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Voice of the Customer Survey: Questions, Examples, Templates & Methodologies

voice of the customer survey

Businesses constantly use tools, and surveys to understand and listen to their customers. Voice of the customer survey is one of them. 

Assuming that you know everything about your customers without hearing from them is hitting the target in the dark. This ultimately leads to failure, loss of time & resources. If you don’t know what your customers want from the product and what their expectations are, you can’t delight them.

Customers are more aware these days, and they have plenty of options available at a click. Thus, their expectations are higher than ever. If they feel the business isn’t listening to them, they will switch to the competitors. 

From understanding what they like and what they would love to working on their expectations, the feedback helps you improve your services and even win the battle. This is where the rate of customer success is decided.

In this blog, we will understand voice of customer survey, its importance, tips, questions, and advantages of conducting voice of customer survey.

What is the Voice of the Customer Survey?

Voice of customer survey is an in-depth survey methodology businesses use to capture customer feedback. This proactive and consistent strategy bridges the gap between what customers think and what will delight them.

The feedback collected from voice of customer surveys is both qualitative and quantitative. The main motive behind conducting the survey is to understand what and how customers want improvements in the products/services. The end goal is to provide a delightful customer experience

Once a business analyzes all the data, it can understand what changes it should make to satisfy the customers’ needs. 

The data collected in VoC survey is important for 

  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Customer Retention 
  • Lead Generation

The survey also helps in understanding the purchasing behavior of the customers. Before diving deep into the domain of VoC, we need to understand that the voice of the customer program and the voice of the customer survey are two different things. 

Voice of the customer program is a complete set of tools that include voice of the customer survey. Simply, the voice of the customer survey is a part of the voice of the customer program.

Top 5 Benefits of Voice of Customer Survey for Businesses 

We are living in a competitive market where customer satisfaction is a time-sensitive matter. One instance of bad customer experience, you don’t act in time and you will lose customers.

According to a Gartner survey, more than 80% of companies believe in competing largely on the basis of customer experience. That’s a huge number. This clearly highlights that if you want to survive and sustain the business, the customer experience that you provide must be smooth and frictionless. This further ensures that the customers will stay with you longer and become repeat buyers.

A happy customer is a loyal customer. And a loyal customer is a brand advocate.  

Read More: Importance of Customer Satisfaction Survey for Business Growth

Voice of the customer surveys are the most widely used surveys when it comes to capturing customer feedback. These surveys are direct, easy to send, and take less time for the customers to respond. In a nutshell, these surveys help businesses analyze customers’ pain points across their journey and delight them.

“If you had some magic power and were able to discover exactly what customers are craving, and if you also knew how to produce their dream product at a low price, then you would be guaranteed to get rich! Therefore, capturing the exact Voice of the Customer is like striking gold.”     – Kai Yang (Author – Voice of the Customer: Capture and Analysis)

Here are some key factors which highlight why VoC surveys are important in today’s scenario.

1. Customer Experience Enhancement

In light of positive feedback, we often tend to neglect the negative ones. But the negative feedback is as crucial as the positive, sometimes even more. You can learn about the customers’ pain points through negative feedback. After a detailed feedback analysis, you can find out solutions to their pain points. This whole process adds value to the entire customer experience journey. 

A business can never think of delivering lousy customer service. VoC surveys help you understand how successful you have been in delivering quality customer service and how much it has influenced your customer base. VoC surveys provide enough data to look into the customer journey and pain points at every step. This data strengthens a business’s customer experience strategy.

2. Product/Service Improvement

How would you improve your product/service when you don’t know the loopholes? The foundation of the product improvement journey is based on understanding the likes and dislikes of your customers. Thus, you must invest in learning why they like your product. This will help you in exploring the experience. Why they dislike your product will give you enough grounds to bring further improvements in your products to shape them accordingly. 

