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Voice of Customer

Voice of Customer (VoC) encompasses multiple techniques focused on asking for in-context feedback before, during or after users have engaged with a product. This typically brief user feedback can be either quantitative or qualitative (1-10 rating scales or free form text, for example). Both types of data can point to task flow problems or single-page functionality issues that may have escaped Web Analytics, as well as signal trend changes to ratings that may indicate dissatisfaction with a page, process or product. VoC feedback, primarily controlled by marketing groups, should not be used to design solutions in isolation, but only act as a signpost pointing to the item for designer investigation or usability testing. Unfortunately, technology and marketing groups may be inclined to make the cognitive jump from problem identification to solution without engaging UX. Their intentions are good — to solve user problems — but one or more of the techniques described in the Practical UX Methods site are necessary to verify the nature of a user problem, yield informed insights, and create an optimal solution.

The value of VoC feedback can be applied throughout the user experience. It can also provide input to UX Strategy for the prioritization of optimization efforts. It can signal changes in the words users employ, informing the product’s Controlled Vocabulary. It can suggest the need for product innovation.

VoC applications are surprisingly easy to setup, often requiring little more than a line of code on each page and a few minutes to fill out a short feedback template. Also, if an organization is strapped for resources, the VoC data is handled by a third party, requiring little additional work from an internal technology group. However, if designers are tasked with creating a VoC feedback form, they may find that gaining agreement from multiple groups as to the most important VoC information to capture is a daunting political challenge.


Schedule Time & Gather Materials

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Schedule Time:

  • Time to Read VoC Reports: 30 Minutes a Week
Gather Materials

Gather Materials:

  • Browser to Read Reports

Carry Out This Method

A typical Voice of Customer form for a page can be viewed on the OpinionLab website.

  1. A text field with a pulldown menu to assign a comment topic.
  2. A 1-5 rating scales for the Overall Page, and whether the page was Easy, Effective, and Enjoyable.
  3. A pulldown menu labelled, “What is the primary reason for your visit today?”
  4. A pulldown menu labelled, “Were you able to complete your task?”
  5. A 1-10 rating scale labelled, “How likely are you to recommend OpinionLab to a friend or colleague?”
  6. A text field labelled, “Please enter your email if you’d like us to contact you.”

Try These Tips

  • Request access the VoC reporting application. Otherwise, partner with someone with access who can run custom queries for you.
  • Be aware that many VoC applications are omni-channel, compiling user information from other products, mobile apps, blogs, etc. This data — and resulting optimization efforts for other products — can be a valuable tool for researching your product’s usability issues.
  • Many VoC applications will email reports on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Request access to these reports.
  • For further quantitative research, you will want to become familiar with your Web Analytics application.
  • Ask if you can contact users who left their email and interesting comments.
  • Be alert for trends in the quantitative data.

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