Topic(s): CX & Business Strategy

Choose your Voice of Customer tools wisely

Finally, let’s talk shop. Just as you must take your customers seriously, so must you take your VOC tool if you wish to capture meaningful conversations, rather than senseless chatter.

Tool being the operative word, a Voice of the Customer platform comprises applications and processes used to collect and analyze direct, indirect and inferred customer feedback pulled from surveys, customer service interactions, product reviews, social media, etc., All of it is intended to help you boost your customer-centricity and your business operations through data-driven decision-making.

The existing VOC software span from basic quantitative data collection tools, including survey makers, survey placers and web scraping, to sophisticated AI-powered text analysis, like sentiment analysis, automatic support ticket tagging, data mapping, etc. Others focus more on reporting (with visualizations and predictive analyses) though this is usually built into the previous two, displaying insights in a comprehensive format so that every team across every level of the company can leverage them for growth.

We’ve rounded up a selection of the best Voice of the Customer tools based on several features we at Hello Customer consider must-haves.

Voice of the Customer Platforms: Make the conversation compelling

Don’t waste your customer’s time nor underestimate their intelligence. The more intuitive the User Experience (UX), the more completion rates surge. Privilege a sleek User Interface (UI) that makes customers want to engage with you. For your survey, you’ll want diverse question types, but with crisp and concise formulations to gain precise answers in return.

Dare to Share

Make sure your VOC survey reaches your various targeted audiences based on their uses and preferences. This means having a customer segmentation tool (more on that below) and multiple-channel options so you can share your surveys via email, QR code, embedded links, instant messaging, social media, depending on the preferred channel of a specific audience.

Make it Mobile and Multi-Device

This is an obvious one but believe it or not it still hasn’t sunk in. Customers can no longer be bothered to deal with anything on their desktop alone. You must make your surveys mobile-first and multi-device (ideally omni-device!).

Send and Repeat

If you’re thinking you’re going to capture reliable insights from a single survey, you’re mistaken. A survey has to be implemented consistently. This can prove to be quite tedious and labor intensive, burning valuable time, effort and resources. Look for tools that can automate your recurring surveys.

Audience Segmentation

This is key. Using Voice of the Customer data, you will find out who among your customers are satisfied (potential ambassadors), dissatisfied (detractors), and indifferent (passives), so you can then design personalized follow-up surveys for each.

Data Drilling

You’re going to want to see the big picture. For that you need a VOC tool that drills through the data to reveal overarching themes, allowing you to know where your company repeatedly fails to deliver on customers’ expectations. But you’re also going to want to see the fine print, and for that you’ll need to be able to drill down on the data collected to disclose rich insights and uncover blind spots. Such feedback is an invaluable help to refine your product quality, create more captivating marketing copy and deliver an enhanced customer experience. 

 

 

Now, based on these criteria, who among our fine competitors make the cut? We’ve selected 15 top contenders. But because not all VOC tools are created equal and not everyone’s enterprise ambitions and resources are the same, we’ve chosen to separate the incursive challengers from the established players (namely, for pricing purposes), plus added a few dark horses that get honorable mentions in our book.

Established players for large companies with massive budgets:

Qualtrics: Initially designed for academic research, Qualtrics helps business owners compile extensive feedback at every critical user interaction (it offers 100+ question types) then automates the routing of each piece of information to the expert best capable of addressing it thus empowering highly qualified decisions. Terrific for customer insights but also for exhaustive market research and concept testing.

Podium: One of the fastest growing cloud-based customer feedback software in history (and a Forbes favorite for the 3rd time in a row), Podium offers an efficient, consolidated solution, which provides instant and intuitive feedback in a single dashboard. The tool enables companies to proactively connect with their customers, by soliciting customer generated reviews or providing personalized messaging tools, to drive more business.

Medallia: Centered on experience management (XM), or rather the “voice of everyone”, Medallia aims to improve experiences for all those evolving within a company’s entire ecosystem: employees, customers, partners, stakeholder, vendors. Through real-time alerts, fast insights and rigorous reporting, it aligns and empowers everyone to act smart even in the heat of the moment.

