The voice of the customer, or VOC, is a way for businesses to monitor the ongoing customer response to their products or services. Businesses use voice of the customer surveys and techniques throughout the entire phase of the product, from research and development through marketing and sale, and continuously as the products or services are sold. It is one of the best and most commonly used ways to gauge customers' preferences, buying habits, and needs in relation to a product.
The voice of the customer is ultimately intended to allow businesses to determine how the customer perceives them, as well as if their needs are being met. Surveys and marketing techniques might target different age groups of customers, to see which age group is responding best to certain products or marketing materials. Mail-in or email surveys are quite common, as well as phone surveys.
In addition, many businesses also track the calls that come in to a call center, which are often customer complaints. These customer complaints, and the ways in which they are handled by employees, can paint a clear picture of overall customer satisfaction. These can help businesses to implement new training techniques to improve bad customer service, and thereby improve overall customer perception of the business. This type of voice of the customer monitoring is helpful for tracking existing customers.
Sending customer surveys after these interactions is another way to listen to the voice of the customer. The customer can answer questions regarding the ways in which their problem was handled, and if they have any suggestions for improvement. This can help businesses to develop a loyal customer base. In addition, companies can monitor when customers do or do not click on links in sponsored emails, or purchasing trends after certain advertisements are released. These are all different ways of measuring the customer's buying patterns.
In addition, voice of the customer techniques often employ social network monitoring. This might mean that businesses seek out keyword mentions, such as the name of the business or of a new product, in blogs and other social networking sites. Not only can this help a business to find positive and negative mentions of their products, but it can help alert the business to new problems that have arisen, and hopefully stop negative advertising as soon as possible. Measuring the voice of the customer is one of the best things a business can do to increase sales and develop new products over time.