July 17, 2014

Effectively Capturing the Voice of the Customer

Capturing the Voice of the CustomerThere’s no secret recipe for effectively capturing the voice of the customer. The good news is that it’s a matter of mix and match and using what makes sense for you. While another brand may have success with focus groups and surveys, depending on the kind of feedback you’re looking for, you might find that complaint logs and direct interviews yield the best results.

Want more good news? None of these methods is inherently better than the other. The important part isn’t just what method you’re using, but why. Here’s what you can expect to get out of each method, and what to consider when choosing which to use:

Mystery shopping

A mystery shopper can accomplish quite a bit, depending on what they’re sent in to do. They can check out how a complaint’s handled, how knowledgeable and friendly salespeople are when they’re peppered with questions. The downside here is that they aren’t actually a customer. Instead, they’re trying to mirror the experience so you can take the results and run with them.

Feedback from customer associates

Customer associates have the experience working closely with customers and hearing their likes and dislikes, often in great detail. It’s also the easiest feedback to get your hands on, with that added insight as a huge bonus. Once of the drawbacks is that what you’re hearing might be altered to keep the associate from looking back. There’s a good chance they’re not going to run to you and report on the poor performance of their peers or themselves, for a lot of reasons. So, while this feedback can be vital, it’s important to remember that it’s not coming directly from the customer, which means you might need to take some of it with a grain of salt.


Brands love surveys. A lot of bigger brands are including surveys with an incentive, like a cash prize, to make sure they’re hearing back from consumers. The great thing is that you are hearing directly from the people you want to be hearing from. They can give you insight into the overall experience, including customer service, product/service satisfaction – all the ins and outs that you really need to know in order to move forward effectively. The downside is that it can get costly, depending on how you go about it. Another issue is actually motivating your customers to partake. But if you can plan, prepare and execute it in a cost-efficient way that also returns results, it can turn around some pretty important information.

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