Voice of Customer Programmes Are For Losers

I was answering this question recently “What B2B SaaS companies have the best VoC (voice of customer) programs and why?” and the answer became an article in itself. Here’s what I said.

Literally every company, as long as they know where to look. Let me explain.

Disclaimer: I work with a lot of companies that are looking to reduce user churn and one thing I advocate for is getting in touch with their users.

I think having a VoC program is really important. Virtually everytime a company worries about user churn, it automatically implies they’re past the point where they were looking to acquire users. It doesn’t mean that’s not something that’s desired anymore, it just says it’s an advanced problem.

VoC programmes are perfect for companies as more often than not, reducing user churn starts with literally them leaning in and listening. People are slow to recommend what they’d like but are very very quick to point out what disturbed them.

While personally I’m more of a “play god with your users” type of person, I’m aware it’s part of my ego and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I don’t think people should be asked as if there’s a lot of emotion, they will come and tell you. Or tell their friends. And you know what? Living in today’s society means that more often than not you can see what they tell their friends.

The Actual Answer

It’s called Twitter. Or any social media platform, for what it’s worth.

See, in 2019 if your B2B SaaS caters to, say, creatives just like Dropbox does, I’d open up Twitter and look for what creatives complain about. It’s part of human nature to complain. Everyone complains about complaining. In a sense I do so now.

And what that means is that creatives (this case’s target audience) will do so. On Twitter. On Facebook. On Dribbble/Behance or wherever they spend their time.

Dropbox should lean in and listen to what their people’s challenges are. And that’s a VoC programme that’s put in place without any thousand-pound investment — it’s simply a couple of searches and a major ingredient: caring about them.

Let’s do it now. I’ll go on Twitter and search for: “hate about dropbox”

Cool, scroll a bit and here we go:

Nice. I’d take note of this.

And this.

And I’d get to this person and talk for days about what they have about Dropbox. Because if I’m obsessed with making Dropbox better for people, I think I’ll last longer than this person when it comes to talking about it.

As you can see, I can go on and on forever. So back to my point again, instead of sending out surveys (I hate surveys for this reason) or asking for a review after a transaction, I’d just go eavesdrop like a stalker. But once again, that needs me to care about my users/customers/clients.

But I’m not as big as Dropbox…

Hey, if you say that’s Dropbox and it’s easier for them because they’re big and widely used, I can eliminate that excuse as well. Say you’re a B2B SaaS for Project Management. You know about Jira, Trello and Asana and you’re about to blow them out of the water with your amazing product.

And you get these bits:

Wow, that’s a bit rough.

And on and on. So my intuition says the key here is looking at what’s there to be improved in the field that your B2B SaaS exists. All this without any investment into:

  • Surveys
  • Smiley/neutral/sad face buttons
  • “Tell us how we did”
  • Paper-based stuff

One caveat is this:

As you may have noticed, I was looking for what they “hate” — that means a lot of emotion. If something is “meh” people won’t write about it. So by all means implement the survey/whatever, but be aware that these will yield only what’s not causing strong emotions.

If you’re looking to disrupt, I’d look for strong emotions.F

Explanation

For readers that might not be aware of what a VoC programme is, let me quote this

Voice of the Customer refers to the way an organization collects customer feedback, analyzes the data, distributes it to the right people and takes action on these insights in order to generate financial benefits.

Voice of the Customer programs aim to gather and analyze customer insights, and enable you to take action in order to improve customer experience (CX) and deliver positive business outcomes to your organization.

Source: Customer, Product & Employee Experience Software Solutions | Confirmit | Confirmit


About Ch Daniel

I run chagency, an experiences design agency that specialises on helping tech CEOs reduce user churn. We believe experiences are not only the reason why users choose not to leave but also what generates word of mouth. We’re building a credo around this belief.

If I’ve brought you any kind of value, follow me and get in touch here: LinkedIn | Twitter | Email

I’ve also created an infinitely-valuable app for sneaker/fashion enthusiasts called Legit Check that impacted hundreds of thousands over millions of times – check it out at chdaniel.com/app

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Cover image credit: Muhammed Sajid

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