Voice of Customer - Product Manager's Toolkit

David Pop


min read

Product management is a thrilling journey constantly evolving, just like everything in life. Amid all the change and uncertainty, one constant guides the way—understanding the Voice of the Customer (VoC).

It's not just another trendy term but a real compass pointing us toward developing products that resonate with our audience.

But how do we really tune into this 'voice'? How can we leverage it effectively to ensure our products align with our customer's needs? This is exactly what we're going to explore in this article. We will peel back the layers of the VoC (Voice of Customer) concept, revealing how it helps tap into the heart of what our customers truly want. And since we all know that everyone lacks time, and time is money, we'll also give some practical examples of how to track and implement VOC strategy into your daily product development activity and how to do it smart in a timely manner without extra hustle.

Think of this as your practical guide, your toolkit as a product manager, filled with actionable insights and techniques to grasp and utilize Voice of Customer to its full potential. This is all about becoming a customer-centric product manager who not only hears but also understands and responds to the voice of the customer.

Let's dive in and learn how to make the Voice of the Customer the key driver in our product development journey.

Get ready to bring the magic of customer data into your product management process!

What is the Voice of the Customer (VoC)?

The Voice of the Customer (VoC) is like a big mix of what customers openly say and hint about what they need and want. It's also about their likes and dislikes. It's like listening in on the chat customers are having about a product or brand on different websites and apps.

The VoC is an amalgamation of explicit and implicit customer needs and expectations, perceptions, preferences, and aversions. It's the rich conversation that customers are having about a product or a brand across various channels and platforms.

For product managers, the VoC is a goldmine of actionable information and valuable insights measuring various data like customer loyalty for example. It helps determine what features the existing customers would value the most, what improvements they would like to see, and how they perceive the product compared to competitors.

Imagine the VoC as the ultimate road trip, where your customers are your travel buddies. As you journey together, they're constantly sharing their thoughts and experiences - the stunning sights they enjoy, the bumps in the road they dislike, and the stops they wish to make. This constant chatter across different platforms and channels embodies the VoC.

It's a mix of both the overt and the subtle, the signposts clearly marking the way and those hidden paths you need to pay close attention to discover. Customer conversations might seem like background noise, but to a product manager, it's like a GPS guiding them toward their destination.

Navigating through these customer discussions can help you uncover what parts of your product truly engage your customers, what upgrades they're hoping for, and how your product fares in the vast marketplace. The VoC isn't just about tuning in to these chats—it's about decoding these dialogues into actionable directions that can steer your product toward greater success.

The Role of a Product Manager in VoC

In the bustling hub of product development, product managers are akin to diligent translators in a global conference. They fluently speak the language of the customers, and their critical role is to ensure this language is interpreted and understood within the company.

Product managers sit right at the intersection of the customer community and the product development team. Their mission? To ensure that the invaluable insights provided by the customers are not merely collected, but are genuinely understood and put into action.

Their work involves sifting through a vast landscape of customer feedback, extracting recurring themes and pain points. They are the ones identifying the pressing issues and needs that customers express across different channels and platforms.

But that's only half the journey. Once these insights are gathered and understood, product managers have the important task of prioritizing them in line with the business processes and goals. They then translate this information into the language of the product development team - turning insights into features, improvements, and changes that directly address customer expectations.

So, as we delve deeper into the role of VoC, let's appreciate the important role product managers play. They are not just the translators, but the activators of customer voice within the product development ecosystem. Join us as we explore the various methods these professionals employ to capture and decode the Voice of the Customer effectively.

Importance of understanding the Voice of the Customer (VoC) for Product Managers

Envision the Voice of the Customer (VoC) as an expansive, multi-dimensional map charting the wants and needs of your customers. In the hands of an astute product manager, this map becomes a powerful navigation tool in the complex territory of product development.

When product managers master the art of decoding this map, it's like they've been handed a compass to the customers' hearts. They gain an intimate understanding of the customer's worldview - what they desire, what frustrates them, and what they need. This understanding allows for crafting products that hit the target in the market's bulls-eye.

