Ten years ago, "voice of the customer" (VoC) platforms were thought of as systems that sent surveys to collect feedback about customer satisfaction so that the data could be exported and distributed, typically via an Excel spreadsheet. As the demand for customer experience data, knowledge and action has grown, so has VoC. Today, these platforms are becoming robust tools to combine customer feedback with other indirect and inferred data so as to catalog customer journeys, understand customer sentiment and experiences, identify customer experience issues, resolve outstanding customer needs, and measure improvement in satisfaction, loyalty, brand advocacy and business outcomes.
In our new report, "Market Guide for Marketers' Voice-of-the-Customer Solutions," we surveyed the marketplace and found that as surveys are becoming table stakes, VoC platforms seek to differentiate themselves in other ways, including:
- Ingesting and analyzing data from other systems, such as CRM, call center and web analytics platforms.
- Providing ways to close the loop with customers using alerts and workflow management.
- Parsing unstructured data, not merely text answers to open-ended survey questions, but customer care emails, social media posts, and voice calls, as well.
- Democratizing customer feedback within the organization with a broad range of dashboards to serve the needs of employees and leaders.
- Furnishing interactive and rich-media methods for customers to supply feedback and improve upon the information collected.
- Gathering and interpreting the voice of the employee (VoE).
- Offering powerful analyses to identify trends and discover insights to guide CX efforts and investments.
VoC vendors that traditionally served the needs of customer care or operational leaders are seeing growing demand from marketers with responsibility for customer experience management. If you are a marketing leader and Gartner subscriber interested in VoC and customer experience, please read our new "Market Guide for Marketers' Voice-of-the-Customer Solutions." It provides summaries of more than a dozen vendors offering solutions for direct customer feedback, text and sentiment analytics, speech and interaction analytics, market research communities, customer journey monitoring and VoE.