According to research from Qualtrics, 94% of consumers report that they’re likely to recommend the company if they have had a “very good” customer experience. Wait, that’s not all.
They’re likely to buy more. They also trust that the company will satisfy their needs. Delivering a better customer experience can directly impact your growth. And, the key to delivering a brag-worthy customer experience is understanding your customers—how they feel about your brand, product, and identify the areas you need to improve.
That’s where the voice of the customer (VoC) comes in!
Simply put, Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a research method that’s used to learn more about your customers and collect their feedback. A VoC program captures how your customers feel about your business, product, or service, which in turn helps you to create a stellar CX.
Every customer-centric company has successful VoC programs to continually learn about their customers and the company’s strengths and weaknesses from the customer's point of view.
Before we dive into the questions to help you run a successful VoC program, let’s take a look at the importance of the voice of the customer.
1. Every one of your customers has clear expectations and their experience doesn’t match with the expectations for one reason or another. In other words, there’s a gap between your customer expectations and experience and VoC helps you to identify and bridge the gap.
2. Voice of the customer helps you align teams towards the shared common goal — that is, helping customers solve the problem using your product. It enables different teams to collaborate and work together effectively. For instance, Zapier leverages the voice of the customer to inform product and marketing teams.
3. It solves the game of the telephone!
“My favorite thing about Grain is that it solved the problem of the old game of telephone. Meaning, I hear something from a customer. And then I turn around and describe it to our design team or developers. And I no longer do that. I just say, ‘Here—see what they said.’ And that is so much more effective than the unconscious bias that always happens if I get in the middle of that.”
- Scott Michaels, Apply Digital.
4. VoC helps you to identify, evaluate, and launch new product features, initiatives, and solutions aimed at helping customers.
5. It helps you to drive your everyday work — be it messaging or positioning or developing new features — in the right direction. Just imagine how your messaging would improve if you relied on the voice of your customers to write the copy.
6. More importantly, it ensures that your product does what customers want and increases your customer retention. After all, you can’t grow your business with a leaky bucket.
If there’s something more important than asking questions to your customers, it’s asking the right questions. So, before you go ahead and prepare a list of questions, you have to know how to pick the right questions.
While it sounds simple, having a clear objective is more than enough to help you prioritize and select the right voice of the customer questions. It acts as a guardrail to take your conversation with customers in the right direction.
Define your objectives for your VoC program. An example would be, how do customers feel about the recent changes in your product or service? Or Why has the signup to paid conversion rate dropped in the last quarter for product X?
Note that your goal doesn’t have to be based on historical events. Your goal could also be “understanding how our target customers solve X problem”.
It’s time for the questions. To make things easier for you, we have grouped questions based on what they are about.
As you’ve guessed, we’ll first cover questions to help you understand what comes to your customers’ minds when they think about your brand or product.
- What word or phrase hits your mind when you hear about our company or product?
- What word or phrase comes to your mind while using our product?
- What company or product comes to mind when you think about [problem or use case]?
- Where have you seen or heard about our company or product in the last 6 months?
Here’s a set of questions to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your messaging on your marketing site and assets.
- What phrase would you use to describe our product?
- What’s your main takeaway after visiting our website?
- How would you describe our product to a colleague or a friend?
- Can you describe how our product differs from the competitors in the market?
Communicating with your customers is necessary. But you have to ensure your emails and messages aren’t ignored completely. Here are some questions to figure out the right way to communicate with your customers.
- What’s your preferred way of communicating with our company?
- How often would you like to receive emails from us?
- What day and time would you want us to communicate with you via email?
- What type of updates would you be interested in receiving?
- What are the social media platforms you use at least once per week? And where would you like to read or view content related to our product?
Do you have a lot of competition? Then make sure you learn about them.
- How does our product compare to the competitors in the market? Is it much better, somewhat better, the same, somewhat worse, or much worse?