But there's more to the VoC than a simple direction finder. Tapping into customer analytics, VoC offers significant rewards. It acts as a protective shield, reducing market risks by guiding product managers away from assumptions and towards data-backed decisions. It's also a relationship builder, boosting customer satisfaction and customer loyalty by signaling to customers that their voice matters, and that's the jackpot every business wants to hit.

And at its core, VoC is a growth engine. By aligning product development with customer insights, it drives business growth, ensuring products are not only solving problems but are genuinely valued by customers.

So, as we plunge deeper into the world of VoC, let's explore how it becomes an indispensable asset in a product manager's toolkit and how you can leverage it for maximum benefit.

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How Voice of the Customer Impacts Your daily work as a Product Managers

As a product manager, VoC is not just a concept you need to know; it's a philosophy you need to breathe in, similar to agile. It's a philosophy that could very well mean the difference between a product that merely exists and a product that truly resonates.

  • Product Roadmap
    Imagine yourself at the helm of a product roadmap. There are a thousand directions you could steer towards, but only a handful that would lead to true customer delight. VoC program becomes your guiding star in this scenario, offering valuable information that help you make informed decisions, ones that resonate with your customers.

  • Feature and Product Releases
    For instance, let's consider a scenario where your customers are leaving valuable feedback about a specific feature being overly complex. This is a clear signal that the feature needs simplification. VoC tools can even go a step further and guide you on how to simplify it based on specific customer pain points.

  • Refinement
    Then there could be times when you notice a consistent surge in positive feedback every time you release a particular type of feature. This is a strong cue that your customers find great value in such features and that they would appreciate more of the same kind.

In essence, the voice of the customer becomes your product's pulse. It gives you real-time customer feedback on how your product is performing and where it could do better. 

It helps you understand the customer journey from the inside out and strategize product improvements that strike a chord with your audience. The true power of VoC lies not just in listening to what your customers say but in hearing what they mean and acting on it. So tune in to the VoC and let it guide your way to a product that truly makes a mark.

How to Implement VoC Program

Implementing a VoC program involves a systematic approach to capturing, analyzing, and acting upon customer feedback. 

  1. Clarifying the Mission - Defining Your Objectives: First and foremost, you need a clear understanding of what you aspire to accomplish with your VoC program. Are you aiming to boost customer satisfaction, minimize churn, or perhaps enhance upselling opportunities? Understanding these goals will set the stage for your VoC strategy.
  2. Identifying Your Users - Understanding Your Customers: Your next step is to get to know your customers better. Who are they? What are their needs and expectations? Building detailed customer personas will help you grasp your audience's unique perspectives and desires.
  3. Assembling Your Toolkit - Choosing Your VoC Tools: The tools you select for gathering and examining customer feedback can make or break your VoC initiative. You might consider a range of methods, from traditional surveys and feedback forms to modern strategies like social media tracking, focus groups, user testing, and even AI and Machine Learning tools.
  4. Formulating Your Strategy - Designing Your Data Collection Method: Once your toolkit is assembled, you need to decide how you'll employ those tools to collect feedback. This could involve developing a survey, implementing a social media listening plan, or scheduling interviews.
  5. Executing Your Strategy - Collecting Feedback: Now, it's time to put your plan into action. Ensure that the feedback you collect represents a comprehensive cross-section of your customer base.
  6. Deciphering the Data - Analyzing and Interpreting Your Findings: Your chosen tools will help you sift through and make sense of the feedback you've collected. Seek out patterns, trends, and insights that can inform your decision-making process.
  7. Turning Insights into Improvements - Acting on Your Findings: The primary aim of any VoC program is to enhance your product, service, and overall customer experience. Use the insights gleaned from your data to make informed decisions about what changes will best serve your customers.
  8. Driving Change - Implementing Your Improvements: Collaborate with your team to enact the changes you've identified. These could range from tweaking product features to streamlining processes.
  9. Measuring the Impact - Tracking Your Success: Assess the effectiveness of your VoC program by monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) over time. This could include metrics like customer satisfaction scores, net promoter scores (NPS), customer retention rates, and more.
  10. Refining Your Approach - Iterating and Improving Your Program: A successful VoC initiative is an ongoing endeavor. Keep refining and improving your program to enhance your understanding of your customers and their needs.

