Understanding The Voice Of The Customer

Written by Alex Harris

There are a lot of abstract concepts to understand when it comes to running a business and one of them includes the voice of the customer. It might seem complex at first, but all this term refers to is the needs and desires of your customers. However, it does get more complex when trying to determine how you can “capture” this voice in order to better understand the needs and wants of your customers.


There Is No One Voice

The most important thing you need to remember about the voice of the consumer is that it doesn’t necessarily represent the wants of all of your customers. Think of it as representing certain segments of your customer base, as there isn’t going to be a singular “voice” among your consumer base. Consumers might be described by marketing consultants as a monolithic group, but they are still individuals with their own different desires and interests. Remembering this is absolutely crucial when you are attempting to capture the voice of the customer.

Identify The Relationship With Your Customers

In order to determine how you can capture the voice of the customer, you’ll want to figure out the type of relationship you have with them. You can categorize the relationships into two groups: direct and indirect.

Your relationship might be indirect if you have a lot of customers and have to use several distributors and retailers in order to interact with them. In comparison to this, if you have a smaller number of customers and speak with them personally, you likely have a direct relationship with your customers. It ultimately boils down to the size of your business, how many customers you have, and how you interact with them.

Methods For Direct Relationships

If you have determined that you have a direct relationship with your customers, you’ll want to utilize customer representatives in order to have a better understanding of what your customers want. This will not only allow you to better capture the voice of the customer, but it will also make your customers feel valued. You should also consider using focus groups, as they can be an excellent resource that can help you breakdown your customers into specific demographics in order to better understand what they want from you.

Methods For Indirect Relationships

If you find that your business is large and has a somewhat distant relationship, you’ll likely want to begin using methods that can directly reach such a large group of people. This can be accomplished by using surveys, as they can be personalized in order to figure out exactly what you want from your customers. In fact, if you’re unsure about what questions to ask, there are several helpful resources available that can help you determine which questions to use.

Focus groups can also be utilized, but you’ll likely have to use them on a larger level and in greater frequency. Depending on what type of service or product you provide, you can also consider using customer service feedback surveys. This can be most easily accomplished by sending your customers the survey via email, as it will allow you to find out exactly what your customers want when they use your product or service.

Who You Should Talk To

As stated earlier, the voice of the customer isn’t one specific voice. It can include anything from past, current, and future customers, which means you’ll want to use as many methods as possible in order to ensure you get a broad spectrum of answers. Regardless of what contact methods you choose to use, you’ll want to include questions that can be answered by your current customers, as well as people who might be interested in becoming your customers.

Organizing Your Data

After you have conducted all of your research, you’ll need to compile all of your data in order to analyze it. It might sound simple, but if you don’t do it correctly, you could misinterpret the data and completely misunderstand what your customers want. That’s why you’ll want to use affinity diagrams, as they can easily display all of the information you need to know about your customers. It might seem difficult, but by following these guidelines you should easily be on the way to understanding what your customers want!


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