Voice of the Customer Research
Voice of Customer Research uncovers customer needs.
The Voice of Customer Research technique identifies the customers’ wants and needs by organizing and prioritizing them. The research is based on the extent to which they are satisfying relative to other product or service choices.
Ideas generated by VOC research can either improve current products or help develop new ones. As an example, consider air travel and what has been disrupting this industry. Changes allowed for seat location and leg-room, fully-reclinable seats, and allowable number. In addition, the fees for carry-on luggage, meals, and snacks just to name a few. On the other hand, some carriers now provide wi-fi and limited inflight entertainment for free. VOC played a role in making changes and how to price and promote them to maximize overall profits.
How do you conduct a Voice of Customer program?
To capture a customer’s needs, preferences, expectations, and how they are being met, VOC studies usually involve both qualitative and quantitative research steps. They are generally conducted at the start of any new product, process, or service design initiative. The studies help businesses better understand and reflect on what customers most desire.
If resources permit, include some non-customers/prospects as part of this program since their voice may suggest additional requirements.
Using Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
Qualitative Research methods help to fine-tune or generate lists of ideas or product features and their perceived benefits. They reach larger target audiences via quantitative surveys conducted online, by email, or telephone surveys. The greater number of individuals reached who participate in the surveys can provide more confidence in making key decisions.
Two commonly used Qualitative Research methods are personal In-Depth Interviews and Focus Groups. Individuals representing the target market may be screened and recruited either for a personal interview or a Focus Group.
One-on-one interviews conducted in person or by phone last from 15 minutes to an hour. They can use them to probe answers in more detail. VOC programs benefit from feedback from the sales force, customer service department, or anyone else who directly touches customers.
A Focus Group, which typically runs 90 minutes up to 2 hours, allows for interaction and for discussion of concepts and their tradeoffs amongst participants.
Social Media Research
Comments about products on social media happen all the time. Being able to tap into discussions, comments, ratings, and reviews can be an extremely useful means of gaining immediate reactions to what is on the minds of customers.
Ideally, companies need a single, organized system that collects and analyze all Voice of Customer input.
How VOC can help your company
Voice of Customer research can help a company to keep up with changing customer needs as well as monitor competitive initiatives that may be a threat.
By listening to what your customers and prospects are saying, your company will be better prepared to act rather than react.
Experienced in VOC, SIS International works with and guides designers, engineers, IT, and marketing resources to incorporate and translate the Voice of Customer information into new or improved products.
Suppose your products or services have the highest overall level of desired features and qualities. In that case, your company will have the opportunity to keep existing customers satisfied while growing market share via positive word of mouth and recommendations.
As long as you listen to your customer’s voice, adapt, and innovate accordingly, your company will succeed.