VoC survey is a one of the most widely used source of voice of the customer data collection. An advanced VoC survey leverages the power of technology to offer flexible and comprehensive analytics in a selection of use cases. In this way, it helps you retain customer loyalty while giving you the opportunity to find new customers.

In this article, we give you a lowdown on how to develop your own voice of the customer survey. You can also explore Repustate’s Voice of the Customer analysis tool and examine the benefits it offers.

How Can You Develop the VoC Survey?

Once you have developed your voice of the customer program, its time to develop your VoC survey, you need to narrow in on your objective and focus on a strategic design for the survey which includes branding and imagery. You need to personalize your questions, cover all relevant topics, and most importantly, find all the right platforms to reach the maximum number of customers possible. Let’s break down the process.

Process of Voice of Customer survey development

1. Decide your objectives

The first step is to decide on the end goal of the survey. It’s advised to design a series of short surveys instead of a longer, time-consuming one. So, it’s important that you have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve from the survey. This goal should be echoed across various departments.

2. Focus on strategic design

The design of a VoC survey involves various aspects to consider. Design not only refers to the visual appearance of the survey but also the questions that are included. There are a few key points to keep in mind when designing the questionnaire.

Use brand colors and imagery in the visual design. Surveys present a great opportunity to build brand awareness. Keep your survey simple and short. Survey fatigue is a realistic concern, so it’s important to make the process simple and effortless. Keep the questions short, make the survey mobile-friendly, ask for feedback immediately, and focus on the user experience of the survey.

3. Personalize your questions

If you want to make the most of the survey, then it’s important to personalize the questions as best as possible. If the survey is not relevant to the customer’s experience, then they will most likely exit immediately. The alternative is to phrase a question in an open-ended way so that relevance becomes a possibility. With the above in mind, it’s important to avoid asking questions that may be interpreted as insensitive or intrusive.

Use the sales data to personalize your questions. Personalization doesn’t only involve adding the customer’s first name. The effort also includes the mention of services or products that they have used. It can even go as far as referencing similar products, gaining insight, and possibly encouraging another purchase.

4. Ask assorted question types

An assortment of questions is needed to give the customer an opportunity to share their experience while respecting their time. In the same breath, a variety of questions is essential for the success of a Voice of the Customer survey. Various question types include opinion scales, star ratings, matrix types, and open-ended text boxes.

Consider the following tips when putting together questions for the survey.

  • Start the survey with an overall rating so that you don’t influence the general feedback

  • Include both qualitative and quantitative questions to save time and offer valuable insight

  • Don’t neglect yes / no questions as they are easy to analyze

  • Invite elaboration on yes / no questions for further insight

  • Consider whether the intention of the survey is transactional or relational - or both

  • Avoid asking leading questions but allow the customer to answer in their own words

5. Share on relevant platforms

Once you’ve designed your survey and carefully selected an assortment of questions, it’s important to test the survey. When you’re happy that the survey is ready to be released, you can send it out on various survey distribution channels.

Consider your demographics when selecting a distribution channel. For large response rates, an interactive VoC survey needs to be distributed on various, relevant channels. This also gives customers the flexibility to choose which channel is best for them.

A lot of time and effort goes into formulating a survey and sending it out. Analyzing the data adds another demand to the process. Yet Voice of the Customer surveys are valuable and worth the effort. Survey data analysis makes the entire process more streamlined, saving cost, time, and energy.

How Is a VoC Survey Different From Regular Surveys?

A regular customer survey helps businesses assess the satisfaction level of previous customers but a VoC survey takes analysis to the next level. A VoC survey helps understand customer pain points across the entire sales journey and discovers deeper aspects that are not possible with regular surveys. It’s no secret that customer service is integral to business success. Around 84% of consumers admit that customer service is a key factor in decision-making. Even so, during difficult times, expectations seem to be higher. So having insights from a VoC survey gives you an edge to always be ahead.

A Voice of the Customer survey is a fundamental part of the Voice of the Customer process. The process involves understanding the customer needs and how the customer experience (CX) can be improved. It follows the entire customer journey, uncovering various pain points or obstacles along the way. Each of these discoveries can help improve the overall level of customer satisfaction.

There are a few differentiating factors that make a VoC survey valuable for improving performance. Consider the following as a starting point.

  1. Flexibility of Questions

A main differentiating factor is that the survey uses quantitative and qualitative feedback. Both offer unique value and serve a specific purpose. When quantitative and qualitative feedback are considered together, the results are significantly more powerful.

For example, quantitative questions offer the following benefits.

