Most companies have some sort of VOC program in place, though how effective it is will vary greatly from company to company. The VOC, or voice of customers, is an essential tool companies can use to determine whether their customers are satisfied with the products or services they are delivering. There are a variety of different tools for gathering information to determine the VOC, and it is essential to use the correct methods at the right times, and to ask the right questions, in order to accurately determine the true VOC.
Information Gathering Options
When attempting to gather information about the voice of a customers, the tools you use are critical. Each company will benefit most from a different set of information gathering options, so taking the time to experiment with a variety of options is important. The following are some of the most effective ways to gather information about your customers:
- Focus Groups
- Verbal Communication
- Market Research
- Data Reporting
When to Gather Information
The responses received from customers can be dramatically different depending on when you ask them about their experience. For example, someone might be thrilled with a purchase the day after they bought something, but a week or month later, they may regret it. In addition, depending on what types of services you’re attempting to measure, it might be best to gather the information at different times. It is essential to gather information at a time when you’ll get an honest answer from the customer. In most cases, this will be at the time of the customer transaction, or immediately after.
Understanding the needs of customers at the moment of purchase is essential to determining how to increase the likelihood of someone else making that purchase too. It can also help bring customers back to make repeat purchases in the future.
What to do with the VOC
Once you’ve gathered information about the voice of the customer, each company needs to decide what to do with that information. If most customers don’t like the way a feature of a specific product works, for example, it may drive a company to make adjustments to that feature. Of course, not all information gathered from the customer will be that easy to act upon. Some things can be much more difficult to decide what to do with.
If, for example, customers respond to surveys saying that the quality of a part isn’t what they had hoped for, a company may consider improving the quality. The improved quality, however, will come with a higher cost associated with it as well. If customers aren’t willing or able to pay the higher price, than it doesn’t make sense to improve the quality. Finding the proper balance in areas such as this can be difficult, but it is an important part of running any company. Without the VOC, it would be nearly impossible to know what types of things should be addressed, and which ones the customers aren’t even concerned with. Proper information gathering, and decision making based on the VOC is critical to the success of any business.