What is Voice of the Customer (VoC)?

5 min read

This article is designed to help organizations and product development, customer analytics, customer support, and marketing teams understand what the Voice of the Customer (VOC) is and how it can help organizations stand out in a competitive environment. It also allows those who don’t know about VOC to quickly grasp all aspects of the methodology for shaping a great customer service experience and a great brand.

Never before has business been so competitive and transparent for organizations, and never before has it been so easy and fast for customers to compare your products with those of your competitors, both horizontally and vertically. Today’s customers share their feedback and opinions not only with their friends and family but even with the world. They want to be heard and they want companies to interact with them more. Octoparse VOC, an easy AI-powered tool, is taking its time in analyzing the voices of customers.

What is “VoC”?

“VOC” is defined as the process of collecting and analyzing customer feedback in order to qualitatively and quantitatively assess customer wants, needs, and expectations (customer experience). In short, VOC is the process of getting to know your customers and understanding how you can provide them with a better experience.

A “VOC” program is a series of activities designed to facilitate the collection and analysis of customer feedback, with a focus on identifying opportunities to enhance the customer experience. These activities typically involve the use of VOC tools to capture and analyze customer feedback through techniques such as sentiment analysis and natural language processing. This is a closed-loop process that uses qualitative and quantitative data to understand the entire customer experience.

Why is VoC Important?

“We now live in the feedback economy, whether we like it or not”

– Leela Srinivasan, CMO Survey Monkey

“VoC” is important because it provides a way to monitor and improve the customer experience. Improving the customer experience is closely related to customer acquisition and retention.

In recent years, “VoC” programs have grown in popularity and importance for several reasons:

  1. The cost of acquiring a new customer is 5-25 times higher than the cost of retaining an existing customer. Improving the customer experience equals increased retention;
  2. 50% of clients are happy to initiate referrals and sharing;
  3. potential customers find genuine testimonials from other customers 82% more credible than any marketing material

Objectives of the “VoC” Project

Every organization has a slightly different definition of success, so the specific goals of each VoC program must be tailored to the company’s specific objectives.

Below are some popular VoC program objectives and results:

ObjectiveExpected Results
Generate a global measure of sentiment toward the brandMeasuring brand sentiment over time (improvement)
Identify points of customer satisfaction with the productLeverage these in your marketing
Identify customer dissatisfaction with the productUnderstanding customer needs and wants
Understand how customers rate your productOptimizing pricing models
Segregate and prioritize feature requestsIncorporate into the product development roadmap

The objectives of the VoC program should be measured in terms of customer metrics, not revenue metrics (although there is a clear link between the two). This is important because it ensures that each team directly involved in the implementation of the VoC program can identify the goals for which they are directly responsible. We will discuss this point later.

What are the benefits of practicing a “VoC” program?

A recent study by the Aberdeen Group showed that headline companies with “VOC” programs saw a 10x year-over-year increase in revenue compared to other companies.

What drives this incredible growth?

A good VOC program produces a number of associated benefits:

  1. rapid improvement in customer experience

It has never been more critical for organizations to continuously optimize the customer experience than it is today. There are two mechanisms that can drive improvements in the overall customer experience:

  • Product improvements;
  • Customer service improvements;

The “VOC” program helps organizations and teams understand the weaknesses in their products and customer service. Once weaknesses are identified, action can be taken to improve these areas. Second, the “VOC ” program allows companies to monitor whether the actions they take are well received by customers, iterate accordingly, and link their actions to growth and revenue goals.

  1. proactive word-of-mouth management

“VOC programs not only help companies understand how their brand is perceived, they also open up direct discussions between companies and their customers.

A well-developed “VOC” program is able to:

  • understand customer feedback across all channels in a timely manner. 2. identify which feedback requires the most urgent attention;
  • identify and prioritize which feedback requires the most urgent response;
  • measure the effectiveness of your responses and iterate accordingly;

Deepening your understanding of how to best interact with customers across all of these channels will enable you to make targeted efforts to improve the customer experience in each channel, guided by a holistic “VOC” mindset.

  1. faster and better innovation

“The VOC program reveals the top wants and needs of the target customer. Some of the more advanced VOC projects also leverage VOC tools for techniques such as sentiment analysis, emotion analysis, and natural language processing to help teams address the customer needs that will have the greatest impact on your company’s reputation.

Incorporating VOC data into your product development roadmap removes the guesswork and inevitable human bias, and helps develop products that stand the test of time in the marketplace and with your customers.

  1. creation of brand advocates and superfans

Improvements in the customer experience will result in a change in the ratio of positive and negative customer feedback received by the organization. As feedback becomes more positive, organizations will see a natural increase in both their new business and customer retention as word-of-mouth is driven by the positive Voice of the Customer.

However, this is only part of the opportunity. An improved customer experience can also create brand advocates or superfans. Brand advocates proactively share positive reviews and positive word-of-mouth about a product without expecting anything in return. They are usually very active on social media, forums, discussion boards, and review sites. They will be very loyal to the company in good times and bad. If companies are able to identify and work with them, brand advocates will become the most valuable sales for companies and brands.

The “VOC” program enables companies to identify brand advocates or superfans so they can direct their marketing teams to work with them.

  1. improved customer retention

The same Aberdeen Group study mentioned earlier found that businesses with a comprehensive “VOC” program have a 55% higher customer retention rate than those without. Customers who have had a good experience with a product or service are less likely to consider another brand when purchasing the same product or service.

Not only do companies with well-established “VOC” programs continually improve the customer experience to attract and retain their customers, they also identify problems and turn negative experiences into positive ones through good customer service.

  1. improved marketing ROI

“VOC” positively impacts marketing ROI in several different ways. VOC” helps increase the percentage of new business generated through word-of-mouth from brand advocates versus paid marketing channels. Engaging brand advocates in your marketing strategy through case studies, testimonials, videos, or blog posts is not only cost-effective but also creates a greater sense of trust with new prospects.

“VOC” programs also help companies understand customer preferences, including the impact of financial, social, political, and environmental factors on customer buying behavior. With a better understanding of these factors, companies can use this knowledge to optimize the 4Ps of marketing their products: product, price, promotion, and channel.

  1. improve employee retention

Another study by the Aberdeen Group found that organizations with best-in-class VOC programs had a 292% increase in employee engagement! By the same token, there are a number of mechanisms of VOC that contribute to this positive outcome:

  • The “VOC” program allows employees to have direct contact with customers; 2. direct contact with customers creates a positive impact.
  • Direct contact with customers creates greater empathy; and
  • The increased empathy with customers motivates staff to advocate for a better customer experience;
  • This advocacy is fostered and rewarded by customer-centric organizations;

A well-designed “VOC” program aligns employee goals with customer experience goals. When customers are satisfied with the customer experience, employees are also successful, increasing satisfaction and motivation in the workplace. This reduces turnover and increases employee productivity, which in turn increases customer satisfaction.


To be sure, those businesses that are successful, they always put the wants and needs of their customers at the center of every business decision they make. For them, the shift of the primary venue for customer feedback and support from traditional to digital channels presents a huge opportunity. By listening to massive amounts of customer feedback, they no longer need to blindly guess what their customers want.

Implementing a VOC program and collaborating across the organization to collect and analyze the voice of the customer can lead to significant business and organizational growth, which can be reflected in customer acquisition, retention, and revenue growth.

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