Methods to Capture the Voice of the Customer

There's an entire toolbox filled with methods and strategies to tap into the goldmine of VoC data and customer feedback. Let's venture together through some of the most popular ones:

  • Surveys and Feedback Forms: Think of these as a friendly conversation starter with your customers. Straightforward and effective, they hand you a direct ticket to the customer's mind, letting you pick up their insights.
  • Social Media and Online Communities: Imagine these platforms as a buzzing marketplace filled with unfiltered chatter about your brand or product. Diving into this ocean of organic feedback can unlock deeper layers of customer sentiment and preferences.
  • Customer Interviews and Focus Groups: These resemble a cozy chat by the fireside, where customers freely discuss their needs and pain points, gifting you with qualitative data that's ripe with insights.
  • User Testing: Picture this as a front-row seat at a live performance, where you get to watch your customers interact with your product in real-time. This window into their experience is a goldmine of usability insights.
  • Sales and Customer Support Feedback: Visualize these teams as your frontline soldiers, battling customer issues and concerns daily. Their experiences and insights can shine a light on common challenges your customers face.

ClientZen Customer Feedback Software dashboards

Tools for Analyzing VoC Data

In the voc process, the collection of raw and quantitative data is just the first step. The true power lies in effectively interpreting this wealth of information, transforming it into actionable insights that can inform your product development strategies. This is where the role of analytical tools comes in.

Ranging from sentiment analysis software to AI and machine learning instruments, these tools serve as the key to unlock the treasure trove of VoC data. Let's explore some of the most prominent tools that can facilitate the journey of decoding your customer's voice.

Sentiment Analysis Software

Sentiment Analysis Software employs artificial intelligence to distill the emotional tone hidden within customer feedback. It's like a stethoscope for your brand, amplifying the pulse of customer sentiments, and helping you identify whether they feel positive, negative, or neutral towards your product or service.

Text Analysis Tools

These powerful platforms dive deep into the ocean of unstructured text data to bring out pearls of customer insights. By identifying patterns, themes, and key topics, these tools can unlock a treasure trove of insights from online customer reviews, feedback, and social media conversations.

Customer Feedback Management Systems

Acting as a centralized hub, these systems collect voc data, manage, and organize feedback from multiple channels, offering a consolidated view of the customer experience. These systems transform a clutter of customer voices into a harmonious choir, where you can clearly hear each individual note.

AI and Machine Learning Tools

These tools are the vanguards of data analysis, capable of digesting large volumes of data and extracting meaningful patterns. With their advanced capabilities, they can predict trends, identify trends, potential issues, and provide actionable insights that drive product development and improve customer satisfaction.

What is a voice of customer software

Voice of the Customer software is a type of analytical tool that businesses use to analyze, interpret, and collecting customer feedback from various sources and channels. The main objective of VoC strategy and software is to help businesses gain a comprehensive understanding of their customer's experiences, preferences, expectations, and pain points.

VoC software can aggregate data from a variety of sources, such as social media, customer surveys, online reviews, emails, and customer support interactions. They can also handle both structured data (such as ratings from a customer survey) and unstructured data (like comments on a social media post or free text responses in a survey).

Once the data is collected, VoC tools employs technologies like text analytics, natural language processing (NLP), and sentiment analysis to take customer input and extract meaningful historical data from it. These insights can help a business understand what their customers think about their products or services, what improvements they desire, what features they value most, and how their sentiments change over time.

This way, businesses can leverage VoC software to fine-tune their products, enhance customer service, make informed business decisions, and ultimately, build stronger relationships with their customers. It serves as a crucial bridge between a business and its customers, enabling the business to genuinely listen to its customers and respond to their needs effectively.

