What is a Voice of the Customer survey? Tips, templates and more

Your customers have a lot to tell you, but are you listening? And with listening, we don’t mean checking the data they provide you with. The truth is, most organisations aren’t. A recent Gartner marketing survey found that a mere 14% of companies have a 360-degree view of their customers. Meanwhile, there are a number of tools and strategies available for gathering these insights such as collecting the voice of the customer. In fact, voice of the customer surveys are one of the easiest and most popular ways of gauging how your customers are feeling and interacting with your digital channels.

So what is a voice of customer survey? Why should you use them? How can you create effective VoC surveys for your own VoC program? Keep reading to find out more…

What is a voice of the customer survey?

A voice of the customer survey (or VoC survey) is a survey that gathers feedback data from your customers. The data often includes both quantitative and qualitative insights that help the organisation learn more about the customer experience, online journeys and other important customer touchpoints. They are often found on digital channels such as websites, mobile apps and within email campaigns.

According to an excerpt from Forbes’ article ‘How companies can use data to champion the voice of the customer’, data collected via these surveys is a key component in achieving a good CX:

Customer data is now an integral component of business development, allowing companies to provide customers with a more personalised, frictionless experience.

Note: a voice of the customer survey is not to be confused with a voice of the customer program. A VoC survey is just one small part of the greater voice of the customer program, which consists of VoC data collection, VoC analysis and action.

Voice of customer surveys for your online customers

However, it is a pivotal part of your VoC program as it is the primary tool for bringing in VoC data.

Why use voice of the customer surveys?

Your customers have a voice and they want to share it. Voice of the customer surveys give your visitors a platform to share their thoughts and opinions about your brand, whether that’s positive or negative. In fact, more often than not the feedback you receive will be from customers who feel strongly about something. These are typically your ‘promoters’ or your ‘detractors’ who are essential to your success, as they can help you fill in your blind spots and overcome your shortcomings.

On the other hand, voice of the customer surveys also give your organisation the opportunity to reach out more proactively to the other visitors (who are perhaps less motivated to provide feedback). For example, by way of behaviour-triggered VoC surveys you can approach an entirely different pool of customers and gather insight into their experiences.

There is also a lot to be said about the types of data being collected. Unlike regular website data gathered from tools like Google Analytics, VoC surveys can deliver both quantitative and qualitative insights into customer interactions. This added ingredient of sentiment enables organisations to better understand their customers on a more emotional level.

Creating your own voice of the customer surveys

So what should you take into account when creating your own VoC surveys?

Create VoC surveys with the customer in mind

For starters, you’re going to want to design VoC surveys with the customer in mind. This means well-designed, clear and concise surveys that include short and unambiguous questions. In other words, it should be easy for your customers to submit their feedback. If there are any small hurdles in the mix, it might cost you.

Leverage metrics that line up with your goals

Before you dive into the survey creation process, think about running through your objectives for gathering VoC data. What do you want to learn? Why are you gathering this data? What do you intend to do with the insights? Once you’ve established your goals, you can then start creating surveys that help you meet those goals.

For example, if you are hoping to gain insight into customer loyalty then Net Promoter Score (NPS) will be your go-to metric. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about the effort it takes your visitors to achieve any given goal on your digital channel(s), then you’ll want to deploy a survey gathering Customer Effort Score (CES).

Learn more about the different customer feedback metrics you can use to gather the insights you need.

NPS VoC survey graphic

Deploy VoC surveys on all of your digital channels

Our advice? Gather VoC data on all of your digital channels. The reason being is that nowadays your customers see the online experience as one fluid process. They don’t see the difference between your website or your mobile app. So it is very important that these channels are fully optimised, in line with one another and ready to cater to your customers.

That being said, it is also important to point out that the approach and type of surveys you leverage for these different channels varies.

Website VoC surveys are an ideal way of gathering feedback on your website(s). These surveys help you learn where you can improve, i.e. certain pages and funnels that are key to the customer journey.

Mobile VoC surveys on the other hand are great for gathering feedback within a more delicately designed environment. While you typically gather a lot of the same type of data with this channel, the surveys have to be deployed a bit differently so as not to interfere with the app’s design and layout. These surveys are also triggered differently from website VoC surveys.

Learn more about mobile feedback in this guide.

And lastly, there are email VoC surveys. Email surveys are yet another different breed of feedback. Designed to gather short and sweet responses into the performance of your email campaigns, this type of VoC survey comes typically in the form of a thumbs up / thumbs down survey with an open comment section.

By collecting feedback within your email campaigns, you are providing a platform for two-way communication with your customers where they can share their thoughts and perceptions of your email(s) and the information you’ve provided. In other words, you as a marketer gain insight into what your readers truly value.

Learn more about email feedback in this guide.

