The Power of Voice of the Customer Data in Product Development

David Pop


min read

Are your product development driven by instinct, assumptions, or grounded in real customer feedback and data?

Gaining a genuine grasp of your customer's needs and preferences is extremely important. It guides your decision-making process, ensuring it aligns with what your customers want.

Utilizing data from Voice of the Customer tools and analyses is crucial to unlocking valuable customer insights, propelling your product development ahead.

What Exactly is Voice of the Customer (VoC) Data?

Voice of the Customer data encompasses all feedback gathered from your customers, reflecting their experiences with your brand at various stages of the customer journey. It covers a wide range of inputs, from comments on social media and online reviews to interactions in customer support chats and responses in surveys. By analyzing this data, you gain insights into how customers feel about and perceive your brand.

The Importance of Voice of the Customer Data

VoC data is crucial to almost every facet of your business operations. Serving as a powerful tool for customer research, it aids in increasing revenue, enhancing customer retention, and identifying areas for growth. Genuinely listening to and comprehending your customers' feedback is a key step towards achieving customer success in your business.

The Advantages of Analyzing Voice of the Customer Data

Utilizing VoC data analysis enables you to interact with customers at each point of their journey, enhancing their overall experience with your business. The use of VoC tools brings numerous benefits, including:

  • Identifying and addressing customer pain points promptly.
  • Experimenting with new concepts, features, and product innovations to foster creativity.
  • Customizing your products, services, and strategies to align with customer needs.
  • Keeping track of brand-related discussions in real time.
  • Boosting customer retention and loyalty.
  • Creating targeted marketing campaigns to draw in more qualified leads.
  • More effectively reaching new customers.
  • Minimizing customer churn.
  • Fine-tuning the overall customer experience.

Exploring the Different Types of Voice of the Customer Data

Voice of the Customer (VoC) data can be sourced from a variety of channels, employing numerous methods for collecting insights, feedback, and data from customers. There's no one-size-fits-all approach, and many businesses effectively use a combination of data collection tools.

VoC data is generally categorized into three types: direct, indirect, and inferred.

  • Direct Feedback This is the VoC data obtained directly from your customers. It includes social media comments, responses to questionnaires or surveys, customer interviews, calls, or focus group discussions. These interactions can occur in person, online, through email, or over the phone, with each mode potentially influencing the nature of the feedback. It's crucial to carefully craft interview and survey questions, as their framing significantly impacts the responses you receive.
  • Indirect Feedback VoC data also encompasses feedback gathered from third-party channels, not directly between the business and the consumer. This includes online reviews (even from non-customers), comments on various social media platforms, and forum discussions. Social listening tools are instrumental in mining this valuable information from external sources for your VoC analysis.
  • Inferred Feedback This type involves data collected from customers' online touchpoints. Examples include website interactions (like time spent on the site, page visits, conversions), CRM data (such as email open rates, survey responses), and app download and usage statistics.

Leveraging VoC tools to amalgamate direct, indirect, and inferred customer data enables you to conduct comprehensive market research. This approach is not only more cost-effective but also less time-consuming compared to traditional research methodologies.

Acquiring, Examining, and Implementing Insights from Voice of the Customer Data

Each of the three outlined methods for collecting VoC data offers distinct advantages. It's essential for your VoC strategy to identify the most suitable techniques tailored to your business needs. The following four-step process provides valuable insights to effectively gather, examine, and utilize VoC data.

1. Defining Your Goals for the VoC Program

A VoC program can yield a vast array of data, making it crucial to have specific objectives in mind. What are your targets? Is it to innovate with new products or services? Perhaps your focus is on increasing sales and revenue, or maybe you're aiming to gain a deeper insight into what drives your customers?

Let's see a practical example of how you should define your voice of customer programs goal:

Defining Goals for a VoC Program in App Development

Emily, a product owner at a technology company, is in charge of developing a new fitness tracking app. The app aims to differentiate itself in a crowded market by offering personalized fitness guidance.

Defining Goals for the VoC Program as a Product Owner:

  1. Initial Objective Setting: Emily's primary goal for the VoC program is to understand potential users' specific needs and preferences in fitness tracking and guidance. She wants to ensure the app addresses real customer pain points and stands out for its user-centric design.
  2. Customer Research: She starts by collecting data through surveys and interviews targeting various demographic groups interested in fitness and technology. The surveys focus on understanding users’ frustrations with existing fitness apps, desired features, and personal fitness goals.
  3. Data Analysis: From the collected VoC data, Emily and her team discover that many users are looking for more than just tracking; they desire personalized workout recommendations and nutritional guidance. Users also express concerns about the usability of existing apps, particularly around goal setting and tracking progress over time.
  4. Product Development Focus: Based on these insights, Emily refines the development goals for the app. She decides to focus on:
  5. Developing an intuitive user interface that simplifies goal setting and progress tracking.
  6. Integrating a feature that offers customized workout and nutrition plans based on user input.
  7. Ensuring the app provides motivational feedback and insights to keep users engaged.
  8. Ongoing Feedback Loop: Throughout the development process, Emily plans to continuously integrate user feedback, conducting beta testing and using early user reviews to further refine the app.

