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Feedback Management

What are Voice of Customer Surveys?

May 24, 2023

In a world where business success is primarily associated with excellent customer experiences, the term Voice of Customer isn’t new anymore. Voice of Customer refers to the opinions and preferences of customers, which need to be actively captured for businesses to be able to meet customer demands and stay competitive in the market. It enables businesses to offer products and services that would sell and also build experiences that would bring in new customers and retain the existing ones. 

And the bridge between customers’ expectations and excellent customer experiences is an intelligent VoC program! A VoC program leverages different channels to listen to what customers across the market prefer and expect. 

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A very important module of the VoC program that helps ascertain business success is VoC surveys. Let’s understand in detail what Voice of Customer surveys are and how your business can leverage this mind-blowing Voice of Customer methodology to make sure that you and your customers are on the same page.

Voice of Customer Survey Definition

Voice of Customer Survey is a feedback mechanism that enables businesses to measure and enhance customers’ experiences with the brand. VoC surveys are created to gauge customer satisfaction and identify complaints at various touch points.

What is Voice of Customer Survey?

Surveys have been around for ages. And thanks to technology, they are now being used to collect valuable customer feedback to be able to create fool-proof business plans. With digital VoC surveys – be it on the premises or via the web – businesses can collect the most accurate customer data that helps draw insights into customers’ buying patterns along with their thoughts, expectations, and inclinations. And understanding the language of customers and how their heads are wired with reference to a product or service can prove to be the biggest breakthrough your business needs to skyrocket its success. 

In essence, Voice of Customer surveys allows calculating the value your offering holds and help chart out a clear roadmap to increase it multifold.

Making your Voice of Customer Surveys Effective

We bring you 8 simple and effective tips to create intelligent VoC surveys that people would love to take. 

8 Tips to Create VoC Surveys

  1. Keep the Survey Short and Relevant
  2. Include Both Qualitative and Quantitative Questions 
  3. Personalize Surveys
  4. Add Logic to Your Survey
  5. Avoid Asking Leading Questions
  6. Use CX Metrics 
  7. White-Label Your Surveys 
  8. Design Good-looking and Appealing Surveys

1. Keep the Survey Short and Relevant

Many people start filling the survey and then leave it halfway because they get ‘bored.’ That’s what happens with extra-long surveys. So, create surveys that are short with simple and precise questions. Keep these points in mind:

Ask only Relevant Questions Define the survey objective clearly and make sure that each question produces only useful responses. Avoid unnecessary questions, such as ‘what is the name of your home city’, if they would not be helpful in your research or customer behavior analysis.

Ask Dichotomous Questions where Relevant

Yes/No, True/False, Agree/Disagree questions are dichotomous questions that are useful when you’re aiming for results like “x% of participants purchased the product.” But such questions are not the right fit for your Voice of Customer survey when you’re looking to understand customers’ experience since Yes/No questions don’t allow asking the reason behind the answers.

Prevent Lengthy Sentences

Lengthy questions and questionnaires can cause survey fatigue which can be bad for your survey results. So, make sure to cut down unnecessary words and jargon from your questions and keep them to the point.

2. Include Both Qualitative and Quantitative Questions

Quantitative questions help you collect facts. For example, after conducting a survey, you may find that 70% of your customers are satisfied with your product. And qualitative questions help you understand the story or reason behind those facts. For example, your survey results can help you underline the reasons behind the unsatisfactory experiences of the 30% who responded negatively.

Therefore, for an all-rounded VoC approach to data collection, make sure to include both quantitative and qualitative questions.

Quantitative Questions

Quantitative questions would help you generate customer experience metrics like net promoter score, customer satisfaction score, and customer effort score. Here are a few types of quantitative questions you can include in your VoC survey: 

  1. CX Metrics (NPS, CSAT, and CES)
    3 metrics to measure customer feedback
    Customer Satisfaction, Customer Loyalty, and Customer Effort are key performance indicators and can be measured through CSAT, NPS, and CES survey questions.

    An example of an NPS question is “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our brand to others?”
    An example of a CSAT question is “On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your experience with us?”
    An example of a CES question is “How would you rate the ease of service experience with our brand?”, which question would prompt the user to select an answer on a scale of ‘very difficult’ to ‘very easy’.

