If you’re like most people, when somebody sends you feedback from an NPS survey, the best you’re going to do is file it away in a database. They read it and then discard the information.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then at the very least you’re probably at least respond to these comments. But what do you do after you’ve responded to those comments? After all, the data is really fantastic. It’s the authentic voice of your customer (also known as VOC).
So what do you do with a gold mine full of VOC data?
The obvious way to use VOC data is to improve your product. When people complain about something in an NPS survey, you fix the problem. When people need a new feature, you add the feature. That’s the obvious way to use VOC data. But what are some unexpected ways to use it?
1) Extract Reusable & Quotable Sentences Into a Spreadsheet
If somebody gives you a 9 or 10 with their NPS survey, chances are that when they tell you why they gave you 9 or 10, it’s going to include some pretty nice things. If you immediately reply back to that email and ask permission to quote them, they are very likely to say yes.
Make a spreadsheet with all the quotable sentences and indicate whether they have agreed to let you use the quote publicly. If they do not give permission, you can still use their quote internally to show your own team or investors, so it is still useful to keep track of it.
But when they do give permission, you can now use it in many different ways:
- Use a tool like Buffer or SocialOomph to create a queue of tweets and social updates
- Post the testimonials on your website
- Use the testimonials in your email marketing
- Add quotes to your product’s description as social proof
2) Categorize the VOC Data
Tagging the NPS responses with high-level categories (for example, if someone says “I love how easy your product is to use,” you could tag that feedback with ease-of-use) allows you to not only produce interesting reports with patterns and trends that might be hard to spot otherwise, but also gives you actionable data that you can use when communicating with the customer in the future.
For example, if you were to put that data back into your mailing list provider like MailChimp, you’d be able to start tailoring some custom messaging for that customer. If they are the kind of person that likes ease-of-use, the emails that you send could mention that. For example here’s what an email that’s customized for person based on their response from an NPS might look like:
I have an exciting announcement for you today. Anybody that appreciates ease-of-use as much as you do will be able to really appreciate this new feature.
In MailChimp, you would program the email to look something like this:
I have an exciting announcement for you today. Anybody *|IF:LIKES|* that appreciates *|LIKES|* as much as you do *|ELSE:|* like you *|END:IF|* will be able to really appreciate this new feature.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept of merge tags, take a look at this tutorial. Every newsletter system has something similar.
This is an incredibly powerful technique, especially if you keep adding more information to your mailing list database over time. Eventually, you can create highly customized messages and even target messages only to specific subsets of users based on the data they give you.
3) Ensure Your Company is Reaching its Goals
The information you get out of the voice of customer survey is such valuable gold that you want to make sure that you don’t lose track of it. One of the best ways that you can ensure that you don’t lose track of it, is by making it one of your key performance indicators. In the previous examples we’ve been using the positive feedback and reusing it for things like tweets and status updates and customizing emails, but in this unexpected way to use customer feedback, we actually focus on the negative feedback — what is traditionally thought of as a detractor. People give you a score of 0 to 6.
Just like the positive feedback, you should be categorizing your negative feedback. Then you can notice trends about why people aren’t happy with your product or service. If you were to take the top 3 most common complaints received in NPS and committed to fixing those problems within a certain amount of time (3 weeks to 3 months depending on your programming agility).
Then at the end of every quarter, you can look back at the three biggest complaints and make sure that you’ve made progress on all of them. A great way to make sure that you are staying in touch with the customers, and continuously improving in ways that actually make a difference to their everyday use of your product or service.
If you don’t use VOC when working on your product, you can end up in a trap where you’re always fixing bugs with the software or adding features that nobody was asking for. So using NPS’s VOC can dramatically help make sure you’re building something that people actually want to use.
With everything you learned from this blog post, I hope you can see the power of the voice of customer. There’s so much more you can do with this, if you just use your imagination. These powerful ideas go above and beyond what most people do with their businesses. So if you were to implement just one of them, you’re way ahead of the crowd.
Do you have any ideas for how to use VOC not in this blog post? Leave them in the comments below!