Guides

Voice of Customer (VOC) & Customer Success

November 15, 2021

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  1. What is the Voice of the Customer ?
  2. How to gather relevant feedback
  3. Why Is The Voice of Customer Key For The Customer Success Team?
  4. Share Feedback from the Different Teams
  5. Make Sure You Respond to the VOC


Only 4% of unhappy customers actually bother to take up customer feedback surveys. Listening to your customers is extremely important. If you do not listen to your customers, they would switch to a competitor. You must listen to your customers to take the right course of action for resolving challenges they encounter along the way. It is the first step towards customer success. Voice of Customer (VOC) is a critical component for delivering happiness and value to clients. It is considered to be the result of direct requests for information. Only through VOC is it possible to capture customer insights, prioritize improvements, and close the loop on feedback.

Voice of the customer is a powerful tool that every business is interested in leveraging. It allows an organization to gain a full understanding of its customers and how to deliver value that will help sustain a long-lasting relationship. By combining such information with product data, it is possible to achieve your customer success mission and vision. It makes all the difference. This guide to VOC and customer success aims to provide you with all the information that you are looking for.

As Benjamin Franklin saied, “Well done is better than well said”, it’s your turn to act.


1. What is the Voice of the Customer?

The Voice of the customer is all listening to your customers. It encompasses the process of acquiring customer feedback and making sense of it. VOC allows you to understand customer responses in order to improve customer experience. Now, you might be wondering that it is nothing new. However, just think about how much effort you put into listening to your customers. Chances are that you are just not doing enough and could put in more effort. As you gather information, you will be able to act quickly to make sure that your customers feel heard. VOC also involves analyzing customer data to create the perfect strategy.

When it comes to gathering feedback, you must adopt a multichannel approach. It means that you should focus on community, support tickets, product metrics, and just about every other data. Historically, businesses relied on the collection of customer feedback to grow. However, what sets Voice of Customer apart is that it focuses on collecting individual data rather than aggregate data. It deals with closing the loop and safeguarding customer relationships by incorporating their feedback into products and services.

The perfect Voice of Customer program provides a business-wide structure to address and utilize customer feedback. It establishes a strategy that requires the entire company to get involved so that every department works together to resolve common issues. It ensures a coordinated approach is adopted for improving customer experience, driving business growth, and solving challenges. You will have 2 types of feedback as mentioned below.

  • Direct: It refers to feedback that is directly received from clients through NPS, CSAT, and surveys.
  • Indirect: It covers feedback that is generated by engaging clients with the product such as through support data, usage data, and other behavioral metrics.

Only when you combine both direct and indirect feedback are you able to achieve a holistic look into the perception of each individual customer. Both types of feedback work together by filling in the blanks that would otherwise have been left if you focused on just one type of feedback. For instance, a customer might send you indirect feedback through a negative NPS score without any explanation. As you dive deeper into the indirect feedback, you would notice multiple support tickets which would indicate that they had experienced trouble with the product.  


2. How to Gather Relevant Feedback?

The first step that you need to take is to gather relevant feedback. It is the most important step that you need to take. Only when you have relevant feedback can you make any decisions. Otherwise, your business will stagnate. Here is how you can gather the necessary feedback.

A. Seek Feedback at the Right Time

To gather feedback, you need to make sure that you find the right time to ask. When reaching out for feedback, you must make sure that you get your timing right as it affects the answers you receive. You must align your surveys with milestones that customers experience along their journey. It ensures that your customer does not remain unhappy for too long. We recommend asking for feedback at the following times.

  • Just after the End of The Onboarding: You need to determine customer experience right after your clients have completed implementation. It is a critical juncture that you should not leave out. It is a good practice to send out a survey after the implementation is complete to learn about their current sentiments and how comfortable they are.
  • After A Customer Behavior Change: Another time to reach out to your customer is when there is a customer behavior change. For instance, if your customer downgrades their subscription, you should find out the reason behind the change. It could help you address concerns to retain clients.
  • Once Your Customer Reaches the Defined Goal: It is also important to seek feedback when customers reach their defined goal during the onboarding phase. Follow up with your customer to find out more about their experience.
B. Personalize Your Request

To improve your answer rate and the quality of your feedback, you should personalize your request. It is a great idea to personalize your request as much as possible. You should adapt your request based on each individual customer.

We live in a customer-centered world. It means that the customer is in control of the service and has increased expectations. This is why you must make sure that each customer interaction directly relates to their product and brand experience. You need to convince your customer to consider your business to be a partner rather than just a vendor. Therefore, each engagement should deliver value.


