5 Voice of the Customer Examples Used by Top Companies
Updated: Mar 1
Top Companies Understand Consumer Wants and Needs with Voice of the Customer
Are you looking for ways to understand what your customers want and need? Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a process that captures feedback and utilizes it to improve products, services, or the experience. It allows businesses to get an in-depth understanding of their consumers’ needs and expectations so that they can create better solutions for them. In this blog post, we will explore how utilizing this process can benefit your business in order to create a successful customer experience and share five Voice of the Customer Examples from some of the world’s leading companies.
What Is Voice of the Customer?
The VoC approach is an invaluable tool for understanding what your consumers want and need. This process allows you to gather insights from responses to find out what consumers really think about your business, products, services, and processes. By understanding the needs and expectations of these B2B customers or B2C shoppers, you can gain a greater understanding of their experiences and build better relationships with them.
As consumers voice their needs and expectations, businesses must find ways to effectively listen to them. There are many companies that have Voice of the Customer examples that have proven successful.
The VoC process
This process is an important customer-focused approach to improving customer experience. It provides companies with customer opinions that help identify customer needs and preferences by soliciting customer opinions. There are several voice of the customer examples, such as surveys and reviews, tracking customer satisfaction, analyzing customer experience, and measuring trends over time by comparing outcomes to previous insights and results. Examples of benefits for companies include being able to tailor their products and services to better meet customer demands, increase loyalty, and differentiate from the competition. This often results in more sales, market share, and greater customer satisfaction. The old adage is true -- “the customer is always right.” By putting customers’ voice at the center of business operations, companies have the opportunity to engage in better decision making which will lead them to long-term success.
The Voice of the Customer process is made up of four components:
Developing a strategy – Starting with your company strategy, carefully consider what information needs to be gathered from customers to meet your corporate objectives. For example, this includes reactions and criticisms on offerings, unmet needs and opportunities, customer experience, pricing, competitive comparisons, and more.
Gathering customer feedback – This includes data analysis from surveys, interviews, focus groups, and reports, for example, which will provide insights into what consumers are looking for from your company, in their voice. Understanding their expectations, and repeating the research to measure trends over time is an invaluable tool to keep a pulse on customers and benchmark trends and anomalies.
Analyzing customer feedback – Once you have gathered all the necessary information, you need to analyze it so that you can understand why customers feel a certain way about your products or services and identify any areas for improvement. For quantitative research such as surveys, the importance of data analytics cannot be underestimated. As an example, slicing and dicing the data by characteristics such as geography, demographics, customer type, and how respondents answer certain questions can provide rich insights for your business. Reading and hearing verbatims from the perspective and in the tone of voice of your audience can confirm existing hypotheses, and reveal surprises. However, data tells the ‘what’ but not always the ‘why.’ Following up surveys with qualitative research to talk to your customers, and hear directly from them in their voice and language, will help to enrich the data with nuanced insights that create more empathy and understanding from which to take action.
Applying customer insights – Finally, you need to use this information to develop strategies that will help you meet customers’ needs more effectively. There are several ways to use VoC, for example, refining existing products or services, creating new innovations based on customer responses, optimizing the customer journey, enhancing marketing and sales messaging, and closing actual or perceived competitive gaps, to name a few.
How to Effectively Use VoC
Using VoC requires taking a proactive approach in gathering and analyzing responses as well as acting on them swiftly once you have identified opportunities for improvement or growth to stay ahead of competitors who may be offering similar solutions but without focusing on meeting consumers’ needs first. Here are some tips on how to effectively use this process:
Make sure your team is engaged in the conversation that gives voice to customers – encourages open communication between teams so that everyone is aware of what customers are saying about your company and its offerings.
Ensure data accuracy – make sure that all data collected is accurate before using it for decision-making purposes. Inaccurate information can lead to wrong conclusions being drawn, which could mean taking action based on incorrect information.
Keep track of results – measure results regularly so that your team can evaluate whether strategic initiatives and tactical changes have been effective in improving products, services, and experience. Don’t forget to assign VoC outcomes to the goals and performance metrics within your team to drive accountability. What gets measured, gets done.
Be agile when responding – if changes need to be made quickly due to market changes or competitive pressure then ensure your team acts swiftly as this shows consumers that their voices are being heard. Better yet, be transparent that the changes are based on their responses, which will enhance affinity for your brand.
Be consistent - consistency is key when it comes to developing relationships with your target audience; if they know what kind of treatment they expect from you then they will be more likely to keep coming back.
Voice of the Customer Examples
As businesses become increasingly aware of the power of consumer voices and feedback, more and more are turning to VoC research. This research helps companies understand their customers’ needs, wants, and experiences with their products or service by collecting, analyzing, and acting on customer insights.
