Determining the what, when and why of your customer’s needs is at the very core of collecting and analyzing data. Once you understand the motivations driving your customers, you can reflect those same emotions back out to them, increasing the chances they will make a purchase. Voice of Customer Research helps you to pull out key customer insights and use them to boost future conversions.
Voice of Customer data can be pulled from surveys, interviews, forums, online reviews, and more. The more people you hear from, the more you’ll be able to pull out recurring messages that resonate with customers and begin to identify their order of importance. The key is to ask the questions that will get you the kind of data that helps you optimize your organization. Follow a basic three step process – just be sure to use the same time, thought, and organization that you put into any organizational decision:
There are hundreds of questions you could ask customers. But before you jump in, it’s crucial that you first determine your end goal. Are you planning on asking any questions that don’t lead directly to that goal? Drop them. In general, the longer and more complicated your voice of customer surveys, the lower your completion rates will be. Here are four really quality question types that can start to reveal why your customers buy. You will need to tailor the question wording to the type of survey you are conducting (quantitative vs qualitative):
- “When did you realize you needed a product like ours?” – This question helps uncover trigger events that motivate the search for your solution.
- “What problem does our product fix for you?”- Find out what customers consider to be ‘the problem’, and you’ll be able to better spin your ‘solution’.
- “Did you consider any alternative solutions to the identified problem?” – It’s important to know your competition. But not just direct competition, indirect as well – don’t limit potential answers. If you’re selling pillows and ask your customers who used to have trouble sleeping what other solutions they considered, they won’t only name your pillow-making competition.
- “What concerns did you have before deciding to buy our product?” – Pro-actively addressing sources of friction in the buying process is very important. Addressing these concerns before prospects can raise them will improve the customer experience.For every customer who overcame a concern, there were likely dozens who succumbed to the hesitation and never bought.
OK, so you’ve asked good questions and gotten all your answers. Now it’s time to pull out phrases and trends that lead to key insights. Go through qualitative (open-ended) responses one by one. A little self-awareness can help you avoid letting confirmation bias creep in (ie. make sure you have an open mind to see all trends in the answers – don’t cherry pick a few responses to ‘prove’ something you feel is true). Start looking for any of the following:
- Trends and phrases that help identify customer needs/wants
- Trends and phrases that identify customer pain points (‘the problem’)
- Trends and phrases that identify concerns about purchasing
You’ve noted all the qualitative trends and phrases in your responses. Now begin the analysis of your quantitative data by looking at common responses and themes to each and every questions. See a pattern? Highlight it. Back to the pillows-for-insomniacs example: If you see data spikes in your Hesitations question(s) that indicate customers didn’t initially think their sleeping issues were pillow-related, that’s a key finding that could lead to an insight and later an organizational messaging shift.
You now have some key insights, and proper analysis of these insights can help you fill any gaps in the customer experience by shifting marketing messages, product features, and more.