3. Why Is The Voice of Customer Key For The Customer Success Team?

There is no denying that customer success is more of a team sport. VOC is critical for customer retention. It allows the customer success team to build relationships with customers for sustained growth. Building a customer success team requires you to leverage VOC. It helps solve a piece of the puzzle to ensure that you are able to improve the customer experience.

The customer success team can truly benefit from VOC. The customer success manager is responsible for collecting and analyzing customer feedback that has been collected through conversations, comments, and surveys. VOC allows the team to improve customer retention by assisting customers and ensuring that they achieve value.

If your VOC program has not been tied to customer success, you are not doing things right. Customer success is all about helping customers achieve the desired outcome when using your product or service. Their desired outcomes can be better understood through customer feedback generated through a VOC program. It is due to this reason that you must include it in your customer success strategy.

The main benefit of including a VOC program in your customer success strategy is that it helps increase annual revenue by boosting customer retention, decreasing year-over-year customer service costs, and boosting employee engagement. Besides, it also improves the effectiveness of the customer support team. An individual approach to acquiring customer feedback provides valuable information for ensuring that customer success managers are able to do their job more effectively. The following questions should be considered.

  • Is the product or service easy to consume?
  • Is the business truly providing value?
  • How does the customer define success and how can we help customers achieve success?

Answers to the above questions will enable the customer success manager to set priorities on an individual level. As the manager will gain insights into what success means to every customer, he or she would be able to strategize ways to ensure that customers achieve success. You must understand that customer success requires a company-wide initiative and VOC is integral for the initiative. Every department must understand the role of customer success and VOC to do its job right. Only when the entire company, from product development to sales works together would it be possible for customers to undergo a satisfactory journey, from start to finish.  

By gathering relevant information, acting, and analyzing results, it is possible for your customer success team to improve retention and help the organization achieve its objectives. The role of CSM is key in the following 3 steps.

  • Gather Relevant Information: To gather desired information, you must listen to your customers. The information you gather influences the success of your VOC program. Hence, this step is very important. Only when you gather useful, actionable feedback can you expect change. It requires you to ask the right person the right question during the right time.  
  • Act: Next, you need to focus on offering value to customers. It does not mean that you need to provide value for three years. Instead, value needs to happen immediately. It demands strong tactics, a shared company mindset, and quick response. Acting on feedback immediately will ensure a closed loop.  
  • Analyze: Finally, you must analyze feedback now that the feedback loop has been closed. It involves business and outreach analytics. Then, you must turn towards program insights to find out where you can improve. As you learn more about the performance of the strategy, you get to make necessary changes for better results.

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4. Share Feedback from the Different Teams

If there is one thing that you cannot afford to ignore, it is sharing feedback from the different teams. A coordinated approach will help achieve this. There is just so much a single department can do. You must also share feedback with other teams so that they get to play their part and strive towards ensuring that customers find value.

Every interaction with your customers must be captured and shared between the different teams. The information gathered by your marketing team will help your sales team improve its performance in ways that you cannot even imagine. Sharing feedback across your enterprise should be on the top of your mind. Every engagement, escalation, and conversation must be captured and shared. A common, barrier-free platform that will allow you to stay on track is essential. It will allow not only your customer success team to access the data gathered by the sales team, but also the product team and support team.

A comprehensive history will provide all the information each team needs to perform better. As for the customer success team, they will get to personalize both upsell and renewal campaigns according to customer behavior. Therefore, each team member will gain authority over each engagement for ensuring that they are able to make customers feel listed to and valued. This would help establish long-term loyalty and trust which would ensure repeat customers.

5. Make Sure You Respond to the VOC

The information you gather is only useful if you utilize it. It is due to this reason that you need to take action with the information you have gather. VOC not only requires organizations to collect customer feedback but also requires them to act on it. Customer feedback requires you to take action and respond to any issues that your valued clients might be experiencing. Besides, it is a known fact that customers are more likely to be loyal to a company if that company listens to their feedback. Hence, you need to respond promptly to the direct feedback you receive. However, you must keep in mind that customer suggestions are just suggestions. Hence, you cannot incorporate every bit of feedback. But, you must encourage the exchange of information.


After you have finished reading our post, you will know everything there is to know about VOC and customer success. The two are correlated. This is why your customer success team needs to adopt a VOC strategy and regularly analyze its implementation. It will help take your business to the next level. Only the most successful organizations in the world such as Airbnb, Salesforce, Netflix, and Google Cloud know the importance of VOC. There is just so much that you can do. Thus, it is about time that you adopted a VOC approach.



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