    Customer experience scores are useful for experience analysis and insight generation. They give you a solid foundation to build your customer experience strategy.

  2. Likert Scale
    A Likert scale question consists of a statement like “I am happy with the battery life of the product”, with options for customers to choose from - Strongly Agree, Agree, Neither Agree Nor Disagree, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree.

  3. Dropdown, Button, and Multiple Choice Questions
    Radio button questions consist of choices out of which the survey participant can select one.
    Dropdown questions are similar radio buttons but with a pre-populated dropdown list to select an answer from.
    Multiple choice questions allow participants to select one or more answers to a question.

  4. Picture Rating Questions
    Picture rating questions collect feedback by allowing participants to click on the picture relevant to their experience. Picture rating surveys are quick to take and also very interactive, which can encourage responses.  

Qualitative Questions

It is important to include qualitative questions in your survey to be able to listen to the voice of customers in their own voice. Qualitative questions encourage detailed and honest feedback and are also critical for drawing actionable insights from customers’ answers. You can ask a customer to rate their experience with you and then follow this question up with a second question:

“Please share the reason for your answer.”

This question will help uncover important data about customers' perceptions of the brand and would also highlight the areas of improvement.

So, for a successful and insightful survey campaign, make sure to tap into the power of both quantitative and qualitative questions.VoC Sample Questions

3. Personalize Surveys

Customers always prefer taking surveys when they know where it's coming from and whether they benefit from it. If they receive a survey request from an unrecognized source, chances are they will not open it. So, how do you communicate the same?

By personalizing surveys!

A good VoC survey tool will allow you to customize and personalize your surveys using these features:

  • Answer Piping Answer piping allows you to take the answer from a previous question and insert it into an upcoming question. You can use this feature to personalize your survey by asking a survey participant for their name on the first screen. The name will then be inserted into the next or upcoming screens as required to personalize questions. For example, “Hello Jane! On a scale of 1 to 10, how was your experience shopping with us?” or “Thank you for taking the survey, Jane!”

    A personal touch like this will make a huge difference to your survey and encourage survey completion and survey results.

  • Insertion of Placeholders: A placeholder is a temporary string of characters that is replaced by final data to personalize surveys. It is the perfect solution when you wish to send a survey to all your customers, addressing each one of them by their name.

    A name placeholder would take the names of participants from your contact list and display them respectively in the survey, survey email, subject line, or SMS, even if you send it to hundreds of people with a single click.

  • Pre-Filled Information: In a customer-centric setting, you may have a lot of information that would vary from customer to customer. Pre-filled information helps personalize a single survey for different users by populating information unique to each customer.

    For example, a food delivery brand can send its customers a survey with the question:
    What do you think of your order of [food item(s)] from [restaurant name]?

    Your survey tool would pass the customer data from their purchase record into these brackets, making the survey personalized for each customer. And this is what the survey question would look like this:

VoC Personalized Survey

4. Add Logic to Your Survey

Different customers may have different requirements and experiences. Some questions may not be relevant for a few or more customers. And asking customers to go through each question will not only increase survey time but will also affect the survey experience. But with an intelligent survey tool, you can add logic to your surveys and make sure they flow seamlessly despite different answers customers may give.

There are three types of Survey Logics:

Skip Logic

Skip logic is a feature that determines what screen or question a VoC survey participant sees next based on how they answer the current question. Here’s an example:
Skip Logic-1
In the picture above, if the user selects ‘Yes’ as an answer to the first question, they would be taken to the second screen. And if they select ‘No’ as an answer, the second screen would be skipped, and the participant would be sent directly to the third screen.

You can apply skip logic to multiple survey screens and make your surveys more relevant no matter what answers your customers choose.

Hide or Display Logic

Hide or display logic enables even a single-page survey to change dynamically. Based on the answer respondents select for the current question, the next set of questions is either hidden or displayed without them having to click on “Next”. For example, if a user selects ‘Yes’ for the question ‘Do you have any pets?’, they will be taken to the next question ‘How many pets do you have?’, which is skipped if they select no.

