How to Start a VoC Program: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to start a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program from scratch in this ultimate step-by-step guide.
Nicole Bansal
Nicole Bansal, August 21, 2023

Good marketers know that understanding the voice of their customers (VoC) is a cornerstone of customer experience management. But how do you tap into this invaluable resource? How do you translate the sea of customer feedback into actionable insights? The answer lies in a well-structured voice of the customer program.

Starting a VoC program from scratch might seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and processes in place, it’s easier than you might think. In this post, we'll help you navigate the terrain of customer feedback and guide you through the process of setting up a VoC program, step by step.

What is a VoC program?

A VoC program is a systematic approach for capturing customer feedback, analyzing it, and using the insights to improve products, services, and overall customer experience. It involves various methods of data collection, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, and social media monitoring, and uses advanced analytics techniques to derive meaningful insights from the collected data.

Why start a VoC program?

Starting a VoC program can provide numerous benefits for your business. It can help you understand your customers' needs and expectations, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions that enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Moreover, a well-implemented VoC program can give you a competitive edge by providing insights that help you deliver superior customer experiences.

How to start a VoC program

With a systematic approach and the right tools, creating a voice of the customer program from scratch can be a manageable and rewarding process. The following is a detailed, step-by-step guide to help you establish a successful VoC program:

Step 1: Define your VoC strategy

The first step in establishing a VoC program is to clearly define your VoC strategy. This involves setting clear objectives for your program and determining how you will achieve them. Your strategy should align with your overall business goals and have buy-in from key stakeholders, including the CEO and board.

To define your VoC strategy, start by identifying what you want to know about your customers and what results you hope to achieve from this knowledge. Setting up a VoC program for the sake of "listening to customers" might not be enough. If you gather feedback and measure it diligently but are not equipped to do anything about it, it's not worth asking for.

Your VoC goals might be tied to what metrics your organization already uses, like net promoter score (NPS), or it might involve defining which metrics will be used. That should all be part of your goal setting. If you have a broad mission around "listening to customers," then define the goal within the context of what you'll do with that information. State how understanding customers will lead to more defined objectives, like relaying needs to a product development team or creating better goals for your customer service agents.

Step 2: Choose the right tools

The next step is to choose the right tools for collecting and analyzing customer feedback. There are many VoC tools available in the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Choose a tool that fits your needs and budget, and that can integrate seamlessly with your existing systems.

When picking the right survey tool, ensure that it:

  • Integrates with a top email provider for easy distribution
  • Provides templates and suggestions for creating top-notch surveys
  • Allows for easy collaboration across departments
  • Integrates with your CRM to enhance your customer data
  • Incorporates voice of the employee surveys

Step 3: Design your data collection process

Once you have your tools in place, it’s time to design your data collection process. This involves deciding what type of feedback you want to collect, how you will collect it, and where it will come from. You should aim to collect feedback from a variety of sources to get a comprehensive view of your customers' experiences.

As you set up a VoC program, it's good to identify which customers you want to hear from based on what you already know about them. For example, if your goal is to increase retention, you'd want to focus on customers who are or were customers for a while, rather than brand new customers or prospects.

Step 4: Set up listening posts

Listening posts are specific points along the customer journey where you collect feedback. These could be key value points like software demos or customer events, adoption milestones, time before renewal, or post-renewal. The choice of listening posts will depend on your specific goals and the customer journey.

Step 5: Collaborate with your CX champions

Great VoC programs require collaboration, co-creation, and consistency. This means buy-in from leaders, co-designing with those who know your customers, and following up with people who can make real change. Before you get started, invite customer support leaders and agents into the process of setting up your VoC program to get their input.

Step 6: Analyze the data

After collecting the data, the next step is to analyze it for insights. This involves using advanced analytics techniques to identify patterns, trends, and key themes in the feedback. The insights derived from this analysis can help you understand your customers' needs, preferences, and pain points.

Step 7: Assure inquiries are aligned with outcomes

Once you know what you're looking for, who you'll ask, and what teams are involved, it's time to determine what you'll actually measure.

You may be familiar with the standard metrics like NPS, customer satisfaction score (CSAT), or customer effort score (CES). Tracking metrics like these provide a measurable way to gauge how customers are feeling about specific interactions or the overall relationship.

Step 8: Take action

The final step in starting a VoC program is to take action based on the insights you've gained. This could involve making changes to your products or services, improving your customer service, or implementing new strategies to enhance customer satisfaction. Remember, the goal of a VoC program is not just to collect feedback, but to use it to drive improvements.

In short, setting up a VoC program involves a series of well-thought-out steps, from defining your strategy to taking action based on the insights gained. By following these steps, you can create a VoC program that not only collects valuable customer feedback but also uses it to drive meaningful improvements in your business.

However, the process of collecting and analyzing this feedback can be tedious, time-consuming, and lacking in nuance. That’s why company leaders are turning to cutting-edge AI tools like Viable to learn even more from their VoC programs.

Making the most of your VoC program with Viable

Starting a VoC program is just the beginning. To make the most of your program, you need to continuously collect feedback, analyze it for insights, and make changes based on what you've learned. This is where Viable can help.

Viable uses advanced AI technology to streamline the analysis of customer feedback and provide deeper insights. With Viable, you can automate the collection and analysis of feedback, identify key themes and sentiments in the feedback, and get real-time insights that help you make informed decisions.

Moreover, Viable offers a range of features to help you elevate your VoC program. Our platform can help you define your VoC strategy, choose the right tools, design your data collection process, and interpret the insights derived from the analysis. With our help, you can not only start a VoC program but also ensure its success.

Starting a VoC program can be a game-changer for your business. It can provide you with valuable insights into your customers' needs and expectations, helping you deliver superior customer experiences and gain a competitive edge. So why wait? Get your first analysis free and see the difference Viable’s VoC services can make for your business.

Nicole Bansal
Nicole Bansal, August 21, 2023
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