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25 voice of customer examples and takeaways


The Team at CallMiner

August 15, 2023

It’s no secret that when customers are happy with a company’s products or services, those customers drive the company forward. That’s why voice of customer (VoC) analytics is crucial for businesses to implement and gain value from. Using the right voice of customer strategies, brands can gather insightful customer feedback to improve outcomes.

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In this blog, we’ll explore:

  • What is VoC?
  • VoC examples and takeaways
  • Frequently asked questions

What is voice of the customer?

VoC refers to the collective findings from all customer feedback channels. Conducting phone or online surveys, reaching out to customers by email, asking for feedback on social media, capturing interactions via contact center interactions, or inviting customers to comment on a live stream are all voice of the customer examples. VoC can be both unsolicited (captured from interactions where direct feedback isn’t asked for, or solicited (direct feedback is asked for).

Certain VoC strategies may work better for some businesses than others. Companies should spend time testing strategies to determine the most effective components for their VoC programs. Get inspired by these voice of the customer examples from real companies that have found their feedback niche.

Voice of the customer examples and takeaways

1. Call centers can use conversation intelligence to learn more about their customers’ feelings toward their service. “Surveys, like Net Promoter Score (NPS), are a common practice to determine contact center performance on a certain call. However, surveys have an average response rate of 5 to 15%, and often only account for people who are extremely satisfied or extremely dissatisfied with their interactions. That leaves a huge middle ground open for interpretation. Other common practices include manual approaches like listening to random calls for QA and agent performance. However, when the typical contact center handles hundreds or thousands of calls a day, random call listening only covers a tiny fraction of overall interactions.

Conversation intelligence can be applied to 100% of omnichannel customer interactions, helping contact center supervisors more effectively understand agent performance and process adherence for QA and compliance. From there, they can use data-driven coaching methods to hone in on exact areas of improvement or reward strong performers. ” - Five ways tech companies can use customer insights to drive business transformation, CallMiner; Twitter: @CallMiner

2. YouTube asks for quick ratings after videos. “YouTube randomly asks users what they think of the videos they’ve finished watching to gain a better understanding of the videos’ quality, their algorithm, and the user’s preference.

“It is natively inserted into the user’s dashboard of a list of videos. And it starts out just by asking ‘What did you think of this video?’ with the video displayed below and a 5-star rater. Once the rating is provided, the feedback section expands to a mini multi-choice survey asking why such a rating is given.

“This is a very easy yet personal way to ask for customer feedback. It doesn’t require much action nor time for customers to share their feedback. And it’s also a very scalable way to collect feedback for your product.” - 10 Best Customer Feedback Examples 2023 [Updated], Usersnap; Twitter: @usersnap

3. Walmart learns what customers wanted through incentivized surveys. “Doug McMillon, chief executive, admitted Walmart lost its way when it failed to put customers first: ‘To deliver [to] shareholders, we have to win first with customers and associates,’ adding ‘You clean up your house before you invite people over.’

“McMillon recognized that a large part of Walmart’s declining value stemmed from an ongoing image problem that spoke to the necessity of improving customer relations. If Walmart didn’t begin gauging customer feedback, it would never be able to connect with them and improve its reputation and financial outlook.

“To create this much-needed change, it relied in part on customer feedback from surveys to rate its stores. Walmart incentivized customers to complete surveys with a chance to win a $1,000 gift card. Customers were asked to rank their experience from 1 to 10 in several categories. The results were then analyzed to gauge the progress each store was making.” -How Focusing on Customer Feedback Improves Walmart’s Outlook, Skeepers; Twitter: @Skeepersgroup

4. Although improvements are needed, AI language technology builds feedback loops into their products. “Consider the data feedback loops of large language models (LLMs) such as Open AI’s Chat GPT or Google’s Bard. These models ingest enormous amounts of data from the web and use machine learning models to generate answers to user questions. In the early versions of these models, their capabilities are largely determined by pre-launch “in-house” training and testing — the quality of their answers improves only to a moderate extent with more users or more usage. Indeed, as of this writing, there are two main mechanisms that create data feedback loops around LLMs:

  • Users click on the thumbs-up or thumbs-down buttons at the end of the answers. (Most users probably ignore this most of the time.)
  • Users ask follow-up questions, which could signal whether an answer was satisfactory or not. (This inference is likely difficult in most cases.)