Redirect Logic

The redirect feature of a VoC survey tool allows you to add a custom URL or web link to your survey, that the respondents would be redirected to after completing it. This allows the respondents to delve a little more into your brand and increases traffic to your website. You can also link the product or service page to the survey to create awareness and boost sales. The options are limitless.

5. Avoid Asking Leading Questions

Asking leading questions is a way of manipulating the voice of customers by pointing survey participants in a direction favorable to you. Adding any words or phrases to your questions will meddle with the perception of your customers and affect their answers. And this will make the survey biased and degrade the quality of results.

Here’s an example of a leading question:

How well was your experience with our product?

In the question above, asking the customer ‘how well was your experience’ is assuming that the customer had a good experience with your brand. This manipulates the customers into thinking that they are obliged to give positive or neutral feedback.

On the other hand,

Please share your experience using our product.

This statement tells customers that both positive and negative feedback is welcome. So, if you want unbiased results and reliable customer data, make it a point not to assume customers’ answers while writing a survey questionnaire.

6. Use CX Metrics 

Customer experience metrics allow you to measure your customers' response towards your product, service, branding strategies, innovation, etc.  They help extract accurate insights so that you know where your brand currently stands and how far it needs to go. There are three types of CX metrics used for different purposes:

NPS for Customer Loyalty

Net Promoter Score (NPS) allows you to gauge how willing your customers are to refer you to others and spread positive word-of-mouth. NPS surveys gather feedback and calculate a score that indicates customer loyalty.

NPS VoC surveys allow you to measure your customers’ trust in you and set benchmarks for the business with one simple question — On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends and colleagues?

Scores 9 & 10 indicate Promoters.
Scores 7 & 8 indicate Passives.
And, scores 0-6 indicate Detractors.

Based on the count of promoters, passives, and detractors, the net promoter score is calculated.
NPS surveys also enable you to add a second question seeking the score’s reason to be able to figure out what’s working and what’s not working in your product or business. So basically, this is what your survey would look like:



CSAT Score for Customer Satisfaction

Not all customers can get 100% flawless experiences. But bad experiences can be recovered with the right customer retention strategy. And a critical element of any customer retention strategy is the CSAT score that helps find out what needs to be fixed.

With the help of customer satisfaction score surveys, you can ask your customers about the challenges they experienced with your brand.

For example- On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your experience with us?' or 'What could we do to serve you better?'

A CSAT survey with these kinds of questions will help you understand if you and your customers are on the same page. It would help you identify the areas of improvement for your business and close the feedback loop quickly to retain customers.

Here’s an example:
The management of a Delhi-based clinic installed a kiosk station to collect patient satisfaction data through a CSAT survey. One of the most common complaints was “long waiting time before consultation”. The management prioritized this complaint and made phone and online booking available for patients the same month, clearing a big roadblock between the brand and excellent customer experience. 

Similarly, CSAT surveys can be used in hotels, restaurants, retail stores, exhibitions, etc., to improve the overall experience of customers.

CES for Customer Perceived Effort

Customer Effort Score (CES) is used to measure customers' service experience with your brand. It is used to rate how easy or difficult it was for your customers to interact with your brand, services, or products.
It must be noted that CES does not give you an understanding of customer behavior. Rather, it tells you how successful you are in servicing your customers. With CES data, you can increase your efforts in specific areas and improve customer loyalty. CES Survey Question

7. White-Label Your Surveys

White-labeling is a very interesting feature that allows you to personalize your survey with your brand name, logo, image, etc. When surveys are created on and sent through a third-party platform, the logo of the survey manufacturer brand appears on survey screens. But the white-label feature allows you to replace it with your own logo and branding elements to create a branded survey. 

Not only can you create customized surveys as per your brand image, but you can also host your surveys on your own server, which means that your customers would receive survey requests directly from your domain. And they would be motivated to take your survey since using your own brand builds confidence in customers, thus increasing the response rate. Moreover, white labeling does a great job of promoting your brand and imprinting it in your customers’ minds one survey at a time.

Let’s understand this feature in a little more detail.

White-Label Your Survey

When you white-label your survey, you add your brand-specific logo, background, images, color scheme, etc., to your survey screens. This is a great branding activity since it allows customers an opportunity to interact with the digital face of your brand.

