The Voice of the Customer: Are You Listening?


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The Voice of the Customer: Are You Listening?

Customer satisfaction has always been crucial to the success of a business.  However, the key is to prioritise to ensure you are listening to the right customer and then quantify and use the feedback to help attract more customers like them.  

Smart businesses owners know that the success, or even the survival, of a business depends on its ability to outperform its competitors in the world of customer relations.

The key to your success lies in your capacity to listen to your customers, capture and analyse the data they provide and improve their experience of what you have to offer.

What is VOC?

VOC is the ‘voice of the customer’ – a process you can’t afford to ignore.  It involves listening to customer’s needs and wants, expectations and preferences with regard to the product or services your business offers.

This data is captured through two types of feedback.

Solicited VOC is the information you actively seek from customers; it is often more productive as you can ask for positive and negative feedback.

Unsolicited VOC is feedback that customers provide without being prompted or asked; it tends to be geared more towards negative comments and complaints.

Businesses must listen to both types. Each offers valuable insights into how various customers view the business and express their experience of it. It is important to maintain a record of customer feedback – both positive and negative – so as to identify trends and pinpoint key problem areas in need of attention.

At dVT Strategy, we help clients with this important process as part of the overall business plan, by translating this information into meaningful objectives, which will close the gap between what customers expect and what your business delivers.

Whose Voice Do You Hear?

Businesses seeking to create new growth are faced with a dilemma. Which customers should they listen to?

Many businesses hear their most vocal customers – usually because their listening is tuned in to the loudest voices. But are they listening to the right customers?

Is it better to continue to hear the voices of those who are not being served well or even those who are not being served at all?  Or is it wiser to listen carefully to the best and most loyal customers?

When you answer these questions, remember the well-established 80:20 rule. If 80% of your business revenue comes from the 20% of customers who regularly purchase your products or services, then they should have your attention. They are essential to your business success. Theirs are the voices you should be listening to.

Selective Listening: Not All Voices Are Equal

To help you prioritise your listening, use this simple method to classify your customers. Rank them as either A, B or C – based on the following criteria:

A = High-value customers, who will most likely bring future business

B = Mid-value customers, with some potential for future business

C = Low-value customers, who are likely to be irregular or ‘one-off’  

 This differentiates your customers and guides you in terms of how you treat their feedback.  What you might hear from a C-class customer should not be regarded in the same way as feedback from an A-class customer. Your businesses should invest more time in your high ranking customers. They are more profitable, and they take up less time and effort to maintain. The voices of these customers should not merely be heard, but really listened to.

Use VOC To Drive Your Business

When you listen to the right customer voices, your business can benefit from their opinions and feedback. You can use this knowledge to:

  • Make alterations or improvements to your products or services
  • Make changes to your business and how it is conducted
  • Determine your position in the market
  • Understand the attitudes, interests and values of your target audience
  • Develop more relevant marketing content
  • Prepare a Business Value, Vision and Mission Statement that includes qualities your customers’ value
  • Identify your Unique Selling Proposition
  • Plan for the future

At dVT Strategy, we take clients through VOC and customer classification exercises. As a result, they are equipped with data that helps them bridge any existing gaps between their current offerings and what their best customers expect from them.

Listening to the needs of your customers and their experience is not an optional exercise. Listening to the customers is a valuable investment of your time. Their voices provide the real, instant and quantifiable feedback to help you attract more customers like them – the customers you really want.

If you or someone you know would like to have a chat about your business and how you can ensure you are capitalising on VOC, please contact Brendan Ryan at dVT Strategy on 02 9633 3333 or email Brendan@dvtgroup.com.au.