Best Practices

Why the voice of the customer matters more than ever in software development

Published Mar 19, 2021

Voice of the customer (VoC) is the term used to describe the process for how organizations collect, understand, and use feedback from their customers. This feedback can come from many different places, and gives a company insight into how their users feel and what they need from their products and services. Ultimately, though, teams should use this information to improve their offering and customer experience–after all, isn’t that what building products is all about?

Secondly, and arguably the most important part of an impactful VoC program, is the process it helps you create for communicating back to customers who have taken the time to help you. This is key to success. When you truly close the loop, customers feel heard and involved, which does wonders for advocacy, retention rates, and your ability to upsell. Software is easy to move away from–a consistently great customer experience is not. 

In our new e-book, we break down the types of data that can make up a VoC program and how to implement or improve your own. If you still need convincing, here are some of the top benefits of leveraging a voice of the customer program:

1. Create experiences customers love

All customers want to be heard and have their opinions considered. It’s easier than ever to switch software providers, but creating a great experience with your company means users are more likely to love what you do, stick around, and advocate for your products and services.

One of the misconceptions of a VoC program is that it means you have to act on every customer request–this is absolutely not the case. On the contrary, a proper process for collecting the voice of the customer throughout their journey and communicating back gives you the power to say no. When customers are genuinely heard, they thrive on transparency (even when there’s push back) and this is how strong, lasting relationships are built. 

Voice of the customer programs should also be applied to any products that are built or bought for your employees. In this case, your coworkers are the customer and it’s important to have a solid process for capturing and understanding their feedback, too.

2. Build better products and services

Everyone wants their products and services to really hit the mark, and this just isn’t possible without the customer’s voice. While we can have buckets full of empathy, we do not (and never will) experience our offerings in the same way our users do. By capturing customer wants, needs, and sentiment, teams unlock a powerful data set that will highlight what is working well, and how they can continue to improve.

3. Become more competitive

As customers ourselves, we all have our favorite brands for everything from task management software to cleaning products. Companies that incorporate the voice of the customer into everything they do have a more favorable brand presence, since customers feel heard and that the product experience meets their needs. This serves as the ultimate competitive advantage, especially since low switching costs make it easier than ever to abandon a product and move on to a seemingly better alternative.

4. Increase revenue 

It feels intuitive to connect VoCs with positive customer outcomes in the short term, but establishing these programs can have a positive impact on your company’s revenue, too. Voice of the customer helps ensure you’re creating products and services that customers truly want and will continue to pay for, and even pay more for as they utilize additional functionality or product offerings. 

For example, it’s been found that a higher Net Promoter Score (a measure of how a customer feels about your products and services) is correlated with a company’s growth. Your Promoters help drive real value for your business, and building a VoC helps you identify the characteristics, habits, and opinions of Promoters, so you can foster them throughout the rest of your customer base. It also highlights areas for improvement so you can continue to create more value for all of your users.

5. Foster a better company culture and experience

Last but absolutely not least, a strong VoC program helps you create a solid, customer-centric company culture. When you implement a program to properly capture and use feedback and communicate back, everyone is centered around building market-leading experiences. It also helps everyone have empathy for the day-to-day users of your products and services. 

If you’re feeling inspired to improve your existing voice of the customer program or put one in place, download our new e-book to start realizing these benefits for your organization.