Oh, the art of listening. Many businesses put their customers first, but how exactly should that be done?
Often, we believe that we know exactly how to cater to consumers’ needs. But in reality, there turns out to be a slight (read: huge) mismatch in what consumers really want and get from brands.
The solution? Not just giving your customers a voice, but actively listening to it—and implementing what they say (and even don’t say).
Here we’ll look at tools that help you collect and analyze the voices of your customers.
But first, let’s dive into what we mean by the voice of the customer—it might not be what you think.
What is the ‘voice of the customer’?
In marketing we speak of the voice of customer (VoC) as the summary of their needs, expectations and preferences. It also crucially includes their aversions—what turns them off.
It’s everything your customers say—through customer feedback. It’s also what they think and feel about the customer experience—even when they might not put that into words as clearly.
That means you sometimes will have to read between the lines, or go looking for information in different places. It could be that you’re picking up on a specific preference or aversion in website behavior, which you’ll then further investigate using surveys—combining data for more context.
Tools that help you get insight into the voice of customer for your brand are useful for:
Feedback collection: from surveys to online reviews
Data analytics and reporting: get your voice of customer clear in a dashboard that shows what’s being said—and what’s being meant
Tracking progress: there’s no point in listening to your customers if you’re not willing to implement their suggestions
Want to really understand your customers? Let’s look at some of the tools we recommend.
The 9 best voice of customer tools
Alright, we’ve been pretty picky with selecting voice of customer tools.
We know that every organization uses different channels, has different types of customers (hello B2B readers!) and different needs.
We’ve compiled a list of tools that cover voice of customer data collection all in their own way.
Whether you’re a small business owner, a large B2B corporation or a startup looking to improve your business processes—we’re sure there’s something in here for you!
With our consumer profiling tools, you’ll get realistic and relevant information on your current and potential customers—how they think, act and buy.
Get under their skin with a wide variety of question formats—from multiple-choice to grids, open text and much more! The answers are sent to a dashboard that gives a clear image of who your customers are.
We help you get started smoothly with templates written by experts: use the consumer profiling template to paint the picture of who your customers are, and get to know their preferences by using the Jobs To Be Done template.
Key voice of customer features for Attest:
You get access to no less than 125 million people in 58 countries
Easily share survey results within your organization to get everyone on the same page
Our demographic filters makes it quick and easy to find the right people
Your designated Customer Research Manager is on hand to make sure your research is set up to give you truly valuable insights
Hear your customers’ voice with the #1 consumer insights tool
Quickly gather quality data with our easy-to-use consumer research platform coupled with on-demand support from our research experts.
2. XM Discover by Qualtrics (former Clarabridge Studio)
Some people are completely oblivious to social cues. If that’s the case, or you simply don’t have time to analyze every interaction with your customers, check out Clarabridge, now called XM Discover.
This tool works with automatic text and speech analytics, by detecting emotion, intent, and effort with 150+ industry-specific natural language understanding models. It will help you analyze emails, conversations with customer service reps, reviews and social media messages on the go.
Key voice of customer features for XM Discover:
Automatically uncover topics and sentiment in open text
Makes it specific with pre-built, industry-specific improvement drivers
Set up automated actions to follow up with customers if needed
Forsta helps you see ‘the human beings behind the data’. This sophisticated business insight software brings your data on voice of customer together in a visual reporting dashboard. It gives insight into the customer journey, analyzing what’s happening on every channel and every device.
Key voice of customer features for Forsta:
Send surveys through multiple channels such as web, mobile, CATI, CAPI and even good old paper.
Dashboard designs that you can customize to your needs
Multilingual and adapts to any device
If your customers are businesses and big accounts, you might not feel like the usual voice of customers tools fit your needs. In that case, CustomerGauge might be the tool for you!
It focuses on B2B needs when it comes to VoC analysis—or Voice of the Account, as they like to put it.
Their Account Experience software shows you where in the customer journey you can close some gaps, for happier customers (that spend more money).
Use their Monetized Net Promoter technology for a smooth survey delivery and reporting process and quickly get your priorities straight.
Key voice of customer features for CustomerGauge:
Ideal for B2B customer experience analysis
Sophisticated survey Builder and reporting suite
Analyzes NPS score better to find the financial value of drivers
Not run by monkeys, but rather by state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, MonkeyLearn is a text analysis platform that helps you visualize your voice of customer analysis.
The tool can easily pick up on words that indicate aspects of your products, qualifiers that customers look at and sentiments they have—so you don’t have to.