Digital feedback channels

Gather qualitative VoC data

One of the benefits of voice of the customer surveys (as opposed to website data tools) is the ability to gather qualitative data.

This type of data helps you gain an understanding into the motivation behind why your customer has provided negative or positive (quantitative) feedback. We like to refer to it as the “why” as it exposes the root cause behind any given behaviour. Why has your customer given you a low NPS score? Why have they decided to leave their shopping cart without making a purchase? Why are they idle on the page? These are the types of questions that qualitative feedback will give you the answers to…

To gather this data, many voice of customer software solutions offer open comment fields. In these open fields, customers can provide their own explanations as to why they have given a high or low score.

Learn more about quantitative vs qualitative customer feedback.

Use both active and passive VoC surveys

And lastly, be thinking about how you are going to deploy your VoC surveys. There are two different ways of deploying surveys: actively and passively. Active VoC surveys include surveys that are activated by the organisation. This means surveys that appear as a result of specific behaviour (i.e. exit intent, scrolling or time on page). Alternatively, passive VoC surveys are surveys that are readily available on the page, typically in the form of a feedback button.

There are advantages to both. Active VoC surveys are great for capturing feedback in-the-moment while a visitor is engaged in some sort of online behaviour such as exit intent, click path, mouse movement, and so on. Based on these different behaviours, you can create tailor-made VoC surveys with relevant question routing elements.

Alternatively, if you want to collect VoC data consistently throughout the journey and give your visitors the opportunity to provide feedback on their terms, you can deploy passive VoC surveys. Passive VoC surveys are great for gathering feedback into the usability of a page or just for plain generic feedback.

Be sure to check out these user feedback best practices as well.

Voice of the customer survey templates

Now equipped with the knowledge you need to deploy well-crafted and effective voice of the customer surveys, let’s take a look at a few voice of the customer survey templates that might spark some inspiration and kick off the survey creation process!

Here are the most commonly used voice of the customer surveys:

1. Website survey templates

Collecting user feedback from your website is the most common way of gathering feedback. There are many ways to collect website feedback including a generic feedback survey which is accessible via some or all pages on the website (passively) at the bottom of a webpage via an embedded survey, or as a popup / slide-in survey (actively).

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one of the most popular loyalty metrics and is a great way of gauging customer loyalty online.

Note: NPS should never be used as a generic metric as it is only really effective when geared towards current and/or long time customers who are familiar with your brand. In other words it’s better to collect NPS scores from actual customers rather than anonymous visitors who have yet to build up any sort of relationship with your brand.

NPS customer feedback survey

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys are a great way of measuring how well your website meets the expectations of your customers. CSAT can be measured based on a particular page of your website or alternatively, at an aggregated level (e.g. how satisfied are they with the entire website). Often companies measure CSAT using a number scale ranging from 1 to 10.

CSAT customer feedback survey

2. Email feedback survey template

As previously mentioned, thumbs surveys are the most frequently used in email feedback campaigns. However, many organisations also use NPS surveys for post-purchase drip campaigns as well as CSAT surveys measuring the online experience.

Email campaign feedback in a newsletter

3. Mobile feedback survey template

With this type of feedback, many of the same metrics used for websites can be used here as well. For example, Customer Satisfaction, Net Promoter Score, Goal Completion Rate, Customer Effort Score and so on.

CSAT mobile customer feedback survey

For a more comprehensive list of survey templates, check out our guide to collecting and analysing feedback.

Voice of the customer surveys for the win!

Voice of the customer surveys are critical to the success of your voice of the customer program. Not only do they provide you with the insights you need to improve your digital experience, but they also give your customers an opportunity to voice their feelings and opinions.

But (and this is a big but) this isn’t where it ends. Deploying voice of the customer surveys is only part of the equation. As with many improvement programs, it is critical that you carry out your voice of the customer program from start to finish and do so continuously. This means continuously collecting voice of the customer data on all the relevant digital channels, analysing this feedback in your charts and dashboards and circling back to your customers.

Ready to start listening to your customers?

Give Mopinion a try…

Mopinion Online Survey Software

Mopinion is an all-in-one user feedback tool that helps organisations collect and analyse website, mobile and email campaign customer feedback. It has an easy-to-use interface, with which users can build, design and configure feedback forms however they like. Mopinion users can also target specific groups of visitors with feedback forms and gain insights into why they are struggling to convert. Once collected, feedback items can be visualised in customisable dashboards and charts for advanced analyses. Additionally, digital teams can share and take action on these feedback items in a timely manner with the help of smart alerts.

Ready to see Mopinion in action?

Want to learn more about Mopinion’s all-in-1 user feedback platform? Don’t be shy and take our software for a spin! Do you prefer it a bit more personal? Just book a demo. One of our feedback pro’s will guide you through the software and answer any questions you may have.