What if you never get to know that the marketing strategy you are using is not fruitful? The VoC survey tells you this also. For example, customers prefer personalization in every step of their journey, be it product recommendations or problem solutions. Thus, you can mold your strategies accordingly and bring further refinement into how you approach your customer base. 

Businesses can also use VoC surveys for testing new products or features. This saves a lot of time and effort that goes into launching the product directly in the market. For example, you can ask your customers what new features they will want to see in the next production.

3. Customer Retention

Nothing is constant in this world. Everything tends to change, even your existing customers. So, if you think all of your existing customers will stick to you all the time, think again! What if your competitor lures your customers by offering the same services or better quality at competitive prices? 

Voice of the customer survey helps you identify the roadblocks in the journey of customer delight. When you learn if you are providing the right things your customers deserve, you are on the right track. But it does not take long to break the year-long efforts you have put into creating the customer base. So, listen to your existing customers as well. 

Improved customer experience surely is the path to improved customer retention. A customer who has a good experience with your brand is a satisfied customer and a satisfied customer will certainly stay with you. Capturing customers’ feedback helps you understand the loopholes in the process and adjust the functions in sync.

4. Eliminate Negative Image

One instance of bad experience (be it product or CX) and the frustrated customer is likely to put negative feedback across review websites, social media, word of mouth, and whatnot. You can calculate the potential damage this can do to your business. Thus, before the customers reach the review portals, you reach them with feedback surveys and get their feedback for further improvement. This process never stops, and you need to proactively keep your customers in the loop.

You can instantly track negative feedback using Qualaroo, a powerful voice of the customer tool.

5. Insights into Customer Behavior

Knowing your customers is a critical part of every business’s success story. You can use a VoC survey to capture the customer feedback and know them in-depth. Through the feedback captured, you will know about your customers as well as the experience they have with your product. 

Once you are fully aware of what your customers expect from you, you can shape your strategies in the same direction. When the customer and the business are both on the same page, the journey and experience are a delight! 

When you actively listen to your customers, act on the feedback for improvement and close the feedback loop positively, you are building stronger relationships with your customer base. This entire process conveys that you care about your customers, their needs, and their expectations. 

According to The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: In Brands We Trust? 

“A majority of customers considered brand trust as an important factor which can influence their buying decision.” 

Businesses can capture customer feedback in multiple ways. However, voice of customer surveys are the easiest way to capture customer feedback. The flexibility and ease of use these surveys provide, make them the top choice. 

When customers are satisfied with your offerings and are connected with you emotionally, they will be loyal to you and even advocate your brand. This further adds to revenue generation without spending much on marketing activities. 

10 Best Practices for Creating Voice of Customer Survey

Tracking the blindspots and meeting the customer where they are stuck enables you to improve customer satisfaction.

VoC survey is the easiest way to capture qualitative data as well as quantitative data (based on questions). As easy as it may sound, the process can get a little overwhelming, especially when you are creating the voice of the customer surveys for the first time. However, we have tried to cut down the mind-boggling task and come up with the best tips for creating voice of the customer surveys. 

  • Set Goals: Without having a clear path in mind, embarking on the journey will land you in trouble. Yes, the very important step is deciding the goal. What do you want to achieve by conducting this survey? And then structure the survey based on your honest answer. Also, the goals should be scalable. 

    If you wish to know why your customer retention rate is low, your goal should be ‘Knowing why existing customers are leaving,’ instead of ‘Understanding customer satisfaction.’