  • Gather broad insights

  • Optimal respondent experience on mobile

  • Statistical accuracy

In the same breath, qualitative questions offer their own benefits, such as the following.

  • Gaining context with open-ended questions

  • Understanding the “how” or “why”

  • Receive unexpected answers and discover non-traditional solutions

When businesses have the flexibility to use both types of questions, they reap double the benefits.

  1. Freedom of expression

Completing a survey takes time so when customers take the time to share their feedback, we already know that they are interested in our brand. There are a few key reasons that customers commit to answering questions on a previous experience as well. For example, they find the questions interesting, there is a financial incentive, and they believe that their individual opinion is important. Customers are also likely to repeat business when their opinion is appreciated and action is taken on negative experiences.

  1. Use of open-ended questions

Open-ended questions create space for rich, contextual feedback. Respondents are able to answer freely and in the process, their knowledge, feelings, and understanding are better communicated. Open-ended questions are especially useful when getting to know the segments within your customer base.

For example, Gen Z typically has different expectations from customer service. The impressionable target group is especially swayed by convenience and efficiency. Open-ended questions can reveal nuanced expectations in customer demographics and help improve.

Types of VoC Survey Questions

Customer surveys are used for different reasons. Depending on variables such as the industry of the business and the stage of the customer journey, the survey questions may differ. It’s important to consider the various Voice of the Customer benefits and determine where they fit within your strategy. For example, popular benefits include;

  • Improved customer service

  • Product innovation and development

  • Improved brand management based on customer perception

  • Increased efficiency of marketing efforts

  • Boost customer loyalty

To leverage these benefits, it’s important to ask the right questions. While the specific questions may change, there are a few fundamental techniques and questions that are essential. Asking the right questions will help to better understand what the customer is really saying.

  1. Consider the technique

There are different ways to gather data from valued customers. Focus groups, customer interviews, live chat, phone calls, and social media listening are all effective techniques. Shining the light on Voice of the Customer surveys, we can dive deeper into the types of questions to ask that will offer the best insight. While customer surveys can take various formats, asking the right questions remains essential.

  1. Demographic questions

Demographic questions are crucial to understand the characteristics of consumers such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, profession, and more. Demographic questions also help to divide the data into segmented groups, helping to refine marketing strategies. While demographic questions play a valuable role in customer feedback, it’s important to rethink the phrasing to remain relevant in modern society.

  1. General questions

General questions allow you to add more context to the customer’s experience. Examples include asking about their level of expertise in an area, finding out about their preferred method of communication, and the biggest challenges they face. Qualitative questions are useful when asking general questions, allowing customers to be more specific in their responses. In turn, this offers deeper insights.

  1. Product or service questions

Asking qualitative product questions offers great value and insight into a customer’s nuanced experience. These questions aren’t the same as satisfaction questions. They focus on the actual product or service in use, discovering why the customer took preference to your brand. If possible, avoid asking customers to provide data that you already have on record. Completing a survey is an experience in itself, and it shouldn’t be repetitive or a waste of time.

  1. Satisfaction questions

In many ways, satisfaction questions are the backbone of understanding how people view your product or services. Answers provide insight on where you can improve, as well as where your strengths lie. Make sure that your questions are simple and to the point. Avoid leading questions, rather let the customer answer in their own words. Keep in mind that tools that use sentiment analysis API can help to understand this data and make the most of it.

  1. Recommendation questions

Word-of-mouth promotion drives $6 trillion in annual global spending. This figure equates to 13% of all sales. Needless to say, it’s important that a customer is willing to recommend your business. Questions about recommendation can be close-ended questions, using a sliding scale to determine an answer. You can also ask respondents to pick from a range of options and follow up with an optional qualitative box for elaboration.

  1. Brand perception

Research shows that it costs approximately five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Understanding how a customer perceives your brand can help to improve brand awareness and loyalty. Consider asking questions about how the customer perceives your brand and what comes to mind when they think about your product or service.

Discover more: Voice of the Customer examples

Repustate Data Tells All

Once the survey has been sent and feedback received, you need to unlock the meaning in your data. That’s where Repustate customer feedback analysis tool comes in as a leading source to know your customers like never before.

From extracting survey sentiment to video content analysis, we offer solutions to find insights in your surveys, social media, videos, and more. We’re a trusted partner to clients worldwide, with our multilingual sentiment analysis and VCA solution setting us apart from our competitors.

Our semantic search and text analytics API means that we can offer accurate and efficient results in 23 languages and dialects. Get to know your customer better and reap the benefits with Repustate’s VoC survey solution.

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