“Ideally, one would want to (re)design the product or service in such a way that customers, in the natural course of using the product, are creating data that signals how useful/effective the product is for users. This data can then be used by the provider to improve the quality of the product or service.” - To Get Better Customer Data, Build Feedback Loops into Your Products, Harvard Business Review; Twitter: @HarvardBiz

5. Peloton creates a buzz-worthy community around its brand, making customers feel included. “Peloton’s tech-driven solution to a common fitness problem was innovative, but it wasn’t the only reason behind its initial success. The company also took extra steps to create and support a tight-knit group of fans, like:

6. Qumulo created a Customer Success Program entirely focused on customer needs and feedback. “Qumulo’s Customer Success program, Qumulo Care, is rewriting the customer success rulebook. Enjoy superior customer experience and find out for yourself why Qumulo customers have rewarded us with the highest net promoter scores (NPS) in the storage industry.

“Qumulo Care pairs you with a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) whose goal is ensuring you are leveraging all that your Qumulo products have to offer. If you have a question or issue, you can reach out over Slack, email, or phone to get the help you need.

“Our Customer Success Engineers (CSEs) don’t read a phone script and pass you off — they know how to help. Every CSE has deep experience working with file storage systems and understands the associated workflows and applications.” - Zero-Latency Support, Qumulo; Twitter: @qumulo

7. Real-time experience tracking (RET) immediately tells companies what they should do. “When Schweppes bought Abbey Well, a small independent UK brand of mineral water, it launched an ambitious growth campaign that began with a series of topical advertisements. Thanks to RET, executives realized within a week that the most successful ads focused on a ‘Schwim Free’ offer giving anyone with a Schweppes Abbey Well bottle cap free entry on Mondays to a public indoor swimming pool (a valuable proposition in a climate where it’s often too cool to swim outdoors).

“So Schweppes immediately poured more resources into that part of the campaign, extending it to more pools and all weekdays. Ultimately, 175,000 people took advantage of the offer, and within a year sales of Schweppes Abbey Well had grown by 35%. Furthermore, the promotion received a lot of press coverage and generated health associations for the Schweppes brand, helping the sales of other Schweppes products.” - Better Customer Insight—in Real Time, Harvard Business Review; Twitter: @HarvardBiz

8. Slack uses customer feedback to inspire new features. “Slack listened to customers and tested its product for seven months before releasing the first version. In the words of CEO Stuart Butterfield, ‘When key users told us something wasn't working, we fixed it—immediately.’

“Many of Slack’s greatest features have come from customer feedback. When users said they wanted to integrate the communication in other apps and programs, Slack made it happen.” - 100 Of The Most Customer-Centric Companies, Forbes; Twitter: @forbes

9. Netflix asks for a simple thumbs up or down for ratings. “Netflix has come a long way in using customer feedback for product usability. Their journey started out with the 5-star rating system, they asked the customers to rate their experience on viewing the movie/series. But then they switched to the thumbs up/down rater, why?

“Cameron Johnson, Director of Product Innovation, said they discovered that users were confused with the star raters since it is more commonly used to rate product satisfaction rather than ‘personal experience’. As they want to find out the individual’s preference for the film, it was better to change the rater to thumbs up/down.

“This simple switch increased engagement by a wild 200%. What you can learn from Netflix’s case is the importance of using the right rating system to feedback responses.” - 10 Best Customer Feedback Examples 2023 [Updated], Usersnap; Twitter: @usersnap

10. DoorDash created an easy-to-use in-app reviewing and rating system for quick VoC feedback. DoorDash launched “written reviews within the app to let users read other customers’ thoughts about specific restaurants or share their own. DoorDash says in-app written reviews will enable customers to save time when looking for other users’ feedback because they’ll no longer have to toggle between multiple apps when looking for restaurant reviews.

“The company also notes that the new written reviews will be beneficial for merchants on its app, as they’ll now be able to get access to direct feedback from their customers. DoorDash began piloting this feature in November 2021, and has received more than 7 million public reviews since then.

“DoorDash has also created a new ‘most liked’ tag to surface top-rated eats that customers often enjoy. After completing an order on the app, customers can rate the items they got by tapping a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ icon. A restaurant’s three items with the highest number of ‘thumbs up’ ratings will be displayed on the menu with a ‘most liked’ tag. DoorDash says that since piloting this feature, it’s seen that users are submitting more than 2.5 million item ratings per week.” - DoorDash rolls out new in-app features, including written reviews, item ratings and more, TechCrunch; Twitter: @techcrunch

11. Taco Bell uses social listening to gather feedback and engage with customers. “Taco Bell is a fast-food restaurant with a strong social media presence. The company is known for its social listening strategy. They listen to their customers in real-time, respond to them in real time, and reach out to them via social media.

