Voice of the Customer: What it Is and How to Use it to Grow your Business

Voice of the Customer (VoC) is an essential part of product development and marketing, but most businesses struggle to get it right.

It’s tough to collect customer data, extract insights, and use them to positively impact customer experience. 

One of the easiest and most impactful ways to bring your Voice of the Customer to life is through video. 

But how do businesses establish their Voice of the Customer? What customer voice is missing from their funnel? How should businesses speak to customers in a way that resonates? 

Businesses need to enlist existing customers to share their experiences, knowledge, and advice on video. By doing so, businesses can match their customers’ voice in a relatable, effective way. 

Most companies collect customer feedback but will stop short of having a systematic process to implement their VoC insights. 

This data should be used to understand how to channel the company’s customer voice in the sales funnel to build trust, engage buyers, accelerate sales, and drive more revenue.

We’ll show you how to create an authentic voice of the customer and use it to grow your business. 

This is a comprehensive guide to Voice of the Customer. To navigate directly to the subjects which interest you most, click the links below:

What is Voice of the Customer?

Voice of the Customer is feedback about your products from users that focuses on their expectations, experience, and overall customer satisfaction. 

Businesses use this data to craft their own unique brand voice. To establish a brand’s voice, you need to constantly test options to find out what messaging resonates. 

Once proper messaging is ready, businesses need to leverage existing customers and turn their experiences, direct feedback, and advice into shareable video assets.

As a result of aligning their brand voice with the customer’s voice, they’ll reach similar customers ready to buy.

Companies need to have Voice of the Customer programs to coordinate the data collection, analyzation, and implementation of insights in a systematic way.

Additionally, Voice of the Customer programs help businesses understand how customers use their products and what future features they’d like to see added.

81% of marketers believe their business will beat out competitors on the basis of customer experience. By carrying out changes based on customer expectations, they can achieve that.

Specifically, Voice of the Customer programs help businesses use their customer data to guide product and marketing decisions.

By having a VoC program in place, you’ll be able to transform your messaging to make sure it’s reaching your target audience.

Voice of the Customer Program Design

Voice of the Customer programs have three essential steps:

  1. Collecting customer feedback
  2. Analyzing customer feedback
  3. Implementing customer feedback

It’s especially important to remember that discovering the Voice of the Customer is a process that needs buy-in from all departments. 

The only way for your company’s Voice of the Customer to come alive and stay consistent is if every person actively uses it in public-facing materials. For instance, all marketing assets, emails, press releases, product features, and more.

With buy-in from everyone, brands can make sure their voice is channeled through all company-owned mediums. Voices that are spammy and annoying are major turn offs to buyers.

brand behavior graph
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To find out what Voice of the Customer works for their business, companies should gather customer feedback through surveys, customer interviews, or on client calls.

Since there are many different sources that companies can pull data from, it’s important to unify your inputs, so data isn’t compartmentalized in silos.

Once the data is unified, you can dig into the responses and extract insights. 

To find insights, you need to know what you’re looking for. To formulate or audit your existing brand voice, consider the following:

  • What customer voice is working? Why?
  • What customer voice is missing from our current funnel?
  • Where in the funnel are there gaps in the customer voice?
  • Which customer profiles of prospective buyers have customer voice? 
  • Which need to be more aligned with the customer voice?

Once you have direction, see how you can adjust your product or marketing efforts to better align with your customer expectations.

It’s most important to have a structured process for evaluating and implementing these insights. 

It’ll hold your team accountable to your Voice of the Customer program. You’ll always have the most up-to-date view of your customer in your mind.

Over time, you’ll need to update and evaluate your Voice of the Customer. This is essential to make sure your business is adapting to changing customer needs.

Let’s outline each step in greater detail to make sure you have everything you need to bring your Voice of the Customer to life.

Voice of the Customer Step #1: Data Collection

The first step in setting up a Voice of the Customer program is to plan and execute your VoC data collection campaigns.

Without comprehensive customer feedback, you won’t capture the full picture of your customer needs. 

This data will help you understand how to channel an authentic customer voice and incorporate it into your sales funnel. 

Moreover, by speaking the same language as your customers, you’ll build trust, engage buyers, increase customer loyalty, accelerate sales, and drive more revenue.

Customers have unique experiences with your products. Acquiring as much data as possible will give a comprehensive understanding of your products’ successes and failures. 

There are many different methods for data collection:

  • Customer Survey
  • Social Media Listening
  • Customer Reviews
  • Call Feedback
  • Support Inquiries

Let’s go through each one to find out which is best for your data collection strategy.

Customer Survey

Surveys are the simplest, most straightforward way to collect customer data. 

All you need to do is assemble a list of questions and send them to customers. They’ll provide feedback, and you’ll be able to mine the data for insights.