For many top organizations in 2023, VoC has become an integral part of how they do business. Here are five Voice of the Customer examples that show how these companies have used the process and had great success:
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, has an incredibly successful program called “Patron Reviews,” which allows users who have purchased items from Amazon’s website or app to review those items publicly. These reviews help other potential buyers decide whether or not they should purchase a particular item. Amazon leverages insights to build customer-centric strategies. Through VoC, Amazon has been able to capture shopper insights through various channels, like surveys, forums, and social media responses, for example. This feedback from its buyers is then analyzed in order to identify their needs, wants, and expectations, allowing Amazon to make well-informed decisions that improve the shoppers’ journey. By placing a strong focus on the customer journey and creating a consumer-first mentality, this process has allowed Amazon to refine their product and services to meet shopper demands. Through this refinement process, Amazon has seen an increase in consumer loyalty and in sales revenue. Ultimately, this process enables Amazon to stay on top of trends and deliver successful products built from shopper requirements.
Netflix uses an automated system called “Netflix Prizes,” which rewards users who submit creative ideas for improving Netflix's algorithms. These ideas help make Netflix's streaming service better than ever before. Netflix exemplifies how the use of VoC can accelerate growth and propel a business to success. Through careful analysis and surveys, Netflix consistently evaluates feedback from consumers in order to produce a better service. David Wells, Chief Financial Officer of Netflix, described its decisions as “data-driven” with “impressive results.” As a result of this feedback-based approach, Netflix successfully built an unparalleled streaming experience for its consumers. For example, from the optimization stage to branding phrase suggestions, the consumer experience has become an essential part of the brand’s success story. This is further supported by responses gathered from consumers on the relevance of improvements or innovations prior to the implementation process. Collectively, these findings illustrate that consumer input is pivotal for business performance and when leveraged effectively will optimize consumer engagement. Consumers’ voices matter.
Apple, the well-known American manufacturer of personal computers, smartphones, tablet computers, and more, uses VoC extensively throughout its product development process by incorporating user input into its design process. This helps ensure that new technology meets users' expectations while also staying ahead of trends. Apple employs a variety of feedback collection techniques, for example, surveys and user experience analysis, in order to collect this important input. By listening and answering direct responses from their audience, in consumers’ voices, Apple is able to uncover both what works for their customers as well as areas that need improvement. This feedback provides evidence-based insights which result in improved products and services. The end result is greatly enhanced customer satisfaction which has been a driving force of Apple's business success over the years.
The largest coffeehouse chain in the world, Starbucks, launched its “My Starbucks Idea” campaign, which encourages users to submit ideas for product improvements. This helps Starbucks stay ahead by staying connected with its users. Surveys have become increasingly important for big businesses like Starbucks. Starbucks has leveraged VoC to better understand the responses and sentiment it receives, making changes to its offerings, pricing, and customer journey that directly reflect this feedback. The sentiment is an example of giving voice to the emotional relationships consumers have with a brand. Data analysis is also essential as it gives brands a clearer insight into how consumers respond to different products, services, and more. For example, responses gained through surveys often led directly to changes in portfolio offerings and innovation. Overall, these insights enabled Starbucks to significantly improve its business success by using customer responses effectively.
Our last of the five Voice of the Customer examples is from Chick-fil-a, the country’s largest fast-food restaurant chain specializing in chicken sandwiches. At Chick-fil-A, management believes feedback is a gift. At Chick-fil-a, customers are not customers, but "guests." When a guest shares a change they'd like to see, the first thought the staff is encouraged to have is, 'What can we do to help?' Chick-fil-A created an exemplary Voice of the Customer example for other businesses in how feedback from customers can enhance and improve success. The chain restaurant created an online survey that gathered feedback regarding customer experience, and product feedback, and took into consideration their response data in order to benefit their business. From this feedback, Chick-fil-A was able to analyze their patrons’ preferences in order to inform decisions on menu items, customer service, locations, and more. This has been instrumental in helping the chain create meaningful customer engagement opportunities across the board -- leading to successful growth and success.
Summing it up
Gathering insights, in the consumers’ voice, enables businesses to capture feedback and use it strategically when designing future products or services as well as improving existing ones. By taking a proactive approach to gathering and analyzing data, acting quickly when needed, ensuring accuracy, measuring results, and remaining consistent, businesses can harness the power of VoC and create positive experiences for their consumers. Doing this successfully will help build trust with current consumers while also attracting new ones. With proper implementation, any organization can turn its voice of the customer feedback into even greater success.
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Driven to Succeed is an award-winning global market research and consulting firm that compliments data (the “what”) with empathetic research and conversations (the “why”) to help Fortune 500 companies and high-growth brands uncover insights to innovate and grow. Our team has walked a mile in your shoes with over 100 years of experience in Market Research, Marketing, and P&L Management for global iconic brands and startup companies across diverse B2B and B2C industries. Learn more at https://www.DriventoSucceedLLC.com