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What is VOC Data? Our guide to the benefits of VOC data collection, analysis, and use

While listening to customers and improving the quality of products and services are essential for companies to grow, many companies may not know exactly how to collect customer opinions.

With tightening privacy regulations limiting how much information can be passively collected, many have seen a need for more data that is consciously provided to companies and consumer brands through survey panels. These panels, when used correctly, let direct-to-consumer businesses leverage customer feedback for more one-on-one connections with their customers.

In this article, we will explain more about VOC (Voice of Consumer) data, and the benefits of using survey panels to collect, analyze, and use such data.

Table of Contents

  1. What is VOC Data?
  2. How to Collect VOC Data
    • Social Networks, Personal Blogs, Review Sites
    • Contact Forms
    • Surveys
  3. Using Survey Panels to Resolve Issues Related to Collecting VOC Data
    • What is a Survey Panel?
    • Survey Panel Merits
  4. Conclusion

What is VOC Data?

VOC data refers to any feedback or reaction to a company or brand, including opinions, requests, and even complaints. It can come from data provided unconsciously by the customers, such as through cookie data or behavioural logs, to data provided consciously, such as from call centers, social networking sites or review sites, or online surveys. As such, the data quality and type can vary widely. Improving this data quality is key for helping companies understand how to improve their products and services.

How to Collect VOC Data

Social Networking Sites, Personal Blogs, Review Sites

Social listening, which involves collecting customer feedback from various online platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, personal blogs, or review sites, is an important part of VOC data collection. In particular, tuning in to social networking sites is an important tool for understanding the real feelings of customers and analysing their needs, as individuals can freely post information that can be widely spread. However, it is highly important to determine what information is valid, as social listening data may contain irrelevant or false information.

Call Centres and Contact Forms

Traditionally, corporate call centres collected user feedback via telephone or emails. These days however, companies are creating a diverse range of ways for consumer interaction, from online contact forms, to chatbots and messaging app accounts. This diversity of contact points allows for greater consumer interaction, but may also be difficult for brands and companies to manage successfully.

Surveys

Paper-based surveys, the gold standard of voice of consumer data collection until recently, are increasingly viewed as costly and burdensome for both users and those collecting the data. Instead, many companies are introducing online questionnaires, which not only reduce printing and labor costs, but also increase the speed and efficiency of data collection, not to mention address hygiene concerns introduced with the spread of Covid-19. One particular advantage to online surveys is that users can respond to them at their own convenience, regardless of time or location, thus significantly improving response rates. Surveys can be sent to those who actually purchased a product or service, and as the data is consciously provided to companies by the customer, it overcomes some consumer privacy issues.

Using Survey Panels to Resolve Issues Related to Collecting VOC Data

What is a Survey Panel?

In recent years, survey panels have emerged as an exciting way to address many VOC data collection issues. What are survey panels? They are databases of individuals (“panellists”) who have agreed to participate in surveys conducted by a company or consumer brand, in exchange for some kind of compensation. Some of their usual characteristics include:

  • Registration by the panellist is mandatory
  • Surveys are administered to the same panellists on a regular basis
  • Panellist attributes are stored in a central database
  • Panellists can choose the timing, device, and location of their response, allowing for a high degree of freedom in response

Survey Panel Merits

Considering the definition above, what are the advantages of using a survey panel, especially when compared to regular online surveys? Although each survey will have different merits and demerits depending on the situation and purpose, we will try to summarize the main advantages for using survey panels to collect VOC data.

1. Low Data Collection Costs

Because survey panels already have a streamlined system for incentive payments to panellists, the collection costs associated with data collection, including recruitment and reward payments, can be significantly reduced.

2. High Response Rate

Because of the survey panels’ nature as databases of people willing to take surveys on a regular basis, survey panellists are more likely to participate in surveys than the average consumer, resulting in a higher response rate compared to one-time surveys. In addition, by having panellists complete surveys on a regular basis, they will have a higher level of engagement with the brand or company conducting the survey, and their response rate will be higher than if the survey was only conducted once a year.

3. Recontacting Panellists is Possible

Because panellist demographic information is stored in the panel database, it is not necessary to ask panellists the same questions, again and again. Furthermore, panellists can be asked follow-up questions or can participate in studies over a period of time, allowing for their feedback throughout product development, from beginning to end.

4. Targeting Panellists is Possible

Using panellist demographic information recorded at the time of registration or previous surveys, it is possible to narrow down a survey’s target audience to a particular group of people in advance. This also improves the survey experience for respondents, as they will only receive surveys suitable for them.

5. Improved Engagement Rates

Because participation in a panel is not a one-time event, but a continuous engagement, surveys can be conducted on a regular basis. This continuous engagement often leads to results that customers can see, from improved products and services to visible solutions to customer pain points. Because customers can see improvement, they feel that their voices make a difference. Furthermore, increased customer dialogue through panels, such as sharing the results of surveys or sharing how opinions shape products, not to mention incentives and rewards for participation, will increase customer engagement.

Conclusion

If VOC data can be properly collected, analysed, and used, it can lead to greater corporate growth through engagement with a company’s greatest fans. In particular, a survey panel’s strength lies in using it as a tool for two-way communication based on mutual consent and understanding, instead of as a linear feedback tool. In this respect, survey panels are often more beneficial to companies than simply monitoring anonymous feedback sites or social media, or using third party cookies for advertising and tracking users across the internet without their consent. We hope that you will consider using survey panels to help build your business and brand, to really understand what your customers are thinking.

If you have any questions about Koeerü’s online survey panel systems, please feel free to contact us.

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