How to Conduct a Voice of Customer Analysis: A Step-by-Step Guide


Whether you’re in customer service, digital, marketing, sales, or customer experience (CX), gathering customer feedback as part of a comprehensive Voice of the Customer (VoC) program is mission-critical to optimizing experiences and measuring success. But not all feedback programs are created equal. To get yours right, you need to listen well, analyze the data, report on your findings, and most importantly, take action. In this guide, we’ll walk through how to set up your VoC program for success and make the most of your findings.

What Is a Voice of the Customer Analysis?

VoC is a literal phrase — it’s the many ways your company can collect data to quantify your customers wants, preferences, and perceptions. As a research methodology, VoC takes a unified view of the entire customer journey to understand how and why customers make decisions. VoC insights can be generated through a variety of means, including:

  • Market research
  • Pre- and post-purchase surveys
  • Customer reviews
  • Customer service support and feedback tickets
  • Interviews and focus groups
  • Social media sentiment analysis
  • Ethnographic studies
  • In-app feedback
  • …and much more

An analysis of VoC data answers specific questions about your business, including your customer’s feelings about a given product or feature or even an industry as a whole, by taking data from solicited and unsolicited sources (such as those mentioned above) and interpreting the conclusions. By using omnichannel customer feedback, you can optimize your marketing and sales efforts and find what is and isn’t working.

What outcomes can VoC analysis drive for your business?

Conducting a VoC analysis is the best way to tap into the psyche of your customers. Understanding their sentiment and decision-making process can help you enhance the customer journey, increase operational efficiencies, eliminate waste, and improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, retention, and revenue.

Analyzing Voice of the Customer Data

There are several steps to conducting a VoC analysis, centering on strategy development, data collection, data analysis, and action planning.

Step 1: Set your goals

Outlining your goals is the critical first step to creating a successful customer feedback program. While it might seem obvious, understanding what questions you’re trying to answer is integral to understanding what kind of data you need to gather, and from where. Precision is key here: There’s nothing wrong with asking big questions, but they often demand big answers — and those aren’t always helpful. Some examples of questions you can ask include:

  • How do customers feel about this product?
  • How will customers react if we raised this price?
  • What are customers saying about our brand?

You can drill down deeper and cut your questions by different demographics, including age, geography, race, ethnicity, gender, and more. The most important part of goal setting is understanding what you’re trying to do with the data you’re going to gather. In that vein, identifying key stakeholders who can benefit from or take action on your results will go a long way in operationalizing VoC data. Align your questions with an appropriate business goal, whether that’s increasing sales of a particular product or service, improving brand awareness, or reducing time in the sales cycle.

Step 2: Gather your data

With your goals set, it’s time to gather your data. Data collection can span different channels and media, and come from direct and indirect sources. Data signals can come from a variety of places, including:

  • Surveys
  • Speech conversations
  • Video feedback
  • SMS / chat / messaging
  • Digital behavior, observed on a company’s app or website
  • Benchmarks
  • Point of sales systems
  • Social media and online reviews
  • Internet of Things devices
  • Operational data
  • Employee feedback
  • NPS® scores
  • …and more

You can gather this data from these sources directly, or through an enterprise cusotmer experience platform like Medallia.

Direct customer feedback

Direct customer feedback is feedback you specifically ask your customers for. This can be acquired through a variety of channels, including via email, text, phone calls, social, in-app messaging, push notifications, and more. If you’re planning to run a survey, choosing the right questions for your surveys is vital to getting the answers you’re looking for.

Indirect customer feedback

Indirect customer feedback comes from conversations about your brand in any other place. It can be derived from “borrowed” spaces where your customers already spend their time, like social media feeds, review platforms, and even online communities and forums like Reddit or other, more niche sites. It can also come from organic interactions with your brand like conversations with agents or chatbots, product reviews, or social media comments.

Step 3: Analyze your data

Now it’s time to make sense of it all. Sounds like a challenge? Thanks to Medallia’s AI-powered Text Analytics and Speech Analytics, brands are able to bring together VoC from across sources and instantly analyze them at scale to uncover quantitative and qualitative insights that are immediately actionable.

Step 4: Understand outcomes and take action

Advanced customer experience platforms like Medallia’s make the data actionable across organizations, offering up specific insights tailored by role, for frontline staff all the way to the C-suite. 

For example, if you’re trying to figure out “How do customers feel about this new feature in our app?” Text and Speech Analytics can evaluate the real-time sentiment around the app feature, detect the top topics customers are discussing related to the app feature, and distill any points of friction that need to be addressed. 

VoC Analysis Tools: Key Features to Look for

Here are a few key features to look for in a VoC analysis solution to set your team up for success.

1. Data collection and systems integration

As we discussed, there are so many different channels and places from which you can collect VoC data. You should look for a tool that is capable of collecting data from a wide range of inputs, including social media, customer surveys, customer service interactions, and more, and integrating them into a single platform for ease of use. To that end, you should look for a tool that can integrate with your tech stack, so you don’t have to spend additional time ingesting and transferring data from different sources.

2. Text Analytics, Speech Analytics, and sentiment analysis

Since VoC analysis so often deals with unstructured data, you should look for a tool that can process unstructured text feedback, transcribe and analyze unstructured voice conversations (such as customer service phone calls or videos posted on social channels), and conduct real-time sentiment analysis, removing the burden of manual analysis from your team. There’s a lot to know about text and sentiment analysis, so having a tool that can act as a strategic partner will pay dividends in your VoC program.

3. Data visualization

Finally, because you’re going to present VoC data to various stakeholders, your solution should be able to visualize your VoC results clearly and concisely, so you can focus less on taking questions during presentations and more on taking action in your business. 

Take Action on Your VoC Data with Medallia

Medallia’s enterprise voice of the customer platform can help you identify and make sense of the feedback you need from the sources that matter the most, so you can generate insights faster and make better, data-driven decisions. Our platform helps you track VoC in real-time across every vertical, channel, and customer segment, so you can know exactly how your customers feel and take action when necessary. To learn more about what Medallia can do for your business, connect with a Medallia Expert today.