All that data is sent to a slick reporting tool, where you can analyze it all in charts, graphs, and even word clouds.
Key voice of customer features for MonkeyLearn:
Build your own machine learning models without coding
Crystal clear and instant data visualizations
Option for tracking and scoring agent performance by ticket topic
Improving the customer experience is a team effort—so all employees should be on board. Meet Medallia, the tool for experience management that makes the voice of customers accessible and understandable for everyone in your organization.
Their machine learning models analyze integrated data from web, social, videos, messaging and more.
Every team member gets value out of this with org mapping, personalized reports and real-time alerts, to stay on top of the VoC.
A neat feature of their core platform is the possibility to also include speech in your analysis, in no less than 30+ languages.
Key voice of customer features for Medallia:
Analyze everything from speech to survey and SMS
Benchmarking your own data to all major retailers, restaurants, and B2C brands to understand how well you’re performing
Predict customers’ needs with their Action Intelligence tool
If you want to focus on what’s being voiced in support tickets, SentiSum is the tool for you.
Using AI, SentiSum automatically tags tickets by topic and sentiment. Good to note: it tags based on meaning, not keywords.
The tool works in real-time, so you never miss an opportunity to improve. If you have some special areas of interest, you can prioritize those flagged tickets based on their topic and sentiment.
Key voice of customer features for SentiSum:
Works in 100+ languages and channels
Connects with integrations like Zendesk and Freshdesk
Transcribes voice calls into text to enable AI analytics for speech
8. Verint ForeSEE
Listening to the voice of customer isn’t enough—you need to act on it.
Verint ForeSEE is a VoC analysis tool that makes sure your team gets not only the necessary notifications on important VoC data, but can also collaborate to act on it.
Their Vering Experience Cloud is a multidisciplinary, multi-technique VoC analysis solution. It helps you get everything in one place: all the behavior, attitudinal and inferred inputs from your sites, apps, and contact center.
Key voice of customer features for Verint ForeSEE:
Real-time alerts and an easy-to-use dashboard.
Give your CX team easy access to the information they really need
AI analysis of what your customers are saying to save you time
9. NICE Satmetrix
NICE Satmetrix was co-developed by one of the creators of the Net Promoter Score (NPS). This means that there’s a strong focus on brand loyalty and turning customers into brand ambassadors, by truly listening to what they need.
The software is more than just a VoC analysis tool, but a customer software that helps you design better customer experiences—based on the voice of customer. It takes your internal processes into account for actionable data.
Key voice of customer features for NICE Satmetrix:
Lets you directly publish positive customer feedback on social media
Text analysis with thorough sentiment analysis
Get action recommendations based on what the tool detects in your VoC
How can VoC tools improve your marketing strategy?
What’s the place of VoC in your marketing strategy?
It’s important to understand that a VoC tool collects feedback that you can directly incorporate in your day-to-day business processes, but also in your overall marketing strategy.
Everyone in your organization will benefit when you implement VoC tools:
Customer success teams are the most obvious ones on this list: they can directly implement their newfound knowledge to strengthen relations with customers in one-to-one conversations or customer support chats. Don’t underestimate how important a single interaction can be!
Product development teams can use the knowledge emerging from VoC tools to build better products and design better services. Ideally, the use of a VoC tool is aligned with how they are usually gathering feedback in the product development process, so they don’t have to capture feedback across different channels.
Sales can seal the deal even faster if they know what the preferences and turn-offs of the customers are. In after-sales, they can even learn to optimize their timing with up- and cross-selling based on the outcome of the VoC tools on existing customers.
Marketing professionals can use the VoC to make their messaging more unique and tailored to your specific business and its audience. It also helps them in their timing, where to put the emphasis and connection to customers, creating a better customer experience.
Let’s look at some of the benefits you reap by implementing VoC tools in your marketing setup.
VoC tools help monitor what’s actually being done with customer feedback
Ideally, if you listen to customer feedback, your VoC will become stronger and more impactful over time.
These tools will help you combine the best of both worlds and see how customer experience evolves.
Because customer experience is a whole lot more than just customer satisfaction. Voice of the customer data unveils not just what is being said and done in customer service interactions, but more importantly how customers feel about all that.
Make decisions based on accurate consumer insights
Use Attest’s consumer segmentation tools to unlock actionable insights from our global audience of 125 million.
VoC tools foster more connection, both internally and externally
Building trusting customer relationships means that you listen to the voice of the customer, and then act on what they said.
Making the Voice of the Customer an integrated part of your business will make your employees feel more connected to the customers—by focusing on what they feel and think, instead of just showing sales numbers.
