Future of Voice of Customer: The Next Big Shifts

David Pop


min read

In a world where every touchpoint is an opportunity to captivate or lose a customer, businesses are under relentless pressure to not just understand but also anticipate their customers' desires. As evolving consumer expectations challenge organizations to constantly up their game, the Voice of the Customer (VoC) emerges as a cornerstone, transitioning from a mere feedback mechanism to a strategic oracle of customer sentiment.

From casual dine-outs to luxury experiences, customers today are vocal about their preferences. While traditional methods like phone surveys and mystery shoppers once provided a fragmented glimpse into the customer psyche, technological advancements have propelled us into an age where VoC doesn't just echo customer sentiments but predicts them. This evolution, however, brings forth a deluge of data, demanding businesses to not only listen but discern, analyze, and act upon the customer feedback received.

VoC's transition from essential feedback tools to predictive engines, raises the question: What's next? As we venture into the depths of this article, we aim to explore the future horizons of VoC, assessing its trajectory, the emerging trends, and the outstanding opportunities it presents for businesses aiming to remain at the forefront of customer experience.

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Current Trends Shaping VoC

Many businesses haven't set up a strong VoC program yet. But as things change, they'll need to catch up. For a reasonable cost, support teams can find many VoC tools to choose from. These aren't just for customer teams; they help all parts of a business work better together.

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AI in VoC: Embedding Signals for Actionable Insights

Artificial intelligence has become the keystone in revolutionizing Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs. Signals, or observed feedback from a customer's journey, are the bedrock of this transformation. Monitoring a customer's digital trajectory, organizations can anticipate potential issues. For example, a hesitation on the payment page followed by a click to support might indicate a brewing problem.

Distinguishing meaningful signals from noise is the key. Not every observation is a genuine signal. AI-driven solutions, harnessing advanced machine learning modules, help contextualize feedback into structured insights, pinpointing genuine signals and pre-emptively addressing concerns.

As VoC evolves, the focus isn't just on the volume of feedback but its significant impact. AI enables extrapolation of observations, assessing the potential impact magnitude and prioritizing solutions accordingly. The integration of signals into operational systems allows for real-time identification and resolution of customer pain points.

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Real-time Feedback Through Voice and Text

Today, customers engage with brands across a multitude of online channels, ranging from browsing through a brand's social media pages, engaging in a live chat on its website, to leaving feedback on a product listing. Each interaction offers a unique window into the customer's experience, and when insights from these channels are isolated, businesses risk missing out on the broader context.

Consider a customer's journey where they discover a brand on Instagram, are drawn to its website through an appealing ad, browse products, and then make a purchase online. Throughout this journey, the customer might engage with an informative chatbot, navigate through well-organized product categories, and perhaps face a delay in the checkout process. If the brand focuses solely on feedback from the checkout process, they may overlook the positive interactions that preceded it.

Similarly, imagine a customer who provides feedback about a product on the company's website, tweets about a delivery delay, and then reaches out to customer service via a live chat for resolution. Each touchpoint offers distinct insights: website feedback on product quality, the tweet spotlighting delivery challenges, and the live chat assessing the efficiency of the customer service team.

Embracing multichannel integration in VoC program seeks to unify these diverse insights. By amalgamating feedback from different online platforms, businesses can:

  1. Identify Consistent Patterns: If a product feature garners consistent praise on both a brand's Twitter feed and its website reviews, it's indicative of its success. On the other hand, if challenges with website navigation pop up in both online surveys and live chat interactions, it highlights an area needing improvement.
  2. Personalize Experiences: Recognizing a customer's interactions across platforms enables brands to fine-tune future engagements. For instance, if a customer frequently browses tech gadgets online and inquires about a specific gadget in a live chat, updating them on related product launches becomes relevant.
  3. Optimize Resources: Understanding which online channels produce the most valuable feedback can guide businesses in resource allocation. For example, if most suggestions for website improvements come through online feedback forms, refining those might make a difference.
  4. Enhance Proactiveness: Feedback from online channels, especially in real-time, provides an opportunity for immediate action. A customer complaint about a glitch on the website, when addressed promptly, showcases the brand's dedication to a seamless customer experience.

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Harnessing Emotion AI for Deeper Insights in VoC

Emotion AI, also known as affective computing, is revolutionizing the realm of customer feedback analysis. While conventional feedback methods concentrate on quantifiable aspects—like delivery speed, website user-friendliness, or customer service efficiency—Emotion AI delves deeper, unearthing the emotional nuances that often have more profound implications than surface-level feedback.

Consider a situation where a customer leaves a review on an online store: "Love the new design, but checking out is cumbersome." Traditional analytics might assess this feedback for product design and checkout efficiency. However, Emotion AI, through sentiment analysis, can detect the positive sentiment towards the design and the negative sentiment regarding the checkout process, providing a richer understanding of the customer's emotional journey.