- What are your preferred products to solve [problem x], [problem y], and [problem z], and why?
- What’s the most compelling feature that [our top competitor] offer and why?
- What are the factor(s) that would make you switch from [top competitor] to our product?
- Are you using any of our competitors along with our product? If so, how?
- What factors matter the most when you’re trying to decide the product to solve the [problem]?
- Can you name a competitor you would choose over our product and briefly explain why?
Your customers are arguably the best source to help your product team ship the right feature and improvements. A few questions to prioritize and come up with an impactful product roadmap:
- What has changed in your job in the last 6 months and what problems have you faced because of it?
- What’s your next goal after [X]?
‘X’ could be the desired state of your customer. For example, “I want to increase revenue by 40% month-over-month”. So, the question becomes what’s your next goal after increasing your revenue by 40%?
- What would you like to achieve if [Y] isn’t a problem anymore?
‘Y’ is the problem that your product currently solves. By asking this question, you’re looking for new opportunities to expand your product/use case.
- What’s your thought on using our product to solve [newly targeted problem]?
- What would you want to be improved in our product?
- If you want us to ship one feature in the next 3 months, what would it be?
You need a set of basic questions handy to understand and define your target persona.
- What best describes your company’s Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR)?
- What best describes your title at your company?
The question could be open-ended or a list of titles or roles.
- What’s the option that best describes the industry you are working in?
The question could be open-ended or a list of industries.
- What’s your team size?
- How many people work at your company approximately?
- What’s your area of responsibility?
- How do you measure your success?
- How would you rate our website for its content?
[1 to 10]
- What are the most important pieces of content that you’re looking for when you visit our website?
- Does the content help you to understand how our product works and how it helps you solve the [problem X]?
- What kind of content would help you to leverage our product to solve the problems associated with [job-to-be-done]?
- What type of content would you like to read on our blog?
- How likely are you to recommend our product to a colleague or a friend?
- What would make you recommend our product to your co-workers and friends?
- How likely are you to talk about our product via social media platforms?
- How easy it is to get started with our product and upgrade our plans?
- How satisfied are you with our product?
- How satisfied are you with our customer support? And, how can we improve the customer experience?
- How likely are you to switch to a different competing product in the next 12 months?
- What would you look for in a company/product like ours?
Now that we’ve seen quite a few questions to kickstart your VoC program, let’s talk about how you can run and capture the voice of the customer.
The way you capture the voice of the customer depends on your methodology. We’ll cover the voice of the customer methodology later in a different post. But for now, here’s a quick definition: VoC methodology refers to the way you collect customer feedback about your product(s) or brand. For instance, you can send feedback surveys via email or conduct customer interviews.
And, the methodology should be based on the goal of the program. For example, if your goal is to calculate the ‘NPS score’ for your product, then sending emails to your customers would be the ideal way. On the other hand, if you’d like to learn more about customers and prioritize what your product team should build next, then conducting user interviews gives you enough opportunities to understand your customers better.
We’ll just focus on how to capture the voice of the customer for qualitative feedback here.
1 — Sign up for Grain.
Grain helps you to record, transcribe, clip & share the most important moments of your customer conversations happening via Zoom. It’s free to get started.
2 — Schedule Interviews
You can schedule interviews with the customers you would like to talk to. Ensure you’re selecting the customers based on the objective of your VoC program.
3 — Capture the voice of the customers
You can capture the voice of the customers and extract insights out of your conversation using Grain — while on the call. Every time you create a Grain highlight clip, it could be shared with different teams to help them understand the customers better and improve the overall customer experience.
For instance, product feedback captured using a Grain clip can help product managers to hear what customers want and why it’s important—directly from the source without any bias.
We hope you have the clarity to run an effective voice of the customer research program now. Feel free to use the questions above and don’t forget to keep updating the questions based on your customer conversations. Most importantly, capture the insights and let your customers advocate for themselves—in their own words.