White-Label Your Email Surveys

Usually, survey emails are sent via manufacturer’s email servers. But white-labeling email surveys allows you to change that and use your own email to run your survey campaign. This means that your survey tool manufacturer’s email in the ‘From’ address would change to your own so that it appears to your customers that the email is coming from you. And knowing that the survey is from a credible source can dramatically increase your customers’ interest in taking the survey.

White-Label SMS Surveys

Just like email surveys, SMS surveys are also sent from your survey tool manufacturer’s SMS server. But by white-labelling SMS surveys, you can change your SMS sender ID or SMS header to let your customers know that the survey request is from you.

White-Label Online and Web Surveys

A suspicious or unknown survey link can lead to customers having second thoughts about taking the survey. But by white-labelling online and web surveys, you can personalize your survey domain so that it has the name of your brand in the survey URL. This is what your survey domain would look like:

By using one or more White-Label features, you can customize your survey campaign for your brand and improve your branding. 

8. Design Goodlooking and Appealing Surveys

Hitachi Design Center Researchers Masaaki Kurosu and Kaori Kashimura found that users are highly influenced by the aesthetic appeal of a user interface.

The first thing a customer notices on opening your survey is its design. Therefore, it’s important to put a lot of focus on how you build your survey. A methodical layout, a subtle and relevant background image, an attractive color scheme, and easy-to-read font – all these elements create exceptional survey forms that your customers would find inviting. Getting all of this right will help you increase the participation rate.

Here are some tips to help you create an appealing survey:

  • Font: While selecting a font, your focus should be improving readability and minimizing confusion. So, choose simple and easy-to-read fonts and assign an appropriate font to each survey element, such as heading, title, questions, etc. Make sure to keep the font style and size consistent throughout the survey. Also, refrain from underlining or highlight any text since it may distract or confuse your customers.
  • Colors: The colors used in the survey should be consistent throughout and should increase the ease of taking survey. So, make sure to use a subtle color scheme. You can also use colors that represent your brand to personalize your survey.
  • Background: Consider a background that is in line with your brand and values so that your customers can know that the survey is, in fact, from you. Using a remove background API is one way to achieve this. This allows you to quickly “remove” any existing background from an image or photo so that your logo or website URL can easily be added as a watermark or graphic overlay against a solid color background. You can also use any custom image specific to the survey or go for a template background from our VoC Survey Tool. 
  • Theme: Decision-making in terms of color, font, and image can take time. And a theme simplifies this process and shortens the survey creation time with its pre-defined designed elements, including survey layout, font family, color scheme, etc. You can also customize your theme and use different fonts, colors, and images to make sure that the survey is aligned with your brand identity.

Be it the layout, colors, or font, consistency is key. Your respondents shouldn’t have to wonder if a different color or font means anything different. Organizing the survey intelligently and also perfecting its look and feel will make your survey more engaging and increase survey participation.

Zonka Feedback VoC Surveys

Zonka VoC survey tool is designed to help customer-centric businesses accurately understand the pulse of their customers, derive insights, and close the feedback loop quickly.

Every business has a different approach and connects with its customers on different channels. Keeping that in mind, we have developed a survey tool that allows embedding surveys into websites, mobile apps, emails, and texts. Moreover, you can also conduct on-site surveys in offline mode that allows you to continue feedback collection even when there is no internet access.

You can talk to our team of survey experts and understand how our Voice of Customer tool can help you in designing personalized and attractive surveys using our survey templates and survey builder with different features like white labeling and skip logic. 

Here are a few of all the features that you can get access to with Zonka VoC Survey Software:

  • Customer Satisfaction Score
  • Customer Effort Score
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Customizable Survey Templates
  • Offline Survey Tool
  • Reporting and Analysis Tool
  • Real-Time Feedback
  • Personalized and Branded Surveys

VoC surveys are a very critical part of brand building and product enhancement. And the best part is that creating and distributing digital surveys is easier than ever. Our comprehensive VoC survey tool assists you at every step to help you build surveys flawlessly and collect quality feedback and customer data.

Learn more about Voice of Customer


Written by Bhawika

Aug 27, 2021

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