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Importance of Voice of Customer (VOC) for Retail Industry

Importance of Voice of Customer (VOC) for Retail Industry

Importance of Voice of Customer (VOC) for Retail Industry

Imagine being able to know with absolute certainty what your client wants. What if managing and modifying your product were so simple? Everything, of course, has a cost and requires some effort. Therefore, even though it won't be magic, the voice of the consumer (VoC) or voice of customer research is something that could solve your problem. VoC is a component of the customer experience or customer experience management program, which has revolutionized the retail sector over the past decade. Every brand, no matter how big or small, has been adjusting to its customers' demands using the information they have learned through doing voice of customer research in the retail industry.

What is the voice of customer in the retail industry?

Voice of customer is a part of the CX program for retail industries that uses feedback collection to help brands understand customers and get up close and personal with them, all in the right manner. VoC approach is a core customer-centric approach that utilizes surveys, metrics analysis and most importantly technology to collect and filter through data taken directly from customers. It progressively works on AI-ML to eliminate repetition, errors and bias that would have otherwise occurred in human mechanisms. VoC data and VoC analysis help companies improve their brand as a whole, better customer retention, oversee the right online presence, provide publicity, reduce costs and increase revenue, create personalized promotional campaigns and provide market research that truly helps your brand.

The future of your products (and their sale) entirely depends on your customers. To ensure that there is customer success you need true insight as a retail brand in this market that is constantly evolving. No end to how many competitors you have that are not wasting any time creating the perfect environment and product for their clients. Moreover, with the changing times that we live in, customers are in no compulsion to choose you. They are informed, independent individuals that will cut whenever they feel like their suggestion is not being valued.

To give you a clearer view, the voice of customer program in itself has changed so much to adapt to new customers. Earlier, as we know the VoC approach was qualitative and quantitative. It included personal interviews, ethnographic studies, focus groups and contextual inquiries to gather data which could help retailers change or improvise their products and retail stores in a way that benefits the customers. However, now, researchers have started using more technical components in the VoC method. They are adding meticulous data sets with granular insights that can help make the research more comprehensive. VoC research method now also adds digital solutions, for example, product life management or PLM tools and enterprise VoC software so that your retail brand's product developers can redo the designs based on the most accurate information that the VoC research gives. We have discussed in our previous blogs the 7 ways in which VoC helps collect data and 7 essential VoC customer survey questions and how to analyze them.

So, is VoC the secret weapon for the retail industry?

Yes, we can assure you that it is. How? Here are 4 reasons why the voice of customer program can change your game in the market entirely as a retail brand/retail store:

  1. Relevance and Markdown Reduction

    The best way to possibly shut down a retail business is by not listening to your customers. In the retail industry, the biggest sin you can commit is not engaging, attracting and interacting with your customer. The other big problem you are ensuring takes you down is making your customer feel unheard. All of this comes way before renewing your product and not working on what could work. Your customer has expectations. If you are not meeting them then someone else is, surely. That is where your customers are headed. So what you need to do is run for the market share. Customer trends in the retail industry require you as a retail brand to cater to your customer demand. This can be possible by utilizing the voice of customer research program which can make you relevant in the market and markdown reduction. You can successfully redesign your products and make them unique for your customers. The VoC program can also help you incorporate better planning and pricing strategies. Through the VoC method, you can give your retail rivals a hard competition because they definitely will not have what you have available in your stores, since you heard what your customers had to say.

  2. Sustainability

    What VoC can do stably is provide you with a consumer-centric supply chain and production process. This is possible because the current technology and methodology of setting up a voice of customer research incorporate a more granular approach towards sustainability by using binary codes in customer insights. Through this streamlined and easy-to-access method, you as a retail brand and retailer can get an informed view on what your customer wants to buy. With this as a retail brand, you can get a consumer-led manufacturing principle, relevant assortments, adjusted inventory levels and lesser waste.

  3. Consumer Engagement

    What can directly impact your sales? An awareness on if you should reduce sampling-related costs, minimize discarded merchandise with low customer interest, and decrease oversampling lending to a shortened time to market. What you as a retailer and a retail brand must indulge in is steady consumer engagement that is utilized in product design and store design. VoC successfully does that for you by gathering relevant data.

  4. Production Efficiency and Early Supplier Involvement (ESI)

    Your retail brand needs better planning at the product development stage apart from other operational changes. VoC strategy that can evolve your entire supply chain is the answer to this major retail industry problem. When you leverage VoC, considering it to be a faster data stream to address suppliers and factories of style attributes like colour, material, and shape they can use it to their advantage and plan accordingly. This is called reverse engineering where the product is developed using the consumer's demand. The same works for in-store retail trends. The VoC approach in retail stores helps you reach improved production agility, far less waste, decreased inventory and lesser environmental impact. Research says that retailers can expect about six per cent lesser changes in orders when they include VoC data during the product development process.

With so many benefits through a simple addition like the voice of customer research in retail brands you are sure to skyrocket, even in this difficult market. Voice of customer companies and customer experience companies like Sonata GBW is what you need in this crucial hour.

Our CX solutions are focused on transforming the total customer experience through surveys, metrics, analytics and auditing by using the CXM framework to combine physical measurements with digital Platformation™ capabilities. We are committed to finding the right customer experience strategy that can lead to a competitive advantage.

Sonata GBW is a global technology company specializing in customer experience CX measurement, platform-based digital transformation, supporting businesses to become connected, open, intelligent and scalable. Global coverage of more than 105 markets with over 27 years of market leadership through extensive measurement capabilities, powerful and intuitive reporting and analytics platforms give us the leverage to improve customer experience. It has presence across USA, Canada, EMEA and APAC regions. If you would like to know more about how we can assist you, please fill out the business enquiry form below.