Translating VoC into Actionable Insights

Customer feedback should never be underestimated, as it's far more than a simple accumulation of views and ideas. In truth, it's an authoritative compass guiding your business objective, strategy, and product direction. Each piece of feedback presents a unique aspect of your customers' desires and expectations, almost like a puzzle piece that, when assembled with others, provides a holistic view of your market's landscape.

Acting upon these insights is akin to refining raw material into gold, a process that directly leads to better product enhancement and business growth. It's not about hasty reactions, but measured, deliberate steps that channel the VoC into a tangible action plan for improvement. This process might involve prioritizing product features, adjusting pricing, or even rethinking the overall user experience based on the opinions voiced by your customer base.

When we talk about turning the VoC data into actionable insights, it's not just about solving immediate problems. It's about feeding these customer data back into the heart of your organization, impacting everything from research and development to marketing, sales, and customer service. In this way, your business can maintain a steady course in an ever-evolving market, continually adapting to changing customer needs and preferences. 

Embracing VoC as a strategic resource will help you create products that genuinely resonate with your audience, enhancing customer satisfaction and increasing customer loyalty while driving business success.

Prioritizing Features Based on Customer Feedback

Customer feedback often carries the key to unlocking the most relevant and impactful features for your product. The VoC can provide you with a clear indication of the features that hold the most value for your users. 

Prioritizing features doesn't necessarily mean opting for the complex or flashy; instead, it involves emphasizing those that align with your customer's real needs, ensuring that your product not only meets but exceeds their expectations. It's about listening to your customers and using their feedback as the guiding light to make informed decisions that will ultimately contribute to a more valuable and satisfying product.

Innovating Based on Customer Needs

Innovation is the lifeblood of any successful business, but true innovation is rooted in a deep understanding of customer needs. By keeping your finger on the pulse of your customers through the VoC program, you're in a prime position to identify gaps, challenges, or unmet needs that your product can address. This continuous cycle of feedback and innovation is what keeps your product evolving and relevant in the marketplace. It's not about innovation for its own sake; it's about meaningful innovation that delivers solutions to your customers and propels your business forward.

Improving User Experience

The VoC is a direct line into your customer's experiences with your product. They are the end-users, the ones navigating the product day in and day out, and their feedback is an invaluable resource for enhancing the user experience. By paying close attention to their praises, complaints, frustrations, and suggestions, you can identify opportunities to make the user experience smoother, more intuitive, and more enjoyable. The VoC gives you the opportunity to view your product through the lens of the user, providing insights that can help remove barriers, simplify processes, and create a more engaging and satisfying user experience.


From defining VoC to examining the tools needed for analyzing VoC data, we've shed light on how understanding and leveraging VoC can dramatically transform how we approach product development.

We've seen how critical it is to adopt a customer-centric approach, where the customers' needs, preferences, and experiences sit at the heart of our product strategy. Hopefully, we've realized that VoC is not just about collecting feedback but about interpreting it accurately and turning it into actionable insights.

Embracing the VoC philosophy helps us prioritize features, innovate based on authentic customer needs, and improve user experience, ultimately leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Challenges may arise when implementing a VoC program, but with the right understanding and tools, these can be overcome, leading to valuable insights and continuous product improvement.

The essence of product management lies in our ability to listen, understand, and respond effectively to our customer's voice. As we continue our product development journey, the Voice of the Customer should remain our guiding beacon, helping us make decisions that truly resonate with our audience.

The journey may be complex, but with VoC as our guide, we're better equipped to navigate the dynamic landscape of product management.

If you're curious or looking to learn more about VoC best practices or how to implement Voice of Customer strategy into your product development roadmap and daily work, why not schedule a call with Ovi? He is ready to equip you with all the necessary details to kickstart your VoC journey.

In case you're still not sure which software to use for your VoC program, check our comparison chart to convince yourself, or You're always welcome to try out our customer feedback software for free at any moment—experience firsthand how qualitative data can be converted into actionable points in just a few minutes. 

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David Pop

Marketing Manager at ClientZen