Voice of Customer Tool for New Product Development

David Pop


min read

VoC analysis gives us the tools to understand and adapt to what customers really want and need. It's about taking their feedback and turning it into actionable insights that can guide our product development.

But there's more to VoC than just gathering what customers say. It's about smartly using technology and knowing the best ways to apply it. While it might look complicated at first, the effort pays off when you end up with a product that genuinely connects with your audience.

In the competitive market of 2024, the voice of the customer (VoC) has become an indispensable tool for new product development. By integrating customer insights into every stage of the product lifecycle, businesses can significantly enhance their chances of success. This article draws on key learnings to explore how VoC tools can be effectively utilized for new product development.

In case you already have a digital product, we recommend to read the "Applying Voice of Customer Analysis in Product Development" that focuses in more depth how to use voice of customer tools and voc program overall in your product development. For experienced product owners or product managers, we also recommend to visit the "Voice of Customer - Product Manager's Toolkit" where you'll find all the practical examples and best practices in one place for PO's to use voice of customer tools and programs into their development process.

The mentioned articles are detailed toolkits and practical guides for product development in general, the current article focuses more on addressing the role of voice of the customer in new product development.

What is Voice of the Customer?

Voice of Customer (VoC) is a strategy in market research that focuses on capturing and understanding customer data and your audience's feedback. By listening to the voice of customer, businesses can gain insights into how their customers perceive them, their expectations, necessities, frustrations, and more. The voice of customer is instrumental in aligning your product with consumer expectations, accelerating your journey to achieving product-market fit and ensuring customer satisfaction.

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Understanding the Importance of VoC in Product Development

The journey of new product development is complex and multifaceted, requiring a deep understanding of customer needs, preferences, and pain points. VoC provides a strategic approach to capturing and analyzing customer feedback, ensuring that product developers are not just creating innovative products, but are also aligning them with market demands. Just as Agile methodology revolutionized product development, VoC tools and effective voice of the customer programs are set to transform the evolution of new products similarly.

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The Role of VoC in New Product Development

Voice of Customer stands as an invaluable research method that lets you delve into your customers' minds. Market research surveys have long been the medium through which marketers and entrepreneurs gather customer feedback.

In new product development, an abundance of data is crucial to validate your ideas. Essentially, you need clarity on:

  • The size of the market for your product or service.
  • The competition landscape.
  • Pricing strategies of competitors.
  • Unaddressed customer needs or pain points.
  • Customer preferences for paid solutions to their problems.

This is just the beginning. A comprehensive understanding of your customer base and spotting market opportunities are a for success.

Listening to your customers can greatly assist in testing, launching, and refining new products or features. Customer feedback lies at the core of agile development and the continuous discovery process prevalent in new product development across various sectors. It aids business owners in:

  • Identifying customer challenges and gaps related to your product concept.
  • Gauging audience preferences.
  • Spotting opportunities to disrupt the market or enhance the customer experience.
  • Discovering effective marketing strategies and positioning.

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Integrating VoC at Every Stage

  1. Brainstorming and Ideation: During this initial phase, customer feedback tools can gather insights about customer challenges, preferences, and unmet needs. This stage sets the foundation for product development, ensuring the ideas are rooted in real customer problems.
  2. Research and Development: VoC data helps refine the product features and design as the product concept takes shape. This phase benefits from ongoing customer feedback to validate the product hypothesis and adjust the development path accordingly.
  3. Testing and Prototyping: VoC is critical at this stage for gathering initial reactions and feedback on prototypes. This process helps fine-tune the product, address usability issues, and make necessary adjustments based on customer input. Once customer data is gathered, you can use VOC software to analyze feedback data, conduct gap analysis, extract negative sentiment drivers, etc.
  4. Launch and Deployment: Post-launch, VoC tools play a crucial role in gathering feedback, structuring, and analyzing voc data on product performance, customer satisfaction, and areas for improvement. This continuous feedback loop allows for iterative enhancements and adjustments.
  5. Monitoring and Improvement: Long-term product success requires ongoing monitoring of customer feedback. VoC tools help track changing customer preferences and market trends, enabling businesses to stay relevant and competitive.

Selecting the Right VoC Tools

The selection of the right VoC tools is hard if you're new to developing your first Voice of the Customer program, and not just because every beginning is hard but mostly due to the fact that thanks to the AI revolution and technology advancements, these tools are cheaper and easier to access more than ever.

When the market is filled with a variety of products, choosing the best tool that fits your goals and business needs often involves a lot of trial and error until you find what you truly need. But what should you consider when searching for such tools?

