How to Listen to your Customers and Grow your Company

How to Listen to your Customers and Grow your Company

by Startup Montréal
6 October 2022

One of the most significant ways to boost your business is by listening to your customers. If you are looking to grow your company and move to hypergrowth, consider developing a Voice of the Customer (VOC) strategy to help you understand what your customers care about and to help you deliver what your customers need.

What is a Voice of the Customer (VOC) strategy?

An effective VOC strategy prioritizes your customer’s feedback. It helps you to gather insights about customer needs so that you can better design your products and services to meet those needs. Not only will it improve customer satisfaction, but it will also boost business and loyalty to your brand.

Here are four key components of an effective VOC Strategy:

1. Listen and gather VOC data

Listen to and gather real-time feedback from your customers to gain insight into their needs as well as their challenges. Listen to their suggestions and ideas for improving your product or service. If you want to retain and grow your customer base, active listening is critical and should become a part of your company’s culture.

Listening and responding to your customers shows that you value their opinions. If you engage them in shaping your business, your clients will feel more attached to your company.

You can gather VOC data by using a wide range of tools, such as interviews, surveys, reviews, live chats, focus groups, website traffic, search engine results, and social media. You can also study your competitors and what makes them successful. Using multiple channels to gather this feedback will ensure that a diversity of views and opinions are captured.

Measure and assess all of the data you collect to identify common trends, emerging issues, priorities and areas for improvement.

2. Engage your customers where they are

Get to know your customers. Find out where they get their information and which trade meetings and events they are likely to attend. Whether on the web, social media or face-to-face, it is important to engage your customers where they are. Make a connection as a follower or friend, providing them with a space for two-way communication so that you can answer their questions, establish a dialogue, and become a go-to source of knowledge in your industry.

Be sure to also identify and engage the voices of your industry, such as experts, thought leaders and influencers, who can potentially become champions of your product or service.

3. Focus on your customers’ problems and how to solve them

When a customer is unhappy or angry, don’t shy away from them. As Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Listen and respond to your customers’ complaints. Learn from their experiences with your product or service. Discuss and understand their problems, establishing a continuous feedback loop, and taking action in a timely fashion. Discovering what the issue is and how to solve it is fundamental to improving the customer experience.

You can turn an unhappy customer into a happy one by working together to identify how your product and service can better address their problems. The solution will invariably please not just the one customer but also many more likeminded customers and grow your business.

4. Share customer experiences through storytelling

When your customers are happy, be sure to document and share their positive experiences. They are your best source for storytelling to promote and grow your company. Your success stories should be shared widely across your marketing channels, including website, mobile apps, and social media. They can be retold through a variety of formats, such as a blog, newsletter article, video, podcast, infographic, and/or social media post.

Be sure to feature the voices of your customers in your storytelling. Their first-hand experiences will make your stories more relatable and easier to understand. They will inspire other potential customers to look you up and will help to expand the visibility of your company.

Your company values and origins can also provide good content for storytelling, effectively evoking your core “why”, the reason you exist in the first place. Your origin story will help to develop an emotional connection with customers, putting a face to your brand.

Once you’ve gathered and understood the voice of your customer, you will have the data you need to deliver a product or service that your customers actually want and need to make their lives easier. A good VOC strategy will help you to actively listen to your customers, build strong relationships, analyze the data you receive, and better shape your business. It will not only produce happy customers, loyal to your brand, but it will drive sales, increase revenue and ultimately grow your company.

To get key advice on how to listen to your customers, watch this small video.  

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