“Customer service is their top priority. And they use social listening to deliver the best possible service. They retweet every cool thing said about their brand. They often engage with netizens to strengthen their social media presence for fun. They not only value the opinion of their customers but also respond to their complaints.

“Taco Bell, for example, frequently heard from its customers on social media about their dissatisfaction with the cheese in the Quesadilla. They sent out emails to the restaurant in question and reminded them to follow the recipe for ensuring customer satisfaction.” - 12 Companies With Great Social Listening Strategies, Konnect Insights; Twitter: @konnectinsights

12. Disney interviews its largest demographic: children. “Disney has established regular ‘kid-centric’ focus groups consisting of preschoolers and young children. They accomplished this by partnering with preschools and primary schools near the company headquarters in Los Angeles. In exchange, the schools receive donations and the children receive Disney stickers for their participation.

“The goal of these focus groups is to discover what kind of characters the ‘toddler-to-kindergartner crowd’ likes. In addition, Disney also gets feedback about ongoing TV series and opinions on the ‘after-marketing’, or the sale of Disney-themed toys and videos. The children’s reactions and comments about the merchandise provide invaluable help in making marketing decisions.” - How Focus Groups Impacted These 5 Major Companies, SurveyPolice; Twitter: @SurveyPolice

13. Lay’s chips took to Facebook to gather direct feedback from fans through voting. “PepsiCo’s solution to upping the cool factor of Lay’s was to put the power in the hands of the consumer — which is why in 2012 it launched that first ‘Do Us a Flavor’ campaign.

“Anyone who had a chip idea in mind could visit Lays’ Facebook page, enter some information about their flavor and be rewarded with a shareable image of ‘their’ bag of chips. The company teamed up with Facebook to turn the ‘like’ button into a vote of ‘I’d Eat That.’ Lay’s Facebook cover photo became a rotating billboard, which featured a new submission every few minutes.

A panel of judges and campaign spokespeople — celebrity chef Michael Symon and actress Eva Longoria — helped narrow the contest to three finalist flavors: sriracha, cheesy garlic bread and chicken and waffles, and then opened the vote for a winner to the public. In May 2013, after millions of fan votes were cast, it was announced that Lay’s Cheesy Garlic Bread flavored potato chips were America’s favorite.” - Cheesy Garlic Bread Chips: Lay’s Lesson in Marketing and Brand Awareness, The Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania; Twitter: @Wharton

14. Norton asks for quick user feedback in its emails with a 1-10 rating system. “First, the company makes it known to the readers that their feedback will enable the company to improve customer experience with their products and services. This alone can inspire them to respond!

“Secondly, they assure the customer that the survey won’t take much of their time by terming it as ‘short’ and indicating that it will only take ‘3 minutes.’

“Lastly, they use a rating strategy that redirects the participants to the main feedback survey landing page to support their rating.” - 7 Feedback Email Template Examples, SurveySparrow; Twitter: @SurveySparrow

15. Uber asks for in-app feedback from both of its audiences. “Uber has two target audiences — the drivers and the passengers — and it does a great job collecting opinions and reviews from both. The passengers give ratings after every ride, and the drivers rate the passengers as well.

“What we like: This survey makes it fair and transparent for both the driver and the passenger, and these ratings affect both parties’ reputation as well. If a passenger has a lower rating, the driver has the authority to decline the booking. If you run a business with two target audiences, create a survey for both.” - 23 Excellent Customer Satisfaction Survey Examples, HubSpot; Twitter: @HubSpot

16. Amazon learns what customers like based on what they shop for. “It doesn’t matter if the person buys the products, puts it in the cart or even just takes a look at it – Amazon will use that data. That way they can learn what each customer wants and likes and can recommend that same product or similar ones to them when they return to the shop. This is how the company earns 35% of their annual sales.” - 7 Real-World Examples of How Brands are Using Big Data Analytics, Bornfight; Twitter: @Bornfight_

17. Market research company Isurus helped a business solve its customers’ billing pain points with telephone surveys. “To identify the main sources of confusion about the company’s pricing and billing, Isurus conducted a telephone survey with customers across major industry and business segments. The interviews enabled us to identify the aspects of the pricing model and bill that caused confusion and to understand how these problems impacted the customer’s business.

