Re-Inventing Customer Experience in 2022 with Voice of the Customer
Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a customer experience (CX)-based approach to collect feedback from customers about their interaction with your brand and their expectations of you. This Voice of the Customer guide aims to help you reimagine your customer experience management (CXM) with the help of cutting-edge AI-powered, machine-learned (ML), natural language processing (NLP)-based technology. Manual processing of VoC data for insights is strewn with discrepancies because of human errors and biases. Artificial intelligence bridges this gap and allows you to develop the most efficient strategy for developing a stellar voice of the customer analysis template to retain and maintain customer loyalty, and thus business growth.
Customer Experience and the Voice of the Customer
What your customers feel and go through in their customer journey with your brand is what is termed as customer experience (CX). It encompasses their emotions and literal experiences with you, such as satisfaction, thrill, convenience, and efficiency. Needless to say, the better the customer experience, the more your business grows. The easiest way to get to the bottom of what your customers think about you is through your voice of the customer (VoC) data. This data, whichever digital form it is in, can be collected and analyzed to complete precision through AI-based, ML, sentiment analysis platforms.
Traditionally, VoC was collected through surveys. Today, we do this digitally. Surveys are a great way to knowing your demographic, especially because surveys have open-ended questions, which do not have predetermined answers. This allows the respondent to write as much or as little of what they have on their mind. Another way to gather VoC data is through video formats. Video technology is so commonplace - be it on digital devices, phones, or tablets - that everyone - from hospitals to news agencies, to entertainment publications and airline maintenance staff - almost everyone uses them.
Accurate and sophisticated video analytics ensures that all the VoC information is collated and analyzed most diligently, and can even be incorporated in your voice of the customer analysis template. As a result, companies like you get the right insights for developing the most effective CX programs you can for strategic business development, which includes getting the most return on your investments and efforts. This voice of the customer guide will give you all the information you need on this front.
Take a quick tour of Repustate's Sentiment Analysis Solution.
Why do we need VoC?
Companies rely on the voice of the customer for brand improvement, product and service innovation, positive publicity, online reputation management, customer retention, and many other important functions. Let’s outline these a bit.
- Brand improvement
When your audience tells you what they like about you and what they don’t; when they tell you why they prefer you to your competitors or vice versa, you get valuable information on how you can improve brand experience.
- Product/service innovation
Feedback about your product or service, in whatever field you are in - retail, hotel, restaurant, healthcare - plays an important part in telling you what you can do to improve your existing product or service to keep up with changing trends. You might also get ideas for a new product altogether.
- Positive publicity
Word-of-mouth publicity is the best thing next to brand validation through advertising. Word-of-mouth digitally, through reviews, or even user-generated TikTok or YouTube videos can be greatly used to your advantage. This information can also be part of your voice of the customer analysis template.
- Online reputation management
Beware cancel culture. The minute you come to know, through social media sentiment analysis or VoC emotion mining, that aspects of your advert, branding, or product are making people uncomfortable, you can immediately nip the trouble in the bud and avoid escalation.
- Customer retention
Loyal customers are loyal because they feel heard. Every time a grievance they mention is attended to, and they never face it again, it reiterates to them that you care about them.
- Personalized promotions
You can personalize your promotions and advertising based on your customers’ age, location, or language, family size, and a myriad of other factors.
- Market research
VoC data is key in market research through surveys that can give you a holistic view of what customers think about your brand. You will see a business example later in this voice of the customer guide.
- Increased revenue
When you get real insights into how your customers’ spend-behavior is, you can use that information to strategize different marketing programs aimed at increasing your revenue targets. For example, you may know that most people like to shop during the off-season, so you can use that opportunity to launch certain promotions that you know can give you a good lead into the coming two quarters.
- Cut costs
Customer feedback is a very good source of knowing where you need to reduce spend because your customers are just not interested in that area.
- Brand innovation
You can develop branding campaigns that are so in touch with your customers’ emotions and trending social topics, that it can catapult you to more than just a product, just like Dove did with their empowerment campaigns.
Read more about the benefits of the voice of the customer.
How Do You Develop the Voice of the Customer Program?
You can build a very successful VoC program by first and foremost identifying your rightful customers, and then identifying the aspects that are most important to them. After that, by doing a gap analysis of your existing information, you can define what you need to mention in your surveys and other methods of collecting information (we will read more about it in this voice of the customer guide). You can then run all this data through the voice of the customer analytics platform of your choice and use the resulting insights to empower customer experience.
The steps below will elucidate it better.
Know your customer well
Match business aspects most important to your customers
Conduct information gap analysis
Develop a strategy and collect VoC data
Choose the right AI platform to analyze the data
Understand the insights
Take action based on the CX insights.
Learn more about developing your own Voice of the Customer Program.
Voice of the Customer Analysis Template
Once you’ve developed the outline of your VoC program, you must decide on your voice of the customer analysis template. This is an important step because a VoC template allows you to see at a glance how the customer expresses his opinion verbatim, which you then take note of to see what he needs from your brand. This also allows you to see patterns in how customers express themselves regarding similar things.