It’s also great to add a final question at the end of the survey that gauges the customer’s interest in participating in a video testimonial. 

Adding a checkbox with the statement, “I’m interested in sharing my testimonial on video” at the end of the survey can help you decide which customers would be willing to work with you.

There’s many different ways you can issue a survey, ranging from in-person, mail, email, online, or telephone. The type you choose will have implications on your response rate.

The average survey response rate is 33%. In-person surveys have the highest response rate at 57%, followed closely by mail surveys at 50%.

voice of the customer survey
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Most companies will opt to reach out to their customers digitally. You can use a customer research tool like Survey Monkey or Qualtrics to create an accessible survey.

Next, you can send your survey to an existing customer by including the link in a branded email campaign.

customer voice survey example
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The magic of online surveys is that customers can complete them on their phone without disrupting their day.

Social Media Listening

Social media is another source to discover customer feedback and gather customer data. 

Customers can leave product reviews, comments, and even share their own photos and videos that showcase your product. 

Also, sentiment analysis can provide analytics that show customer satisfaction ratings. 

A sentiment analysis quantifies favorable and unfavorable customer reactions on social media. This will show your customers’ overall satisfaction with your brand, product, or service.

Keeping a pulse on user-generated content is an essential step to compiling data to create your own Voice of the Customer. 

The feedback is useful too. Customers are often blunt on social media and will provide both a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the company.

social media voice
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It’s most important to always check your social media reviews. Over 71% of Americans “somewhat” or “completely” trust Facebook content.

If you see reviews or content about your business that are false, you need to be there to correct it.

There are a lot of companies that specialize in social media listening and monitoring your social reviews. 

Consider adding Brandwatch or Socialbakers to your tech stack to improve your visibility of your customers’ voice on social media.

Customer Reviews

Online customer reviews are some of the most popular ways that customers share their experiences. 

Plenty of sites including G2 and Google My Business allow users to offer their candid feedback about businesses.

customer review voice
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As a business, you need to hear what your customers are saying on these sites and proactively respond. 

For glowing reviews, you could even reach out to see if the customer was interested in a video testimonial, case study or affiliate partnership.

To manage your online reviews, consider using Yext, a software platform that helps businesses manage all their online listings.

Call Feedback

Customer feedback isn’t always gathered in an organized setting. Sometimes customers will share their concerns with you on your weekly client calls.

Also, your sales team members can assemble feedback they get from prospects they are pitching over the phone.

This can help you formulate the Voice of the Customer for your business. 

To collect call data, use a third-party conference line like Zoom or UberConference. These can record customer calls (with their permission) which can be reviewed later.

By understanding what questions your customers are asking, you can begin to match their tone and style in your own brand voice.

Support Inquiries

Check your internal data for signals about what your customers are interested in. 

Evaluating support tickets and identifying web pages with increased search volumes can help you understand how your customers are thinking about and evaluating your product.

More than 60% of Americans say they prefer trying to resolve an issue on their own through a business’ website, chat or support channel.

1Password has an entire support site set up to help customers with many different aspects of their products and services. 

1Password support
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To evaluate their Voice of the Customer, 1Password could aggregate the search data to learn terminology and commonly used phrases that their customers are using.

Also, third-party customer service software like Zendesk and Freshdesk are helpful to keep all your support tickets in one place. 

Voice of the Customer Step #2: Data Analysis

Now that you have your data collected, it’s time to make sense of it.

The worst thing companies can do is collect valuable data, but leave it stored someplace and not interpret it. Valuable insights are waiting to be mined.

Without data analysis, companies will have hundreds of different data points that aren’t linked together. 

By taking the time to evaluate the data, you’ll be able to craft a voice that matches your customers’.

The types of insights to look for:

  • What are customers saying about your product?
  • What do they like or dislike about your company?
  • What industry terms are commonly used by your customers?
  • How are they using the product in their environment?
  • Are there any sound bites or usable one-liners for marketing materials?
  • What are they dissatisfied with that you can improve upon?
  • What other similar customers is your marketing not effectively reaching?

These questions may be tough to ask, but it’s essential that businesses take a holistic look at their products and operations before crafting their voice. 

If this step doesn’t occur, hasty generalizations could result as a consequence of only looking at limited data. This could result in creating a Voice of the Customer that isn’t accurate.

Marketers want to get better at this. 65% are focusing on improving their data analysis capabilities this year.

This isn’t always easy, though. 47% of marketers admitted that one of the major reasons they can’t get customer insights is because of data silos. 

Additionally, 1 in 5 marketers don’t feel knowledgeable enough to decipher the data.

marketing data insights
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Once you have the insights, you need to visualize them in an easy-to-comprehend way. This is to make sure everyone across the whole company can understand the Voice of the Customer.