Here are some practical applications and advantages of incorporating Emotion AI into VoC:

  1. Refined Product Development: By gauging emotional reactions to specific product attributes, businesses can modify and enhance their products to foster positive emotional connections.
  2. Targeted Customer Service Training: If patterns of customer dissatisfaction emerge during interactions, Emotion AI can pinpoint these emotional triggers, allowing for more focused training.
  3. Responsive Marketing Strategies: Emotion AI can evaluate the emotional impact of marketing campaigns or social media posts. Positive reactions can steer future content creation, while negative ones signal a need for change.
  4. Personalized Suggestions: Online platforms, whether they're streaming services or e-commerce sites, can leverage Emotion AI to discern users' emotional reactions, refining recommendations to align more closely with users' feelings.

While positive interactions bolster brand loyalty, negative ones can drive potential customers away. Emotion AI offers a roadmap for businesses to craft experiences that aren't just functional but genuinely resonate. As brands aim for authentic engagement, Emotion AI emerges as a cornerstone in their toolkit.

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Predictions and forecasts for the VoC Landscape

The Evolution from Traditional Surveys to AI-Enhanced VoC Analytics

AI is ushering in a transformative era for customer experience insights. Although traditional surveys have their merits, they often capture just a fraction of the entire customer journey. Gartner's projection indicates that by 2025, 60% of organizations with VoC initiatives will shift from relying just on surveys to incorporating AI-driven voice and text analysis, marking a substantial shift in the VoC realm.

The integration of AI into CRM platforms and contact center tools is becoming more prevalent, providing businesses a more in-depth look into real-time customer dialogues. This evolution is pushing the boundaries of VoC technology, enabling businesses to achieve unparalleled levels of personalization, aligning their services more closely with individual customer preferences.

Moreover, as businesses today deploy customer surveys, there's an increasing sentiment that these surveys might not be the most effective VoC collection method. The potential of sophisticated NLP to extract context, emotions, and experiences from various customer interactions like emails, messages, and calls is vast. Such tools can not only offer insights from post-transaction analyses but also deliver real-time feedback, profoundly influencing customer experience strategies.

Augie Ray, a prominent analyst at Gartner, emphasizes that while VoC platforms have significantly improved interaction analytics, there's an impending need to unlock the vast customer insights that remain trapped in databases. The onus is on VoC providers to refine how they present data and insights in ways that are actionable and comprehensible to businesses.

Deborah Alvord, another Gartner expert, underscores the importance of transforming voice and text insights into actionable intelligence. This necessitates meticulous planning around reports, dashboards, and other communication channels, ensuring insights are not just gathered but also effectively utilized.

As the VoC and analytics sector anticipates substantial growth, businesses are advised to:

  • Leverage established platforms: Embrace speech and text analytics by harnessing VoC tools, investing in new analytics platforms, or fine-tuning existing ones.
  • Spotlight key channels: Take stock of potential customer interaction points across their journey, such as customer service discussions or social media engagements. The focus should be on channels that provide rich narratives, authenticate genuine customers, and enhance the overall CX strategy.
  • Strategize on insight distribution: Formulate plans to share this burgeoning pool of customer intelligence with internal teams, ensuring it's insightful, actionable, and integrated into daily operations. Simply hoarding these insights won't augment the VoC's value to organizations.

"As we continually evaluate the market and the needs of our clients, we're witnessing a significant transition from traditional VoC methods like surveys towards a more comprehensive approach of capturing real-time, multichannel feedback. ClientZen was designed specifically to meet the evolving requirements of Voice of Customer specialists. 

Today, a multichannel VoC tool that integrates seamlessly with project management, support, marketing, sales, and other operational channels isn't just a nice-to-have feature—it's mandatory. In the coming years, such integrations will redefine the customer experience and significantly enhance collaboration dynamics across diverse teams. Advanced tools backed with Generative AI and Artificial Intelligence assistance are set to act as co-pilots in elevating CX. 

Take Mantra AI, for instance—it's already enabling VoC and CX teams by extracting vast amounts of data, refining task prioritization, tracking the dynamic needs of customers, and delivering profound sentiment analyses simultaneously. This comprehensive perspective on the customer is invaluable. We're acutely aware of these emerging trends and remain committed to adapting and ensuring our tool remains at the forefront of our client's requirements." Ovidiu Cojocariu, CEO at ClientZen.

Ovidiu Cojocariu, CEO at ClientZen, speaking about CX & Voice of Customer solution at How to Web 2023.

Crafting Fluid Customer Journeys with Integrated VoC Technologies

Grasping the complexities of the customer journey is crucial for elevating CX. Given that a staggering 76% of consumers desire personalized touchpoints across all interactions, the significance of VoC tools becomes undeniable. For instance, imagine a customer browsing an e-commerce site. They engage in a live chat, expressing interest in a product. An integrated VoC tool could instantly analyze past interactions, allowing the chatbot or agent to recommend complementary products based on their past preferences.

As the corporate world delves deeper into conversational analytics and automated feedback systems, the goal is clear: equip teams with tools that enable agile and informed decisions. Consider a scenario where a customer, while on a support call, mentions a recent promotional email they found intriguing. Real-time analytics could allow the agent to pull up the specific campaign, discuss its details, and perhaps even offer a special discount, enhancing the overall positive customer experience.

