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Things to Consider Before Buying a ‘Voice of Customer’ Solution

Voice of Customer
Published on Sep 03, 2022

In the past, businesses focused on their strengths and leveraged them to earn revenue and market dominance. Changing times and technological advancements caused an irrevocable shift in business priorities and operations, compelling companies to opt for an outside-in approach. Embracing the outside-in approach called for businesses to create value and experiences that satiate their customers' needs.  

It is a known fact that customers' needs and wants are volatile. They are subject to change, given a myriad of reasons. Knowing what your customers want and need is vital if you wish for your business to survive and thrive in a competitive landscape. 

Then and Now

Over the decades, the means businesses have used to know their customers have evolved. What used to be an over-the-counter discussion changed into leaving feedback in a suggestion box. The increasing volume of customers made it difficult for businesses to keep tabs on the varied opinions/feedback/perceptions that customers carried. The influx of technology in the equation brought a reprieve that companies were seeking to find. Numerous intelligence solutions are now available for you to understand your customers better or, in other words, to feel the pulse of the market. 

Ways to Listen to the Voice of Customer

While many companies with considerable workforce and financial muscle choose to adopt the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) way, others prefer to use third-party service providers or an intelligence platform to listen to the Voice of Customer. 

  • DIY approach: The DIY approach often involves creating and circulating a questionnaire with questions you desire to ask your target audience/customers. However, the reach of these surveys and the lack of obligation on the part of the respondents to share often hinder the collation of data that eventually culminates into actionable insights. 
  • Hire a third-party service provider: A third-party service provider could do the same for you while sparing your resources to focus on revenue-generating operations. However, the fact remains that running surveys have a confined reach, among other limitations. 
  • Voice of Customer (VoC) solution: If you want to garner insights not just about your offering but also your competitors, or if you want to just keep track of the direction in which customer discussions are tipping toward, these surveys will not hold up. If you are interested in gaining a 360-degree overview and deep-dive into granular insights that could fuel your decision-making process, it would be best to opt for a VoC intelligence platform.

Voice of Customer (VoC)

Based on your business needs and resource bandwidth, you can choose one of the above-listed options to keep tabs on what your customers are saying. However, businesses have been found tilting toward having a VoC solution as part of their repertoire of resources rather than taking on the other available options; thereby, establishing that an intelligence platform that crawls the web to pick up relevant data that could yield valuable insights is one of the top options.

If you are considering adding a VoC solution to your list of assets, here are a few points to get you started.

  • Off-the-shelf product vs Customizable solution vs Custom-built solution?

There is no dearth of intelligence solutions in the marketplace. Numerous off-the-shelf products are available for you to procure, plug in, and play. However, the question is   
Will such a product offer you what you are seeking to find?
In other words, does it offer features (UI, data visualization, competitor scan, analytics, reporting, among others) and intelligence that enable you to decide without a second thought?

The answer is a 

Suppose you have a jotted agenda that the solution can cater to; off-the-shelf solutions are a perfect fit. They are designed to cater to a broader audience and come with standard design and functional modules. 
Suppose you are looking for a solution that serves as your eyes and ears in the marketplace that spans the globe. In that case, it's best to opt for a customizable VoC solution that gives you the flexibility to make modifications to match your intelligence and operational needs. These platforms are better suited to solve pain points and tackle your organization's unique challenges.

A notch higher than this is a custom-built intelligence platform. These solutions are built to offer snug-fit features that meet the needs of the user to the T. When compared to the previously mentioned solutions, the custom-built ones are easy to use, require minimal training, and offer the desired solution quickly. While off-the-shelf and customizable solutions offer a fixed or mildly alterable iconography, a custom-built VoC platform offers customized iconography that matches your organization's reporting needs.
Deciding on what type of VoC platform will suffice your intelligence needs is the first and most vital step to take. After zeroing in on the kind of solution you desire to own and leveraging your strategy formulation and other decision-making scenarios, you can think about the points listed below.

  • Fuel for the machine - Data

Fuel for the machine - Data

Having a Voice of Customer solution at your disposal is a significant asset for any business to have. However, once that hurdle is crossed, you will have to work on fueling the platform with data that will eventually culminate into valuable insights. VoC solutions are now known to extract data from sources with your target audience's footprints and process it to furnish intel. 
If a VoC platform is to be utilized to the fullest, it would be best for you to connect it to more than one source of data. Sticking to a single source or maybe two will curb the farsightedness of the data at your disposal. Therefore, gleaning from varied sources, making the platform an Omni-channel customer feedback tool, would serve the purpose better. 
An omni-channel feedback tool pulls reviews from numerous sources, giving you a holistic feel of the market's pulse. Furthermore, inputs from multiple sources don't only give you a bird's eye view of customers' feedback but also allow you to deep dive into the data thus collected. Many solutions pull reviews from structured sources; however, not including semi-structured and unstructured sources in the mix leaves out the laud, banter, and discussions that play a significant role in painting a realistic picture of the marketplace. Unstructured sources such as Reddit and Twitter are rich troves of insights that are often left unexplored. An omni-channel tool can furnish insights derived from all mentioned types of sources. You will, therefore, have valuable insights at your fingertips, equipping you to make sound, timely decisions.


  • Intelligence need – Proactive vs Reactive

3.Intelligence need – Proactive vs Reactive

With the VoC solution up and running while being fueled by relevant sources, your next focus needs to be the output you desire to find. Most VoC platforms capture customer feedback from sources and present historical patterns of thoughts that might have culminated into actions. Is that enough? While tracking historical patterns and laying out intelligence that can serve as an input for reactive measures, proactive watch and action help foresee and prep for future events. 
Reactive and proactive intelligence are two sides of a coin, and businesses need one as much as they need the other. Let's take a quick look at both.

  • Reactive Intelligence

Reactive Intelligence requires you to track and note the changing trends in the marketplace, including keeping tabs on customer behavior and spending patterns. This type of intelligence ensures that businesses understand customers' preferences while keeping in mind their company's capabilities and market conditions to frame strategies in response. 

  • Proactive Intelligence

Proactive Intelligence, on the other hand, attempts to identify potential problems that could have a detrimental impact on the business, allowing leaders to address the issues before customers begin to point them out. With tools like VoC thrown into the business decision-making mix, the forward-looking approach is being leveraged as much as the backward-looking approach. 
Both reactive and proactive intelligence are vital for a business. However, deriving the said intelligence via a VoC tool will prove to be an added edge as the solution covers more touchpoints and holds the ability to furnish needed intel on a real-time basis. The AI/ML-driven VoC platforms are not just beneficial in current competitive times but have become crucial for a business's survival and ability to withstand competition.


Listening to the 'Voice of Customer' is no longer a whim that companies can take lightly. Instead, it has proven to be a business essential that forms the base of lucrative business decision-making. Today's VoC tools are often easy-to-use, offering users real-time targeted feedback with intelligent analytics. Many businesses are transitioning from a DIY VoC approach to owning a solution that grants them multi-dimensional intel on a single pane for viewing. If you want to listen to the lucid Voice of Customer and allow it to guide your path in the foreseeable future, it is highly advisable to go by what tech and business experts say – Get a VoC solution that suits your business needs best.