This can also help improve internal collaboration, because there’s a central focus point: customers.
VoC tools enable improved messaging: learn why your customers need you
Is your copywriter struggling to find the right words? Did the marketing department run out of ideas for the next campaign? Why not ask your customers?
Of course, this shouldn’t be taken too literally—they’re not on your payroll after all—but there’s a lot of useful data to be found in the voice of the customer.
Customer insights shouldn’t only be used to confirm whether your marketing campaign matches your audience, you can also use it as a source of inspiration to create a better customer experience.
It can go as far as incorporating actual customer feedback in your marketing materials. What this will do, is that people will recognize themselves in the voice of the customer, quite literally, because they use the same words and have the same train of thought.
So next time you’re scrambling for inspiration, ditch the internal brainstorm and dive into the customer insights in your VoC tools!
You actually get the most insight from people verbatim. Just ask and they will tell you. Attest’s respondents are really happy to do it, which is great. Some people would leave sentences and sentences of things if you let them!
VoC tools help you build better products and services
Even the best Product Designer can’t come up with a hit on their own—they all need customers to test, improve and ultimately tailor their ideas.
VoC tools are incredibly useful in the product development process, and will also give you direct and indirect feedback on existing products and services, by analyzing customer sentiment in reviews and customer support tickets.
You can use them to get insights into the Customer Effort Score, or to learn more about customer behavior related to using your previous products.
When the retailer was told this and they could see the evidence, with the physical quotes from people, it was really powerful. They definitely realized this was an issue they needed to address. Overall, that’s a basic thing—if you want to trade a shopper up within a category, it’s a bit difficult to do it if they don’t even see the value in the trade up offering that’s on the shelf there. So, really clear recommendations were coming out from that.
Claire Evans, Category Manager, The Big Prawn Company
How to grow growth in your category by learning about your customers
Read more about how The Big Prawn Co. landed category growth by casting a line into consumer data.
If you know what your customers are looking for, you know where to put it.
Channels are an important part of the overall customer experience. If your customers think your products and services are great, but are struggling to engage or resonate with the channels you are using, the right VoC solution will give you insight in that, helping you pick other tools that fit the customer journey better.
VoC tools can help predict and prevent customer churn
If you gather enough customer data and unveil what their interests and behavioral patterns are, VoC data can help you prevent churn.
Real-time customer feedback can spot early warning signs of a crisis. If you are noticing survey data is worsening or your Net Promoter Score is dropping like it’s hot, it’s time to take a deep dive in your customer data.
VoC tools can help build customer loyalty
You don’t just want to avoid disaster, you want to steer directly towards success.
With VoC tools, you can uncover whether there are opportunities for implementing customer programs to improve loyalty and increase customer retention.
Want more engaged employees? Use VoC tools
Knowing who their customers are, what they feel and think and how to connect with them helps employee engagement. Instead of just dealing with tickets and numbers, give your customer service reps, marketing people and top sales staff access to the data from your VoC tools to show them how they directly impact how customers feel.
Understand the voice of the customer with direct feedback
Getting deeper insights into what your customers are saying—and thinking—could be the missing piece of the puzzle for your marketing strategy.
There’s a lot of information hidden in the interactions with your customers and in multichannel feedback.
Now’s the time to start uncovering it!
If you’re looking for an easy way to collect VoC data through targeted surveys, Attest is the way to go.
FAQs about voice of customer tools
What are voice of the customer tools?
Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a research method that’s used to collect customer feedback. A VoC program can help you capture how your customers feel about your business, product or service, giving you insights that can help you create a stronger customer experience. Try Attest’s market analysis software to uncover real customer insights.
What is the best tool for analyzing the voice of the customer?
Look for a tool that has both a dashboard that is easy to use, and robust data collection methods that match your goals. Many market research solutions for VoC are complicated, so determine first what type of feedback collection and customer analytics you’re looking for. We recommend using a JTBD template to gather customer insights.
How can I improve my VoC score?
Start by listening, and based on what you’re discovering, set new goals for your VoC metrics. Create a plan of action, such as a customer program, or create a new customer experience. Keep your eye on the data as you implement changes and reflect often. Don’t be afraid to let the VoC directly affect the way you do business: often, your customers really do know best.
Choose the right VoC tool for you
Understand global consumer preferences and improve your VoC score with Attest’s intuitive survey builder and dashboard.
Elliot joined Attest in 2019 and has dedicated his career to working with brands carrying out market research. At Attest Elliot takes a leading role in the Customer Research Team, to support customers as they uncover insights and new areas for growth.