“The pricing and billing research identified the main drivers of customers’ confusion with the invoice and gave the client clear direction on the changes required to address each one. The research also provided new motivation to the company to address these problems: Their pricing model and invoice were so confusing that it was creating suspicion and mistrust among some customers.” - Case Study: Customer Satisfaction and Voice of the Customer, Isurus; Twitter: @Isurusmrc

18. Apple asks for opinions soon after a Genius Bar appointment to ensure fresh feedback. “Apple collects feedback not just on their products but also on the interaction with employees after an appointment with the Genius Bar at the Apple Store. By timing this survey with the visit, Apple is able to gather important insights about the performance of their staff as well as their general experience at the Apple Store. These findings are key to improve the customer’s experience and make it memorable.” - 7 Samples of Feedback Forms for Customers That Actually Work, GetFeedback; Twitter: @getfeedback

19. A SaaS company used a VoC strategy to inform its future package options. “A popular SaaS company used an in-app survey to collect feedback from the users and usage data to improve the user experience. The company analyzed which features were being used the most and what new features the users would like to see in the app. The survey responses were filtered based on the number of parameters. The company realized that instead of having a one-size-fits-all package, there should be different pricing models to suit the needs of different users. Soon, they saw a surge in the number of users and a spike in their satisfaction level.” - Voice of Customer: Why is it important and what are the benefits, QuestionPro; Twitter: @questionpro

20. Autonomous NYC makes some feedback questions optional to ensure that customers answer only what they want to. “Sometimes, you don’t need a fancily designed email to ask for feedback. Instead, you can send an email just like Autonomous NYC’s. Once you click on the link, you’re taken to a 2-page Google Form survey that measures the user’s happiness with their experience on Autonomous NYC’s website. The survey is clear, succinct, and easy to fill out.

“What we like: Autonomous NYC’s customer satisfaction survey hits all the right notes. It’s short, but not so short that Autonomous NYC’s team can’t glean any insights. It also makes most questions optional so that users have the choice to walk away after answering two questions. Give the same option to your survey recipients by making at least a few of the questions optional.” - 23 Excellent Customer Satisfaction Survey Examples, HubSpot; Twitter: @HubSpot

21. Athletic Greens asked for video-based insights to improve its AG1 packaging and website. “McKenna Rowe, Director, Product Design, at Athletic Greens had worked with UserTesting prior to joining Athletic Greens. She understood that video-based insights from UserTesting contributors would help the brand address important marketing and design challenges. A few key initiatives include:

  • Brand perception: How does the Athletic Greens brand resonate with prospects who are unfamiliar with AG1?
  • Customer education: How can Athletic Greens help people better understand health concepts and recognize AG1’s unique value compared to competitor products?
  • Content strategy: How does content on the website serve visitors—and can it help retain existing customers? 100% of AG1 sales occur via the company website!
  • Usability: Are the user interfaces and experiences on the website intuitive and enjoyable for visitors?

“Solution and outcome: Athletic Greens rebranded AG1’s product packaging and completely redesigned the company website.

“Customers love the sharp new brand. But the organization needed to ensure that consumers recognize the value of the product—and feel drawn to it—rather than simply appreciate AG1’s new look. UserTesting contributors helped Athletic Greens understand how to communicate clearly about packaging options for purchase, including eco-friendly pouches or individual serving packets, which are convenient for customers who travel.

“UserTesting contributors also reviewed the new Athletic Greens website. The company learned that, although the relaunched brand made a positive impression, they could more effectively communicate the benefits of AG1 by using the website to educate their customers and potential customers.” - Athletic Greens + UserTesting, UserTesting; Twitter: @usertesting

22. The Honest Company uses testimonials to publicize the voice of the customer. “Specializing in products without harsh chemicals, dyes, additives or other questionable substances, The Honest Company appeals to health- and environment-conscious consumers, especially mothers. Their customer testimonials page showcases not only enthusiastic customer love from brand evangelists but also highlights the difference that products can make. This is one of the best customer testimonials examples because it fits perfectly into the target customer’s buyer journey.