When all employees easily understand the data, this can help speed up the implementation process.

Three ways to visualize the data include a table, an interactive dashboard, and a customer journey map.

Data Table

You may need to sort and classify qualitative data into broad categories or requirements. The easiest way to do this is by filling a table with your customer responses.

Start with the first column and input what the customer said verbatim. From there, you can deduce their request to a need. Look beyond what they were asking for. What did they need?

Finally, classify the needs into broad categories or requirements. 

These requirements will help you adjust your voice and match your messaging and brand pillars to the root of your customers’ desires.

Here’s an example of what your table might look like:

VerbatimNeedRequirement
“I liked the product’s ability to integrate with Instagram.”Posting relevant content to InstagramFunction
“I didn’t like how long my site took to load after adding the software snippet.”Code that decreases page load timeEfficiency
“This product is expensive, but I think it’s worth it.”Value-based pricing measured against competitorsPrice

Tables are one of the simplest ways to present your analysis and source common trends from customer data.

Interactive Dashboard

For more versatility, consider an interactive dashboard. Interactive dashboards can help visualize the data, so your team can identify trends and commonalities.

However, if you have mostly qualitative data, you’ll likely have to complete the table step prior to adding your data in the dashboard.

data dashboard
(Image Source)

Customer Journey Map

Customer preference can change over time. At first, they’ll be excited to use your product. Then, issues may arise.

That’s why customer journey mapping is key. It takes into account customer feedback at different points of their lifecycle. 

This can help identify instances when specialized messaging or video assets are needed.

customer journey map
(Image Source)

To get more from your data, consider using data visualization software like Tableau, Lotame, or Sharpr.

With insights in hand, you’re ready to head to the implementation stage.

Voice of the Customer Step #3: Implementation

With this new data, you’ll be able to capitalize on what’s working for your current customers. 

It’s time to adjust your messaging, establish your voice, and share your customers’ experiences.

Because, using the voice from their feedback, you can craft a relatable tone for your company’s Voice of the Customer.

By letting your Voice of the Customer findings inform product and marketing decisions, you’re leveraging enriched data to deliver what your target customers are actively seeking.

Your customers want you to do this, too! 52% of people around the globe want companies to act on customer data that’s provided to them.

But how do you make the data actionable?

The insights you’ve sourced from your Voice of the Customer program should guide:

  • Product Development
  • Video Testimonials
  • Customer Video Ads

Let’s take a look at each one individually.

Product Development

Businesses shouldn’t make their product roadmap in a vacuum. It should be influenced by what their customers are hoping to use and buy. 

By bringing in their voice to product development meetings, product managers will have the insight to know which features are worth building.

This data will be invaluable for companies that are currently building. The data will either validate their current decision making, or force them to correct their course before it is too late.

Video Testimonials

As you evaluate the data, you’ll likely find glowing reviews from satisfied customers. These are perfect customers to reach out to and ask if they’d be willing to film a video testimonial.

Video testimonials are a valuable form of social proof and can be your marketing team’s secret weapon

For example, publishing the testimonials on your website and arming your sales team with them, you’ll increase prospects’ confidence in your brand.

Look at this video testimonial ALDO provided for Celect.

They shared how Celect helps them with inventory optimization and making sense of the data in real-time. 

It may be tough for prospects to grasp what Celect does at first glance. 

But through this testimonial, prospects will fully understand how they can use Celect to help their business.

Video testimonials are effective and easy to shoot. And we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Customer Video Ads

Shorter customer testimonials make effective video ads for your social media channels. 

These quick, straight-to-the-point videos will convey the customer’s enthusiasm for your product and how valuable it is for their business in a matter of seconds.

Look at this video testimonial ad from Giorgi Plumbing. They shared their experience using Symmons and mentioned how they “always recommend” their products.

This is a powerful video that would easily stand out as an ad on a cluttered social media feed. 

Customer video ads are a great way to drive revenue for your business by allowing your customers to do the selling for you.

Conclusion

Voice of the Customer isn’t something businesses can easily forecast or predict. 

Businesses must have a comprehensive program in place to collect, analyze, and implement their findings to establish a brand voice aligned with their customers.

It requires collecting data by using surveys, social media listening, online customer reviews, call feedback, and support inquiries.  

Then to analyze it, unify the data and view it in a table, interactive dashboard, or customer journey map visualization.

Finally, let your findings inform your product development, positioning and marketing campaigns including testimonials, case studies, and video ads.

Now that you know what it takes, reach out so Testimonial Hero can help capture that voice in customer testimonials that can be used to grow your business!

Kevin Eisler
Director of Operations and Customer Success @ Testimonial Hero

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