Voice of Customer (VoC) — are you listening well enough?

Ruth Peters
March 29, 2022

How much of your working day do you spend talking? And how much do you spend listening?

They say that great salespeople achieve an 80/20 ratio — for 80% of a sales call or pitch meeting, they actively listen to the client’s needs. Why should it be any different for brands?

Voice of Customer (VoC) feedback helps shape a growing business. With it, you learn what’s working, what’s not working, and how to engage your audience more effectively. And even if you collect customer feedback — through reviews, NPS surveys, and/or social polls — are you following the 80/20 rule really?

After all, brands too easily fall into the trap of thinking customer feedback is about them. It’s not. Customer feedback helps users get more of what they want: listening to their voice. Shift your feedback focus to be all about the consumer (80%) then follow up with a response (20%), and you’ll see far greater ROI as a result.

What is Voice of Customer eCommerce feedback?

‘Voice of Customer’ (VoC) is a broad term. It refers to any user-created data on your brand or Customer Experience, left anywhere, at any time, by any customer. This could be a happy shopper posting on Instagram, a busy ‘clicks and taps’ heatmap, or a cart that gets abandoned three times in one hour. These behaviors each tell a story — if you choose to actively listen.

Ignoring VoC feedback alienates your customers. It creates a rift between their true experience with your business, versus what you think their experience is.

Why is listening to Voice of Customer so important for eCommerce brands?

Why is listening to Voice of Customer so important for eCommerce brands?

Poor customer service can cost businesses in excess of $75 billion in revenue each year. VoC plays a role in that — it can reveal areas for urgent improvement and bring that number down.

Here’s just three ways that listening to, and learning from, Voice of Customer data can help improve your eComm offering:

VoC provides real-time website feedback

If a website is unintuitive or inaccessible, it tarnishes the customer experience and sends them straight to a competitor. Put yourself in a user’s shoes: dead links and navigability errors hardly show a brand in its best light. Even if there’s nothing technically wrong with your UX, shoppers can struggle to make sense of confusing website architecture.

At this stage, VoC assessment can step in. Chatbots are one way of reaching out to help. So too is UserReplay’s new Active Feedback widget. Ask the customer if they need help with something, offer a resolution or alternative solution, and you may still secure the sale.

VoC helps tailor your offer to a target audience

Collecting feedback and traits about your customers adds to their buyer persona. This persona summarizes everything you need to know about a customer within your audience — and VoC takes it a step further still.

Imagine your target market centers around teens and young adults. This is an audience heavily invested in social media; they may be hungry for Live Commerce campaigns, social giveaways, and the very best mobile shopping UX.

How would this need show itself in VoC? Higher-than-average traffic to your site from social platforms, for one. But it could also be that they prefer to leave their feedback via Instagram and Facebook too — so make sure you’re checking in.

VoC builds goodwill and brand reputation

Customer feedback is often unpredictable. It can expose struggles you were otherwise unaware of. It can come through at any time of day and night and your brand will be measured by the quality of its response.

McDonalds is a brand that does VoC well. Not only did the brand use a customer feedback survey to boost revenue by 5.7% in a single quarter, but they’ve also shown other businesses how to manage customer criticism too. Back in 2018, the fast food chain was under fire in the UK for still using plastic straws. Rather than panicking and buckling under a torrent of negative publicity, McDonald’s took note and ditched plastic in favor of eco-friendly paper alternatives.

What McDonald’s shows is that even really angry customers can be placated with a reasonable response. Listen to what the customer has to say, get to the root of the issue in your business model, and see what you can do to make it better.

This requires a sophisticated set-up for managing Voice of Customer insight as well. The sooner your marketing team is made aware of the situation, the faster they can react empathetically and effectively, turning potentially damaging PR events into positive goodwill moving forward.

Isn’t it time to listen up?

Today, 44% of enterprises invest in structured VoC programs to improve Customer Experience. We’d argue that number should be a lot higher.

Harnessing user-generated data and insights is something we’ve built a business on, here at simplicityDX Our digital tools help eCommerce businesses maximize their value, secure more sales, and put the user at the heart of business decisions.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing a series of blog posts exploring the role of VoC in eCommerce — empowering pure-play and bricks and mortar brands to get their Voice of Customer frameworks in place. Based on primary research findings from a self-funded study, we’ll help demystify why online shoppers leave feedback, when, where, and what they expect in return.

  • What tools do I need for Voice of Customer success?
  • How should we handle negative feedback and how do we learn from it?
  • … Are we learning enough from positive feedback too?
  • Who in the business should be responsible for VoC?
  • … And how do we build a seamless VoC workflow?

These are all questions we’ll help you answer throughout this 5 part bootcamp series. Stay tuned to the blog for more insights.

For more on the Voice of Customer read our post VoC shouldn't be feared - customers want to share positive feedback with you.

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