Having this information enables you to figure out what you must do to meet the customers’ expectations and requirements adequately.
Learn more about using Voice of Customer template.
My VoC Analysis Template
Voice of the Customer Process
In this part of the voice of the customer guide, we talk about the steps involved in generating the voice of the customer including identifying the right sources of information as well as processing that data for actionable insights. The entire process can be summed up as follows.
Stage 1: Identifying direct, indirect, and inferred sources of customer-voice
Stage 2: Processing the VoC data
Stage 3: Sentiment analysis
Stage 4: Understanding the data and taking action
Stage 1 is crucial because this is the time when you have to identify where your customers express themselves the most. This depends a lot on the audience demographic. The older generation, or the customer segment not comfortable with technology, will perhaps prefer assistance with mail-in surveys or attend calls, while the more savvy ones will easily express their opinions on digital surveys, social media, or even video blogs.
Similarly, you can get information from the latter through inferred means such as their interaction with your website, length of their stay on which page, etc. You will learn more about the types of sources in the next section of this voice of the customer guide.
Stage 2 & 3 are when your VoC data will be processed depending on the format in which it is. A reliable text analytics and sentiment analysis platform will ensure that the text data from surveys, reviews, comments, etc. is analyzed uniformly. The video AI function will capture video data from channels like IGTV, Facebook, YouTube product review videos, video interviews, etc. as well. Through video content analysis, the ML platform will analyze the videos and imagery within it with as much ease as it will text. This way you will get a complete picture of your voice of the customer data.
Stage 4 is when you visualize all your data that has been collected and processed for sentiment and see the emerging patterns. The VoC analysis platform will help you see trends in customer sentiment in relation to different aspects of your business. For example, if you are a clothing retailer like Zara or H&M, you can see how your customers feel about your coats, dresses, men’s wear, children’s wear, ambiance, customer service, return policy, and a number of other factors that you deem important. You can put your voice of the customer analysis template to use for this exercise.
With these insights, it becomes easy to formulate plans that can enhance your customer experience to foster a more engaging and productive relationship with your customers.
Know more about the VoC process.
What Are The Sources of Collecting Voice of Customer Data?
Let’s talk in detail about the different sources of gathering VoC information that we touched upon in the previous section of this voice of the customer guide. These can be direct sources like emails and surveys; indirect like social media comments and reviews, and inferred like purchase histories or website interactions.
Text and emails to customer support executives, as well as chatbot messages, are sources of information that you get directly from customers. These are easily scrutinized by a text analysis API.
It could be a long detailed survey or a simple pop-up question that comes up when you purchase something online. These also give you direct access to a customer’s preferences and experience with you.
- Call Centre logs
Call logs that are recorded for quality purposes are equally important because, again, they are directly from customers and can be processed without fear of losing important factors through paraphrasing.
- Social media
Social media listening comprising comments and user-generated videos can give you a good deal of information about customer likes and dislikes, including their interaction with your competitor.
Customer reviews on platforms other than yours are indirect but good sources of gathering information about what aspects of your business are good and what needs improvement. All of the above sources, in fact, can be used to fill out your voice of the customer analysis template.
- News articles and videos
News websites and online publications are great sources of ensuring brand stability and outreach. Read this customer success story to see how a Dutch media company used Repustate to ensure that its clients were always in tune with their brand’s customer experience. (You will see more business cases later in this voice of the customer guide.)
- Website interaction
Seeing how customers are interacting with different web pages on your portal is a clever way of knowing what is working and what’s not in terms of products, offers, locations, etc.
- Purchase history
Having data on your customers’ purchase history is also a good way to formulate your marketing plans based on demographic historical sales data.
Learn in detail about the different sources of gathering Voice of Customer information.
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Developing A Voice of the Customer Survey
To ideate and create a voice of the customer survey for your business, you need to follow certain steps that are instrumental in its success. They are:
Identify your goals - It is very important that the whole organization is in sync when it comes to the goals for creating a survey. There has to be seamless communication within departments as to what the requirements are, as well as with the executive team to ensure that there are no budgetary or resource constraints later.
Design your survey - People have short attention spans, so ensure that your surveys are concise, clear, creative, bright, and easy to read and answer.
Personalize - Everybody likes to feel unique, hence a personalized survey will get you more results. Asking the right questions based on the customer’s preferences, purchase history, location, etc. are a great start. Pay attention to the information in your voice of the customer analysis template, which we talked about earlier.
Ask different types of questions - Mix up your questionnaire with simple yes and no queries and open-ended questions so that customers get a chance to mention things that you might have missed out in your questionnaire. (More about surveys in the latter part of this voice of the customer guide.)
Use an assortment of platforms to send your survey - This is why knowing your customer is so important. It allows you to decide which platform is the best to send your survey on. If your customers are mostly on Facebook or YouTube, adverts leading to surveys are sure-shot ways to get attention, while some only use Twitter. Some customers prefer emails, while others, automated calls. Choose your platform wisely.