  1. Data Collection Methods: Ensure the tool supports various data collection methods like surveys, social media listening, feedback forms, and direct customer interviews. This diversity helps in capturing a wide range of customer opinions.
  2. Integration Capabilities: The tool should integrate seamlessly with your existing systems (CRM, analytics tools, etc.). This ensures data flows smoothly between systems for comprehensive analysis.
  3. Analytics and Reporting Features: Look for advanced analytics capabilities. The tool should not only collect data but also analyze it to provide actionable insights. Features like sentiment analysis, trend spotting, and automated reporting are valuable.
  4. Real-Time Feedback: The ability to capture and analyze real-time feedback helps quickly address customer concerns and improve their experience.
  5. Scalability and Flexibility: The tool should scale with your business needs. It should be flexible enough to adapt to changing business strategies and customer trends.
  6. User-Friendly Interface: It should be easy for your team and customers. A complex tool might lead to low engagement from both ends.
  7. Data Security and Privacy Compliance: Ensure the tool complies with data protection regulations like GDPR, CCPA, etc. Customer data security is paramount.
  8. Customer Segmentation: The ability to segment feedback based on customer demographics, behaviors, or purchase history can provide more targeted insights.
  9. Cost Effectiveness: Evaluate the cost against the features offered. It should fit your budget and offer good ROI.
  10. Feedback Loop Capabilities: The tool should help create a feedback loop where customer insights lead to actionable changes, which are then communicated back to customers.

Capturing Diverse Customer Insights

VoC is not just about gathering customer data; it's about understanding the nuances of customer experiences. A comprehensive VoC strategy includes a mix of surveys, interviews, focus groups, and analysis of online reviews and social media feedback.

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Voice of Customer Survey Questions for New Product Development

If you have an existing audience, like newsletter subscribers or social media followers, gathering Voice of Customer feedback is simpler. If you don't have an established group, there are still many ways to reach your audience. Start with your inner circle, then seek recommendations to expand your base, join community groups, or if budget allows, hire professionals with custom panels for quicker access to a larger segment. This method, while fast, may not be the most cost-effective. Once you have the contacts, a well-structured market research questionnaire is all you need to start collecting this valuable information.

When considering the development or launch of a new product, it's crucial to ask questions about:

  • Customer behaviors, interests, and issues.
  • Market competition dynamics.
  • Sensitivity to pricing.
  • Channels for marketing and discovery.
  • Product pricing.
  • Brand loyalty and affinity.

Here are some voice of customer question examples for new product development:

  1. General Product-Centric Questions:
  2. What are your main challenges related to [product category/niche]?
  3. What features or benefits do you prioritize in [product idea]?
  4. Questions About Competition:
  5. What are your current frustrations with products available in the market?
  6. VoC Questions for Evaluating Marketing Channels:
  7. How do you typically discover new products in this category?
  8. Questions for New Features:
  9. How would a new feature in [product/service] add value to your life?

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Challenges and Considerations

While VoC offers numerous benefits, there are challenges to consider. It requires a systematic approach to data collection and analysis, and the insights gained must be actionable. Companies must also be cautious of over-reliance on customer feedback, balancing innovation with customer needs. Let's simplify the process for you.

By using a customer feedback or voice of the customer tool that supports multichannel integration, like ClientZen, you can easily collect VoC data. This allows you to systematically collect customer feedback, structure your customer journey process, and analyze data more efficiently. With ClientZen, you can focus on desired sources, sentiment, topics, keywords, or any custom segment you envision. Expanding on data gathering and analysis, it's crucial to focus on extracting valuable customer insights. By analyzing customer feedback, businesses can gauge customer sentiment and identify trends that inform data-driven decisions.

Feedback collection, especially through tools like ClientZen, allows for a deeper understanding of the customer experience. This analysis, including metrics like Net Promoter Score, plays a pivotal role in improving customer satisfaction. By continuously analyzing feedback, companies can adapt and evolve their strategies to meet customer needs, ensuring that every change is backed by solid data and genuine customer insights.


In conclusion, the effective use of VoC tools in new product development cannot be overstated. By placing customer feedback at the heart of product development, companies can create products that not only meet but exceed market expectations. The journey from conception to launch, guided by the voice of the customer, is a strategic pathway to creating successful, customer-centric products.

Utilizing customer tools and VoC software effectively harnesses VoC data, enabling businesses to gain valuable customer insights. This strategic approach enhances customer satisfaction through comprehensive data analysis, including metrics like Net Promoter Score. By integrating these technologies, companies can not only meet but exceed customer expectations, ensuring their products and services are perfectly aligned with customer needs and preferences. This alignment is crucial for long-term success and customer loyalty in today's competitive market.

Customer feedback made easy

Customer feedback tagged automatically

Real-time customer sentiment scores

Pain-points evolution over time

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David Pop

Marketing Manager at ClientZen