“Many curious customers visiting The Honest Company’s website are likely concerned about the environmental impact of the products they buy, as well as the product’s effects on their family. The testimonials page addresses those concerns, highlighting stories from customers who were likewise concerned about their family’s well-being, who struggled with allergy problems, or who prioritized sustainability.” - 23 Companies That Are Using Customer Testimonials The Right Way, Boast; Twitter: @getboast

23. Mark Weldon uses live chat to give website visitors a voice and meet their needs quickly. “Men’s basics brand Mack Weldon wants its customers to feel comfortable, whether they’re shopping online, in-store, or lounging in a pair of their signature sweatpants.

“Traditionally, ecommerce brands have used live chat to deflect customer service volume. While this approach can provide much-needed short-term relief for internal agents, constant deflection quickly becomes a hotbed of customer neglect and missed revenue.

“Mack Weldon sees live chat as a powerful way to proactively engage with its website visitors. The brand couples its live chat with 24/7 coverage and outside agents (via Simplr’s human cloud network). This pre-sale strategy and live chat best practice is known as conversational commerce.

“Mack Weldon taps into conversational commerce to mirror the brand’s in-store experience and convert more customers. ‘When buyers on our site have questions about our products, we really want to mirror those engagements that they would get in a store—letting customers have real conversations with us and making buying easier,’ explains customer service manager Pat Feehan. ‘Our goal isn’t to act as salespeople, but being able to recommend products [customers] might like based on what they’re asking about or what they’ve bought from us before often adds a lot of value to the experience.’” - Beyond the bubble: How 3 brands are using live chat differently, Zendesk; Twitter: @zendesk

24. Trader Joe’s learns what customers want by offering product samples. “Trader Joe’s made $1750 in sales per square foot by customizing each store’s inventory using customer feedback. But their feedback didn’t come from focus groups, email, or call centers.

“The store captains and crew members conversed with the customers and offered them product samples. They learned firsthand which products their shoppers wanted. For example, once one customer tried a soy ice cream cookie at a Trader Joe’s location in Southern California and requested the same product at her local Nevada store. After a while, they started carrying it in multiple stores.

“As Audrey Dumper, VP of marketing for Trader Joe’s, says, ‘We like to think of Trader Joe’s as an economic food democracy.’ They used feedback to remove products that didn’t sell well and made room for more heavily demanded products. By customizing inventory and the order management process, they created a unique experience tailored to local shoppers.” - How Top 15 Brands Use Customer Feedback Effectively, Qualaroo; Twitter: @Qualaroo

25. Bank of America has transformed its VoC strategy with a real-time feedback tool. “One [Bank of America voice of the customer tool] is a sophisticated real-time customer interaction mechanism called Voices. It sends 90 million email surveys a year to retail and small business customers following a customer interaction.

“Bank of America has deployed the Voices customer feedback mechanism across the entire consumer bank. It is essentially a survey mechanism to measure how the various customer-facing teams are doing. An email-based survey replaced an earlier mailed survey. The shift from paper to email transformed the program. When it was done by mail, the data would go into a SharePoint site and a staffer would have to go search it. It just wasn’t a timely, effective way to improve client interactions.

“Now, far more surveys can go out than before and for a wider range of interactions. Voices is used not only for ‘high-touch’ interactions in branches or contact centers or with the bank’s home loan and small business teams but with online and mobile banking, Merrill Edge (the bank’s self-directed trading platform), and even ATMs. Most importantly, the feedback is near real-time.” - Real-Time Feedback Powers BofA Customer Experience Effort, The Financial Brand; Twitter: @FinancialBrand

The above examples come from real companies that have leveraged the power of VoC to improve their processes, products, and customer experiences. Consider drawing inspiration from them to do the same for your company while prioritizing customer voices.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between CX and VoC?

Customer experience (CX) and voice of the customer (VoC) work together to illustrate how well a company meets its customers’ needs. However, these are distinguishable terms.

While CX refers to the customer’s full buying journey and their sentiments toward it, VoC refers to a customer’s ability to be heard. VoC can, therefore, help companies improve CX.

What VoC strategies can companies use?

Several VoC strategies can help companies learn more about their customers’ feelings, wants, and needs, including:

  • Customer surveys
  • Online reviews
  • Phone interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Live chat
  • Interactions with chatbots/IVR
  • Recorded calls
  • Website data
  • Email feedback
  • Social media listening
  • User testing

What is the difference between VoB and VoC?

Voice of the business (VoB) is the wants and needs of a business, including employees, managers, and stakeholders. In contrast, voice of the customer (VoC) includes the wants, needs, and expectations of customers toward a business.

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