The evolution of VoC is set to be a dynamic journey. With AI leading the charge, the emphasis will shift towards instantaneous feedback loops and comprehensive channel synchronization. 

Think of a smart home device user voicing dissatisfaction with a feature. Emotion AI could detect the sentiment, and the feedback could instantly shape the device's next software update. 

Moreover, as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more intertwined with VoC, the potential for capturing feedback from various devices grows exponentially. Amidst these innovations, data privacy remains important, ensuring that as businesses fine-tune their offerings, they always respect and prioritize customer privacy. The horizon of VoC promises a landscape where businesses don't just react but proactively adapt to customer desires and emotions.

Challenges & Solutions in the Future VoC

Overwhelming Amount of Data

In the world of VoC, the Overwhelming Amount of Data from the rise of multiple feedback channels has become a significant issue. Businesses are flooded with data, making it difficult to single out genuine, actionable insights. The solution lies in advanced data analytics tools and AI-driven algorithms that can effectively focus on patterns that truly matter.

Lack of Integration Across Platforms

Lack of Integration Across Platforms sees businesses grappling with multiple feedback tools, resulting in fragmented voc data streams and potential missed insights. Unified VoC platform solutions can consolidate these varied streams, ensuring a comprehensive view of customer feedback.

Difficulty in Prioritizing Feedback

Another challenge is the Difficulty in Prioritizing Feedback. With the vast range of inputs, determining which issues are urgent and which are minor becomes essential. A feedback scoring matrix or better segmentation based on MRR or other inputs, bolstered by machine learning, can be instrumental in categorizing and directing resources to the right areas.

Evolving Customer Expectations

With technology advancing rapidly, Evolving Customer Expectations are a constant challenge. Regular market research, proactive customer engagement, and training modules on emerging trends can help businesses stay in sync with these shifts.

Lack of Resources

The Lack of Resources often hinders the potential of VoC programs. Embracing AI-driven software can streamline processes, allowing businesses to achieve more with fewer employees. As these intelligent systems can automate and optimize various tasks, the need for extensive human resources diminishes. Further, strategic investments in such technology can offer a higher ROI, making it a cost-effective solution in the long run.

Rapid Technological Changes

With the Rapid Technological Changes in the VoC landscape, businesses need agility. VoC platforms offer flexibility and can grant early access to next-gen solutions.

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How to be prepared for the future of Voice of the customer?

The Voice of the Customer (VoC) landscape is evolving at an unprecedented rate, driven by rapid technological advancements, changing customer expectations, and a growing need for businesses to deeply understand their customer base. 

As we've explored, the future of Voice of the Customer is not just about gathering feedback but understanding it in its entirety and acting upon it effectively. So, how can businesses prepare for this exciting future?

Embrace Technological Innovations: Consider tools like ClientZen, which are designed with the future in mind, integrating seamlessly across various operational channels. AI backed tools, like that in Mantra AI, will be game-changers in streamlining data processing and sentiment analysis.

Integrate Multiple Channels Feedback: With customers engaging across diverse digital touchpoints, it's essential to capture feedback from all these channels. Doing so will ensure a holistic view of the customer experience.

Focus on Actionable Insights: Gathering feedback is just the starting point. Prioritize feedback effectively to ensure critical issues are addressed promptly. Implement changes based on feedback and constantly measure the outcomes to ensure continual improvement.

Collaborate Across Departments: Voice of the customer insights can impact various facets of a business, from product design to marketing strategies. Foster a culture of collaboration, ensuring all departments are aligned in their approach to customer feedback.

Keep an Eye on Evolving Customer Expectations: Customers' needs and preferences will keep changing. Regularly reassess your VoC strategies to ensure they align with current customer expectations. Employ real-time analytical tools to provide agents with immediate insights, enabling them to optimize customer interactions as they happen.

Address Challenges Proactively: As we've discussed, VoC specialists face numerous challenges, from overwhelming data to rapid technological changes. Address these challenges head-on by investing in training, ensuring platform integration, and streamlining data interpretation processes.


The way we listen and analyze customer experience is changing fast. Gone are the days when simple customer feedback surveys were enough. Now, with tools like ClientZen and new technologies, we can understand our customers better than ever before.

But with all this new information, there are new challenges. There's a lot more customer behavior data to go through, many tools to use, and customers always want something new. It's important for businesses to stay updated and be ready to adapt.

The future is all about being one step ahead. It's not just about hearing what customers say, but understanding what they really mean and want. Businesses that do this will be the ones that succeed.

Overcoming poor customer experience is at the core of our mission. Listening and responding to customer sentiments is the linchpin for sustainable growth and fortified relationships. To empower businesses in navigating this landscape, our advanced voice of customer software offers seamless integration, in-depth analysis, and valuable insights thanks to our Mantra AI. Enhance your customer experience approach with our cutting-edge solution. Experience the difference firsthand by starting your free trial now.

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David Pop

Marketing Manager at ClientZen