What ways do you use your Voice of Customer insights / data internally?
VOC is used in a wide variety of ways. Some examples include guiding product development, building personas, message refinement, content development, targeting campaigns, sales training, educating customer support teams and much more. Most importantly, perhaps, is that it allows your teams to build customer empathy and help them understand customer motivations and needs.
Voice of Customer insights are a great way to 1) see trends among customers (if enough are saying the same thing) and 2) check our own collective understanding of what we do. Sometimes, VoC will suggest that our customers are seeing something differently than we intended. It may be a single interaction that turns us on to this, but it opens our eyes to alternate interpretations of what we do and how the market perceives us. In short, it's great for hypothesis formulation.
Ideally, in everything :)
Product Marketers should aim to approach our work from the perspective of the consumer, and frequently bring that view into internal conversations. This is why we closely evaluate their options (via competitive tracking), their experience (product and userflow), and their motivations (quant / qual surveys).
At the most tactical level, we leverage those insights to inform positioning, messaging, and GTM execution. On a broader level, consumer insights fuel broader strategic discussions such as feature development, roadmap discussions, prioritization, and initiative planning.
Any VoC insights/data should be shared internally, along with the “so what.” It’s not enough to just share results from a survey or what you’ve heard from your consumers - you have to package it up in a way for stakeholders to understand why it’s important, and what should be done with the information.
More practically, we use data like this to help inform strategic roadmap/planning decisions, in board decks to help bring company goals and results to life, and to develop positioning, messaging and go-to-market plans.
We use voice of customer insights to inform messaging and positioning as well as our product roadmap. At Spotify, we have monthly syncs with our partnerships and sales team to just discuss feedback from customers. This helps us to understand if our product and / or go-to-market strategy is working and to prioritize changes.
Prior to formal planning (at Spotify this is quarterly), I've also found success in summarizing voice of customer insights and presenting these to product teams in order to inform roadmap development.
One last thing, I recommend using voice of customer insights to help motiviate / show the impact of your team's work. Especially when you hear something is working, share it. It's important to connect what product teams are diong to real-world impact. This will pay dividends with regard to positive sentiment amongst the team.
I've used VoC insights to improve marketing messages, campaign focus and customer experiences. Here are some examples.
- Customer onboarding: Analyzing support case trends and feedback from product reviews helped reveal where customers were getting stuck on thier journey. Using this information, we created better onboarding guides and new onboarding services.
- Website messaging: We got a download of all our customer reviews and analyzed these using manual methods (and natural language processing methods in later iterations) to understand what features were important to customers compared to what we were promoting in copy on product pages. It was surprising how important basic features (like alerting) were to reviewers. In web copy we tended not to highlight the basic capabilities. This was for a product line that was on premises, so we did not have the advantage of telemetry. With native SaaS applications, you can uncover more easily how customers are using the product and what features are most important.
- Sales enablement and marketing campaigns: We recently analyzed all closed won Salesforce records over the last two years to better understand customer pain trends and who the champions/personas are in these purchase decisions. One of the pain points that surfaced highest on the list was surprising as it seems like a declining use case in looking at other trends. This information will inform our marketing and sales enablement efforts for next year.
- Prioritizing product improvements: We surveyed our customer base to ask them about what they like, didn't like and where they'd like to see us headed in the future. This data, in addition to analyzing support cases, helped us to understand where we could help in the short term (with how-to videos) and with near term product improvements to improve the customer experience.
- Post sales experiences: At one company I worked for we did a customer journey mapping exercise using a third party (Customers First Now) to identify points of delight and points of friction along the journey. This helped bring the voice of the customer to executive teams who already knew about issues (and bring a sense of urgency) as well as highlight aspects of our total offering we did not market to new logos (e.g. the community).
The best use of VoC is usually with informing the product roadmap with PLG companies. I find that customer advocacy programs are better for more Enterprise-level roadmapping and selling.
I once launched a new feature and had a hypothesis of who my target audience was. Upon talking with customers, I found that I was wrong! The ICP was completely different! Quickly, I pivoted my GTM strategy and launch strategy to be more targeted, which ultimately did really well in the end!