Outcome: By clearly defining her goals for the VoC program, Emily ensures that the new fitness app is developed with a deep understanding of user needs, leading to a product that resonates well with its target audience upon launch.

2. Selecting Suitable VoC Data Collection Methods

Knowing your objectives helps in choosing the right tools for data collection.

Customer Interviews Direct conversations with customers, either one-on-one or in small groups, provide deep and personal insights. These interactions are invaluable for understanding your target audience and strengthening brand loyalty. However, they can be time-intensive and expensive.

Survey Responses Surveys offer scalability and can target either specific groups or a broader audience. Once designed, they can be easily modified and reused. The effectiveness of surveys largely depends on the questions asked; a combination of open-ended questions and quantitative metrics like ratings can yield rich insights. However, the quality and utility of responses can vary.

Social Media Analysis Using social listening tools to monitor discussions across social platforms helps in identifying trends and gauging customer sentiment towards your brand. It's also useful for understanding customer needs and keeping an eye on competitors, providing a live view of customer experiences with your brand.

Online Customer Reviews Feedback from ratings and reviews on websites is crucial for understanding how your product or service aligns with customer expectations. This feedback is comprehensive, covering not just the product but also aspects like delivery, pricing, and overall customer experience. These insights are actionable across various departments in your company.

Website Analytics Inferred feedback from your website reveals customer behavior patterns. Analyzing these metrics can lead to improvements in the user experience, SEO, and content. Utilizing purchase history data helps in creating personalized marketing strategies, such as targeted ads and tailored email campaigns.

Continuing with our example of Emily, the product owner at an App Development company, let's see how she effectively utilizes specific VoC data sources for her fitness app development:

Emily's Approach to VoC Data Collection

Customer Interviews and Client Discussions Emily sets up interviews and discussions with existing and potential users of fitness apps. She focuses on understanding their specific needs, preferences, and pain points. These direct conversations provide her with detailed and personal insights that are crucial for tailoring the app’s features and user interface.

Survey Responses She also designs and circulates surveys to a broader audience. The surveys include a mix of multiple-choice questions and open-ended responses to gauge the users’ expectations and experiences with fitness apps. The insights gathered from these surveys help Emily in making data-driven decisions about app features and functionalities.

Online Customer Reviews Emily regularly reviews customer feedback on competitive fitness apps available in app stores and on tech review websites. This helps her understand what users appreciate in current apps and what they feel is missing, guiding her to fill those gaps in her new app.

Feedback from Marketing Team The marketing team at the fitness app provides Emily with data they’ve collected from social media interactions and website analytics. This includes user engagement with fitness-related content, queries posted on social media, and the behavior of visitors on the fitness app website. This data is invaluable for understanding broader market trends and the general sentiment towards fitness tracking apps.

By focusing on these specific VoC data sources, Emily ensures she is gathering comprehensive and relevant information. This focused approach enables her to develop a fitness app that resonates well with the target audience, addressing their specific needs and preferences, ultimately leading to a more successful product launch.

3. Examining VoC Data

A Voice of the Customer (VoC) program gathers an extensive range of data, which broadly falls into two categories:

Quantitative Data: This includes concrete statistics and metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSat), Customer Effort Score (CES), and analytics from websites and social media. These provide solid numbers that serve as benchmarks and help in setting goals for improvements.

Qualitative Data: This type involves analyzing words and conversations. It includes sentiment analysis, comments on social media, and open-ended responses in surveys. This data allows you to stay updated with the current trends, keywords, and phrases associated with your brand or industry, offering insights beyond mere numbers.

Continuing with Emily's scenario as she navigates the VoC data for her fitness app:

Emily's Approach to Analyzing VoC Data

Quantitative Data Analysis Emily starts with the quantitative data she has collected. She reviews the Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSat), and Customer Effort Score (CES) from surveys. Additionally, she delves into website and social media analytics to understand user engagement levels and patterns. These metrics provide her with tangible benchmarks. She uses this data to identify areas where the app is performing well and spots that need improvement, setting specific, measurable targets for the development team.

