You must have heard this popular quote before: "Listen to your customers before they listen to your competition."
Being in the B2B industry, you know firsthand the truth in this quote, because B2B customers take no prisoners. It also rings true for B2C companies, given the ever-rising consumer expectations. If you don’t listen and address your customers’ pain points spot-on, you may as well close shop.
That’s why you must listen to the voice of the customer (VoC). A compelling VoC program allows you to better understand your customer’s needs, wants, suggestions, expectations, and complaints by collecting feedback directly from them. To gather customer feedback at scale, analyze it bit by bit and implement it, you need voice of the customer tools (VoC tools).
VoC tools provide the technology that powers VoC programs. They facilitate feedback collection across all touchpoints in a customer journey, store the feedback data in a secure database, and help you analyze and implement customer feedback.
While there’s a VoC tool for every stage of the VoC process, they all serve these three basic functions:
Collect customer feedback
Analyze feedback data
Close the customer feedback loop
As we’ll see below, there are many types of VoC tools, and your choice comes down to your VoC objective. Fortunately, you’ll easily find a VoC tool that advances your VoC objectives.
Before we discuss the different types of VoC tools, let’s first review the benefits of VoC tools.
VoC tools bring forth the following advantages.
SaaS customers utilize different channels to provide feedback. Some use formal channels such as Trustpilot, G2, or feedback surveys to provide feedback. Even more important than these formal feedback channels are day-to-day interactions with customers. Calls, emails, chats — even product usage — where customers provide input into how they get value from your product, or where there might be opportunities for improvement.
Often, customers will not take the time to write formal reviews or complete feedback surveys. That’s why you must take advantage of input from day-to-day customer interactions. Thankfully, VoC tools help you gather all your feedback data from all channels in one place. This way, you can analyze and implement all your feedback data, even those collected outside your formal feedback channels.
VoC tools help you analyze and interpret feedback data, ideally allowing you to filter the data by customer segment, customer value, or customer lifecycle stage. Without VoC tools, it would be extremely time-consuming to manually review multiple feedback submissions. VoC tools mine customer input for insights and summarize key findings. That allows you to provide a more robust analysis of VoC data to draw the right conclusions, all in less time.
There is no substitute for talking to customers. The trouble is, not everyone’s day job allows them to talk to customers all day long. VoC tools ideally give the full team a deeper understanding of customer needs.
VoC tools should capture all of the learnings from frontline teams such as Sales, Support, Customer Service, and Professional Services teams. In aggregating and summarizing that data, Product, Marketing, and other teams can glean a deeper understanding of customers so they can make the most of their more limited direct customer interactions. That allows Product teams to build the right product, Marketing teams to focus on the right prospects and story, and the business overall to operate in a more customer-centric manner.
Given quickly evolving consumer needs and the relentless pace of technology innovation, you must act on feedback right away or risk unhappy (or churned) customers. Good thing VoC tools expedite the VoC process, allowing you to collect and implement customer feedback within a short turnaround time.
Now, let’s explore the types of VoC tools available and the must-have features you should look for.
VoC tools vary depending on their features and their roles in the VoC process but they can be classified into three broad categories, as we discuss below.
VoC collection tools are largely techniques for capturing customer feedback. They include customer interviews, online feedback forms, emails, questionnaires, live chat, online customer surveys and reviews, social media, recorded call data, Net Promoter Score (NPS), focus groups, emails, and in-person surveys.
When selecting a VoC tool, consider what you want the tool to do for you. For instance, you may select a tool that collects all of the data from day-to-day interactions such as emails, chats, and phone calls. This way, you can handpick relevant data that supports the business case for product roadmap requests, customer experience improvements, and more.
After capturing VoC data, you need to analyze and interpret the data before implementing it to improve your product. To analyze feedback data competently, you must evaluate the tone, emotion, and intent behind a customer’s feedback message. VoC analysis tools can process your feedback data and interpret if the data is negative, neutral, or positive.
When you understand your customer voice in detail, you can tailor your customer experience to address their pain points. VoC analysis tools can be categorized as enterprise VoC software, website VoC tools, traditional research survey tools, and small-medium business (SMB) VoC tools.
While VoC collection and analysis tools are essential, frontline intelligence platforms like Quala facilitate an all-encompassing VoC process, making them the ultimate VoC platform. A great platform will collect and analyze customer data from day-to-day interactions, and also consider feedback from your frontline teams.
By blending your customers’ input with your team’s observations and the product usage data, frontline intelligence platforms give you an accurate representation of your customer’s behavior, needs, and wants. These platforms are perfect for the VoC process, especially for sizable SaaS companies.
Quala quantifies what customers say, teams hear, and customers do to make VoC collection an “always on” activity. We call it frontline intelligence. These insights can be used to drive business strategies, such as product roadmaps, or better serve, retain, or upsell individual customers. Quala mines messy qualitative data streams such as email, CRM notes, and chats to reveal VoC insights that might otherwise get overlooked by the business.
Regardless of the type of VoC tool you utilize in your VoC program, it should streamline feedback collection, analysis, and implementation. But if you want an “always on” VoC program that delivers insights back to the business in real time, use a unique platform like Quala.
To get started with Quala, request a demo today. Let us make your VoC program a success.