Get all the know-how needed to develop your own Voice of Customer survey.
How Do You Select the Best Tool - 5 Top Features
The top five features in a VoC sentiment analysis platform are its ability to read multilingual content in text, audio, image, or video formats; its ability to analyze social listening data; a user-friendly, smart dashboard; and the ability to give the most granular insights.
Multimedia content analysis - The most reliable platform for analyzing your VoC data will have the ability to comprehend and analyze information in any format - video, text, audio, or image. Video AI ensures that even videos where comments are restricted are accessible for analysis for sentiment mining. Read this case study.
Social media listening - The tool must have accurate social media listening capabilities so that emojis, hashtags, social media acronyms, code switches in language, are all well-captured. Social media listening is one of the indirect, yet more easily available information sources of VoC as mentioned earlier in this voice of the customer guide.
Multilingual capability- The best VoC analysis API has the ability to read multiple languages without the need for translations. Translations dilute the content that has been collected because machine learning algorithms cannot match the actual language with machine translations.
Aspect-based sentiment analysis - The most sophisticated tool is one that can give you the most granular insights on the most detailed aspects of your business. You will need to decide beforehand, how in-depth you want to know about your brand’s performance. Your voice of the customer analysis template will help you in this.
Intelligent dashboard - This is another core feature that the tools will have. The smart customer data visualization dashboard gives you all the insights in the form of statistics and graphs, including aspect co-occurrences so that you know which aspect corresponds to what customer emotions. You can also sets alerts for notifications for social media mentions, or for a keyword.
Learn about the top Voice of Customer tools.
Take a quick tour of Repustate's Voice of Customer solution.
Voice of the Customer Examples
As we come to the end of this voice of the customer guide, you have learned about the what, why, and how of VoC and customer experience. You also saw how to ensure you are on the right track with the voice of the customer analysis template. Now is the time we peruse real-life business examples of how CX and VoE are tied together and how, with a sophisticated AI-based solution, can give an organization valuable insight to increase efficiency, productivity, and ROI.
Healthcare is an important function of society and one that certainly needs VoC data in the form of patient voice to ensure that healthcare services are to the best standards and accessible to all. It is for this reason that Nahdi Medical, a major healthcare organization in Saudi Arabia reached out to Repustate to help analyze its voice of the customer data collected through surveys and in-person interviews. Through aspect-based sentiment analysis, and using a native Arabic-based NLP solution, Repustate was able to help Nahdi understand the pulse of the population and ensure improvements in healthcare delivery.
Ensuring your new product is successful depends a great deal on market research. When the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) decided to develop a new app for improved health and nutrition for people above 50, they decided to learn from Voice of the Customer data available on social media, especially Twitter. They found many revealing points that showed what customers liked and disliked about diet apps in general, as well as specific ones like NOOM, WeightWatchers, etc. This customer success story gives you more details, including the technical solution that Repustate created for AARP.
Open-ended surveys can be very challenging to analyze even for machine learning platforms as you read early on in this voice of the customer guide. That’s why healthcare consultancy Health-Links needed a highly precise, efficient, and native language-based sentiment analysis solution that could be customized to include the national healthcare ministry’s complaints taxonomy. In its quest to find the right partner it finally reached Repustate, as none of the other solutions providers were able to give them a bespoke solution that was also proficient in Arabic and its major dialects. By replacing manual analysis of 12 Million surveys that it sent out across the Gulf region annually with Repustate’s VoC sentiment analysis solution, it was able to eliminate human errors and conduct analysis at a much faster and more accurate rate.
In a highly competitive industry like banking, it is imperative that one knows what is the hot topic amongst customers in order to reduce churn. A South-African bank was smart on this front and ensured that it used Repustate’s VoC solution for banking in getting in-depth insights about different aspects of its business to improve customer experience and ensure growth. Not only did it see a strong increase in customer loyalty but in its market share.
A major car manufacturer needed to ensure a recall of its cars due to certain issues. Since this was a major source of inconvenience for customers, and because the vehicle industry is so difficult a place to retain your top spot on, the client wanted to do an analysis of customer sentiments in four different regions- Germany, UK, Spain, the Latin countries, and the Arab world.
The company partnered with Repustate for this venture and was able to find insights that even surprised the manufacturer. This was similar to a survey based on a voice of the customer analysis template. Only in this case, data from social media and other online avenues were gathered at scale and analyzed to get the results.
Read more about the other voice of customer examples.
Stay Ahead with Repustate IQ for CX
We hope this voice of the customer guide has provided you with the information you were looking for, as well as brought you to the right partner for your Voice of Customer analysis and CX needs. Repustate IQ is Repustate’s intelligent all-in-one customer experience solution that gives you all the insights you need whatever the format, whatever the language. The platform is available in predetermined models specific to your industry and can be customized as personally as your requirement is.
Its enviable named entity recognition (NER) capability makes it more precise, faster, and more granular than enterprise-level platforms on the Gartner scale. Available as both an on-premise solution, and on the cloud, we ensure that your data is safe and secure, whatever option you choose.