Qualitative Data Analysis Emily then turns her focus to the qualitative data. This includes scrutinizing sentiment analysis reports, reading through social media comments, and analyzing responses from open-ended survey questions. She looks for common themes in the words and phrases customers use when talking about fitness apps. This analysis helps her understand the emotions, preferences, and pain points of her potential users. She pays special attention to any recurring feedback, as these are key areas where the app can be differentiated to better meet user needs.

By methodically analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data, Emily gains a comprehensive understanding of the market and user expectations. This dual approach ensures that her decisions are not just driven by numbers, but also by a deeper understanding of what users truly want and feel, allowing her to make more informed choices in the development of the fitness app.

4. Implementing Insights from VoC Data

The wealth of information gathered about your customers and prospects is immensely valuable for business owners and their teams. Establishing a culture where decisions are guided by VoC data is crucial. By prioritizing the customer in all aspects of your business, from product development to marketing and customer service, you ensure that every strategy and action is customer-centric.

Let's see how Emily can implement the last phase of her voice of customer insights into her app development process.

Emily understands the value of the comprehensive customer feedback she has gathered. She is committed to integrating these insights into every aspect of her product development process.

Creating a Customer-Centric Culture Firstly, Emily fosters a culture within her team where customer feedback is not just heard but actively used as a cornerstone for decision-making. She organizes regular meetings where team members from product development, marketing, and customer service come together to discuss the VoC data and its implications.

Influencing Product Development Based on the VoC data, Emily makes informed decisions about the app’s features and interface. For instance, if the data indicates that users find certain fitness tracking features confusing, she works with the design team to make them more user-friendly.

Guiding Marketing Strategies VoC insights also play a crucial role in shaping the fitness app marketing strategies. Emily collaborates with the marketing team to create campaigns that resonate with the app’s target audience, using language and messaging that aligns with customer sentiment and preferences identified in the feedback.

Enhancing Customer Service Finally, Emily uses the VoC data to improve customer service. She ensures that the customer support team is aware of common issues and queries identified in the feedback, enabling them to provide more effective and personalized assistance.

By integrating the VoC data into various aspects of her business, Emily ensures that the customer is at the heart of the fitness app's operations. This approach not only enhances the product but also improves overall customer satisfaction, leading to better business outcomes.

See what improvements brought Prestashop's voice of customer tool usage in their VoC program

In 2022, PrestaShop, a well-known e-commerce platform widely recognized in Europe and LATAM, initiated a Voice of Customer (VoC) program, delving into an area they had not previously explored.

Annually, PrestaShop gathers customer feedback, amounting to more than 150,000 responses. By implementing a comprehensive VoC program and integrating ClientZen's customer feedback and VoC tool, PrestaShop experienced a significant shift in its approach to VoC. Results included:

  • A 15% reduction in negative feedback during customer onboarding.
  • A 1% decrease in average client interactions.
  • A 4% drop in negative feedback regarding their products.

How much does it cost to my team and company a VoC tool that will enhance their productivity?

Thanks to technological advancements, VoC and customer feedback tools are increasingly affordable, posing less of a strain on company budgets.

While the market still features some extremely costly options, with prices exceeding $1000 per month, a new wave of budget-friendly tools is making its mark.

Take our tool, ClientZen, as an example. It offers a cost-effective solution for companies of various sizes, providing advanced analytics without breaking the bank. ClientZen's VoC and customer feedback tool is essentially free for a 30-day trial period. For companies just starting with a VoC program or those managing a small volume of customer feedback, our essential package, starting at $100 per month, is an ideal entry point.

Arguing that there's not enough budget for a tool that can enhance productivity across multiple departments at the cost of a few Netflix subscriptions is no longer tenable. Considering the return on investment these tools can provide, the decision to invest in them should be straightforward and swift.

Boost your development with Voice of the Customer data

Today, you can collect customer feedback with just one click, depending on your current tool's integrations.

Through this feedback, a company can solidify customer loyalty, turning their existing customers into the bedrock of their growth and success. Engaging in this process, companies can enhance and increase customer satisfaction.

The path to achieving outstanding customer experiences is an ongoing and evolving journey. It's anchored in the commitment to collect customer feedback, a thorough understanding of customer needs, and the relentless pursuit to surpass their expectations.

Investing in these areas is key to nurturing customer loyalty and increasing customer satisfaction, thereby securing a company's long-term success in a marketplace where satisfied customers are the ultimate benchmark of achievement.

If you need help with your business or product development direction, feel free to read Presatshop's success story and replicate its success. If you're looking to quickly and efficiently establish or enhance your VoC program, consider beginning with our 30-day free trial. Additionally, feel free to schedule a call with us to gain a more comprehensive understanding of how we can simplify and optimize your analysis process.

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David Pop

Marketing Manager at ClientZen