Voice of Customer Platforms – All you need to know

What is Voice of Customer (VoC)?

The Voice of Customer is the communication a customer sends to an organization – either upon request or spontaneously.
Just as in any conversation, the organization has its chance to let the audience hear what it wants to say – in the form of advertisements, content, e-mails, text messages, seminars and events. Hence, it is crucial for an organization to give the audience a chance to be heard. Their collective /individual opinions and experiences when analyzed, can give a business the exact information that will propel them to the top.
If multiple customers are voicing their positive feedback about a product or service, the business can infer that their customers are satisfied. They can then aim at improving other elements of customer service. Similarly, if customers voice their dissatisfaction, an organization can re-focus their attention on areas of improvement.

What is a Voice of Customer Platform?

As it easy to assume, recording the input of every customer is a massive task. Reaching out to customers, asking them questions, creating surveys, and supplying responses to each customer would take forever. Even if an organization managed to collect all this data, how do they organize and analyze it?

Well, many organizations had the same questions. How do you give each customer a chance to display their opinions? How to draw vital information from these opinions? How do you organize and store all this data? How can this activity be beneficial in the long run?

With technological improvements, companies began looking for ways to have computers take over this task which was impossible for humans. This is when the concept of a Voice of Customer Platform was born.

“A Voice of Customer Platform is a software solution that combines technological processes that collect, organize and analyze customer responses received in a variety of formats and from varied sources. It combines listening posts, real-time data records, surveys and interviews, text and voice analytics, sentiment analysis technology, machine learning, data compilation tools and predictive analysis to present purposeful data to customer experience managers.”

What are the features of a VoC Platform?

The functioning of a Voice of Customer Platform is usually broken down into five broad functions. These are –

Capture and Compile

The primary function of a VoC platform is to capture information from every touchpoint in the customer journey. These platforms can catalog customer dialogue, survey responses, reviews from e-commerce portals, text from e-mails, transcribed phone calls, social media interaction and sort them by type and value of information. Conversational platforms and third-party portals also contribute information to a VoC database.

Analyze and Act

Once this information is collected, the VoC platform performs text and voice analysis. It categorizes responses based on sentiment and tone into categories such as anger, pleasure, satisfaction, and dissatisfaction. Sentiments are analyzed by natural language processing. This type of analysis helps a business know and understand what customers like or dislike and what the customer suggests being done for improvement.

Adapt and Improve

The incorporation of machine learning and conversational AI allow the voice of customer platforms to change their segmentation patterns to extract more actionable data. Adapting to the audience interaction patterns, they can make inferences and suggest improvements.

Target and Expand

Based on the inferences drawn from voice of customer analysis, VoC Platforms can spotlight cases that require attention and resolution. Alternatively, they can focus marketing efforts on specific market segments and work towards growing brand visibility and awareness.

Continue conversation

As it has already been established, it is vital for an organization to listen to the voice of customer. And they cannot stop listening. VoC Platforms help in keeping up continuous communication with the customers. Periodic surveys, e-mails and text messages help keep the customer engaged. The dual purpose of continuous conversation is to evaluate the changes in customer sentiment over extended periods of time.

Other features of Voice of Customer platforms include –
1. Employee training
2. Fresh product insight provision
3. Customer trend charting
4. Data encryption and mapping
5. Data processing
6. Case management
7. Multi-channel tracking, data recovery and problem resolution
8. Metadata processing and filtering

Why is it important for organizations to be listening to their customers?

The customer, being the end user of the product, has valuable insight to the working of the product, its quality and challenges faced during its usage. This is information that the organization cannot gather from anywhere else. Hence, VoC can supply an actual understanding of the quality of product and its reception in the market.

Apart from this, it helps organizations to find needs, wants and expectations of customers. It is also beneficial for an organization to develop and understanding of the customer’s mindset. Very often, organizations do not notice the roadblocks a customer may face. This ignorance can be avoided if employees are trained to change their perspective and think like the customer. This may help improve product design, branding, marketing, sales and customer service efforts. The dissatisfaction of customers can be eradicated if nipped in the bud. Keeping the customer in conversation also helps in customer retention and loyalty in the long run.

Voice of customer platforms among various other customer experience management tools and customer feedback management platforms, aid organizations to change tracks and become truly customer centric.