InMoment: Delivers amazingly granular data as well as multi-location support. Leverages voice, text, video as well as active listening to collect customer feedback. Additionally, one of the few software that really prompts customers to leave online reviews. Pricy, but because it’s designed for larger companies, solutions are custom-built for each business. Around the clock support, highly responsive and an impressive reporting center.

Zendesk Sunshine Conversations. Formerly known as Smooch, Sunshine Conversations is Zendesk’s open and flexible CRM platform. It’s designed to help businesses break down data siloes by connecting and consolidating customer feedback all in one place and implicating employees across the board. With Sunshine Conversations, companies can unify conversations across every digital channel to ensure key business functions such as marketing, service and sales have the needed context to provide the best customer experiences.

SMB Challengers on the rise, and for good reason:

Hello Customer: Well, obviously we had to include ourselves. Turning 7 next year, our solution has grown exponentially to become an all-encompassing end-to-end feedback alternative catering to companies of all sizes and budgets. Our centralized platform enables omnichannel feedback collection and prioritization, and delivers real-time insights, highlighting urgencies thanks to state-of-the-art AI (we call him Isaac) text analytics. Our two-fold reporting approach dispatches the refined data insights to front-line and back-office teams in specifically tailored formats, to help companies devise “insightful” initiatives and implement them swiftly from top to bottom.

Feedier: While traditional VOC solutions require elite data specialists and CX experts, Feedier is the democratized Voice of the Customer platform. Its super user-friendly solution simplifies sophisticated feedback intelligence, makes it digestible, accessible and easily actionable for everyone across the workforce, from the CEO down to the frontline.

SurveySparrow: SurveySparrow’s conversational UI is so sexy (bundling Customer Experience and Employee Experience tools such as NPS, Offline, Chat, Classic, and 360° mobile-optimized Surveys), the tool promises a 40% hike in responses right off the bat. And with a pricing plan that’s soft on the wallet, round-the-clock support and tons of personalized features, that now include video surveys, SurveySparrow bumps up the customer engagement bar.

SurveyMonkey: There’s a reason why this tool is pretty much ubiquitous (used by literally millions of businesses across the world): It is the smart choice when it comes to customer feedback collection. An abundance of features, though there are so many some are hard to find, with configurable and collaborative options built-in, SurveyMonkey serves all your survey needs. It also happens to offer the best-in-class security encrypted survey platform.

AskNicely: No fuss and no frills, AskNicely primarily measures NPS, the industry standard for measuring loyalty and predicting growth. Plus, it offers a user-friendly analytics dashboard with real-time data and a slick and simple interface.

And last, but by all means not least:

Chattermill: Its name doesn’t do it justice. Chattermill is no nonsense and as such no chatterbox. It allows companies to effectively hear their customers by leveraging top-notch AI technology. Using natural language processing tools and sentiment analysis across multiple touchpoints, it generates insights that feed data-driven platforms that are further integrated with third-party systems enabling companies to fully apprehend the Voice of the Customer like never before yielding quantifiable results… fast (This is our favorite, can you tell?)

Honorable mentions, because sometimes less is more, depending on what you need:

CustomerSure: A centralized customer feedback stream with features like Reviews and HelpDesk. More interestingly, it offers a neat, personalized follow-up option that aims to get businesses closer to their target customers.

UserReport: Is exactly that. A User Report that informs you about who your users are, and what they want to do. It runs on two simple tools – a survey and a feedback forum. Operating as an integrated part of your website or app, it lets you interact directly with your users and learn who they are, what they are looking for – and how they think you can improve.

Typeform: Very practical when it comes to embedding additional elements such as videos and images; and the interactive, one-question-at-a-time format of the survey experience is very popular thanks to its simplicity.  

piHappiness is rather original in its “mixed” use of metrics like emoticons, NPS scores, feedback categories and reasons, single and multiple questionnaires and open text using tablets, iPads, online surveys to capture customer satisfaction. With customized reports and dashboards, real-time feedback, you can immediately analyze and react fast to quickly resolve issues. A super elegant and intuitive interface, with features you don’t usually get on traditional survey platforms, we love its look and feel.

Now you’re wondering: Well, what about Hello Customer?

We believe actions speak louder than words. So, perhaps it’s best you test drive our tool and see for yourself, not to mention discover our new version of ISAAC, the cutting-edge AI powering our own VOC solution. Request a demo.