VOC Defined: Why Customers’ Feelings Matter

No business can function without its customers. Your clientele are the cornerstone of your company. Their satisfaction makes or breaks your profits, brand, reputation, and, ultimately, survival as an enterprise. You probably already realize that communicating effectively with your clients and fully understanding their feedback is a vital part of keeping your company thriving, but how can you go about this? Most customers never share their opinions with companies, and those who do tend to be either enthusiastically happy or (unfortunately more often) absolutely exasperated. Of course, you can attempt to send out a lengthy email questionnaire or badger your clients to answer “just a few questions” over the phone, but only a small percentage of your consumer base is likely to take these surveys very seriously.

The solution to your customer satisfaction conundrum does, in fact, exist, but you may not have yet encountered this emerging technology. Perhaps you’ve heard the term “voice of customer” bandied about at conferences or in advertisements, but do you know what this actually means? As it goes with many great advances, many businesses don’t yet understand the value of “voice of consumer” tools, or even know what these burgeoning applications are, but they soon will. Becoming an early adopter in this area could have a serious impact on your company’s future. At Emojot, we use “voice of consumer,” or VOC technology to help our clients flourish in this twenty-first century business atmosphere. In the following blog, we define this term and explain why your customers’ feelings matter so much to your enterprise.

Vital Components of VOC

Before we expound any further on the benefits of VOC, we should first fully describe what it is. Business Dictionary defines it as “collective insight into customer needs, wants, perceptions, and preferences gained through direct and indirect questioning. These discoveries are translated into meaningful objectives that help in closing the gap between customer expectations and the firm’s offerings.” Basically, VOC instruments elicit consumers’ responses and reactions to companies’ products, brands, decisions, and practices. Executives can then leverage this valuable information to optimize their operations and make meaningful changes to the way they run their businesses. The data VOC technology provides can help you overhaul a product, refine a service, identify a new marketplace opportunity, restructure your customer service practices, and more.

When you want to solve a problem, expand your enterprise, or simply see how you’re performing, VOC allows you to go straight to the source.

Stunning Satisfaction Statistics

Why is it so important to hear what your customers think? It’s one thing to discuss this on a conceptual level, and another to back it up with cold, hard, facts. When considering the worth of VOC to your business, we suggest you remember the following numbers:

  • According to a recent article published in the Huffington Post, “55 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience…[and] 84 percent of consumers are willing to pay for an upgraded ” Understanding what makes your product or service a “good experience” (or, perhaps, a bad one) for your customers can help you directly improve your profits. Once you enhance the positive components and eliminate the negative, you can charge higher prices.
  • “Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest churn [meaning that they silently discontinue using the brand],” as per the Huffington Post. The article continues to make an important point: “Companies should not view the absence of feedback as a sign of satisfaction. The true enemy is indifference.” If your customers aren’t voicing anything to you about your business, this could mean trouble.
  • Consumer churn is a serious issue, since “it is 6-7X more expensive for companies to attract new customers than to keep existing customers.” If you could retain the customers you do have by actually hearing them, you could save thousands in advertising costs while growing your
  • Based on the Huffington Post’s data, “67 percent [or two-thirds] of customer churn is preventable if the customer issue was resolved at the first engagement.” This suggests that giving consumers an outlet to vent their frustrations could actually keep the majority of them coming to your
  • According to a recent piece in Forbes magazine, “examining customer satisfaction by ..the bottom three are: retail & wholesale [with] 82 percent, social media [with] 78 percent, [and] entertainment & arts [with] 77 percent.” If your business is in one of these or a related field, it is particularly important to pay attention to your customers’ voices.

These are just a few sample statistics that demonstrate the undeniable power of VOC and customer satisfaction in modern business.

Why Emotion is Essential

Most adept advertisers will tell you that customers ultimately make choices based on emotion, rather than logic. In his article for Inc. magazine, business expert Geoffrey James argues: “buying decisions are always the result of a change in the customer’s emotional state. While information may help change that emotional state, it’s the emotion that’s important, not the information.” This maxim doesn’t only apply to first-time customers. Emotion also guides your existing customers’ purchasing preferences.

When a consumer has a bad experience with your brand, it is their feelings, rather than thoughts, about the situation that linger and cause churn. You can see how this works in practice. Let’s say a man is annoyed about having to wait in a long line at a coffee shop on his way to work in the morning. Does he consider the price of this coffee in comparison to competitors, the coffee shop’s staffing needs, or how traffic varies throughout the day at this establishment? No. He sees the sign for “Main Street Java,” remembers the frustration he felt the last time he went in and picks a different coffee shop instead. However, just because a consumer has one emotionally difficult experience with your business doesn’t mean you need to lose him or her forever. As the Huffington Post piece on this topic explains, you can recapture two out of three dissatisfied patrons by engaging with them and handling their upset.

Furthermore, on the positive side, since feelings guide the purchasing process, you can better target and execute advertising campaigns for your current customers by understanding their emotions about various facets of your business. For example, if you found out that customers feel especially excited when you sell a particular seasonal product, you could order extra and make it a highlight of your holiday ad campaign.

How Emojot Transforms VOC

Throughout this blog, you’ve learned that VOC can deliver critical insights about your customers’ experiences to help you maintain and expand your business. However, not all VOC systems are created equal. Dry, boring surveys might deliver important data if your customers bothered to fill them out, but the reality is that they probably won’t. In addition, these conventional questionnaires focus on what customers think about your products and services, rather than capturing how they feel.

Emojot’s innovative platform solves these problems, bringing emotion to the forefront to shape the future of VOC. In today’s digital communications, we all use emoji graphics to express our emotions: heart-eyed smiley faces for love, red frowny faces for anger, winking kissy faces for flirtation, wide-eyed, red-cheeked faces for embarrassment, and hundreds more. Emojot replaces dull text-based surveys with emoji-based Emotion Sensors®, which allow your customers to quickly and easily express how they feel about your products and services.

These graphical representations are whimsical, fun, and fast, while delivering truly precious insights. An Emojot VOC Emotion Sensor® is a great way to find out how a new product is performing, check up on your customer service, learn how to upgrade your brand, or personalize your customers’ experience. Its potential benefits are virtually limitless and constantly growing, much like the ever-expanding library of fanciful emojis on your phone.

Are You Ready to Let Your Customers’ Voices Be Heard?

Do you want to know how your customers really feel about your business? Contact Emojot today to schedule a demo of our state-of-the-art VOC Emotion Sensor® platform.