  • Simple, Short  & Straight: Simple and straight (to-the-point) surveys have a high response rate. No customer likes to fill out lengthy, essay-type surveys. Neither do they have time nor they will respond to such surveys. This ultimately will lead to a low response rate. Thus, simple surveys (VoC surveys) have high response rates. 
  • Use Multiple Questionnaires: If your survey contains only open-ended questions, you are likely to experience a low response rate. Try engaging your customers using multiple question types, else chances are that the customer may get bored. Keep the tone conversational to engage the customers. This will undoubtedly result in capturing actionable, insightful responses. 
  • Pick the Right Feedback Tool: You can’t capture good customer feedback in absence of a good VoC survey tool. Imagine being flooded with data that the tool isn’t capable of handling! It also depends on the business requirements.
  • Send Survey at the Right Time: There’s no point in sending a survey when it does not serve the purpose. Sending the survey at the right time also is a factor. Thus, it’s better to send the survey soon after the purchase or after the first interaction to capture fresh data. 
  • Offer an Incentive: One of the best ways to increase the response rate is by including incentives in the surveys. A tangible benefit for the time and effort customers have put into filling out the survey attracts them. You can offer discounts, shopping coupons, free plans, etc. 
  • Eliminate Leading Questions: This is one more factor that can result in a low response rate. If your customers sense that they are being manipulated, they will skip the survey. Avoid twisting the questions to force them to answer in certain ways. This even leads to trust issues with them. Let them answer what they feel like answering. 
  • Open with Overall Rating Question: Bombarding the customers directly with straight questions may not work. This way, chances are that the customers will answer those questions instantly without moving to the questions that demand depth. Therefore, creating such an arrangement of questions that can make them answer honestly. 
  • Include a Free Form text Space: What if your customers want to add something, but your survey has no free space for extra comments? This becomes crucial when that concern isn’t highlighted in the survey at all. Thus, adding a free text space in the survey lets the customers mention those personal experiences. This may be a turning point; who knows? 
  • Add a Thank You Note: Including a thank you note at the end of the survey is good practice. You should thank your customers for their time and effort in answering and filling out your survey. If you haven’t been adding thank you notes to your surveys, start doing it. 

Voice of Customer Surveys Questions With Examples

The questions to be included in the voice of the customer surveys largely depend on the motive behind conducting the surveys. Right questions will lead to the right answers and that is what you need from VoC surveys. Confusing, lengthy questions will bore the customers, resulting in a reduced response rate. 

A business must capture customer feedback at all the stages of the customer lifecycle, including 

  • Awareness 
  • Engagement 
  • Evaluation 
  • Purchase
  • Post Purchase 
  • Product Development 
  • Improvement

Here are some common questions that you should include in your voice of the customer survey.

1. VoC Purchase Intent Questions

These questions give a holistic understanding of why a customer wants to purchase from you or why the customer has chosen not to purchase. Overall, these type of questions highlight the purchasing behavior of the customers. If the customer had some trouble purchasing from you, you can find out the issues.

Some sample voice of customer questions to include in this questionnaire are:

  • Have you made a purchase? 
  • What did you like about the product?
  • If you haven’t purchased it, can you tell us the reason?
  • What made you decide to purchase from us?
  • What stopped you from purchasing if you have pending items in your cart?
  • If you have pending items in your cart, can you help us out with any factor that can help you purchase them?

2. VoC Service Questions

Learning if the customers are satisfied with the service is an important step. This questionnaire helps businesses process an in-depth analysis of their defined service standards. 

Some sample voice of the customer survey questions to include in this questionnaire are:

  • Was the service representative able to answer your questions?
  • Was the service representative able to resolve your query?
  • Are you satisfied with the solution provided by the service representative?
  • How would you rate our customer service on a scale of 1 to 10?
  • Was it easy to connect with our support team?
  • Did you get an instant response from the support representative?
  • What do you expect from our customer service team after purchasing a product?

3. VoC Origin & Purpose Questions

Customers reach you through various channels. This set of questions informs you how the customer discovered your products.  

Some sample voice of the customer survey questions to include in this questionnaire are:

  • How did you hear about our brand/product?
  • Where did you learn about our company/product?
  • What were you looking for on our website?
  • Did you find what you were looking for on our website?
  • What are you planning to purchase today?

4. VoC Brand Perception Questions

This set of questions gives you deep insights into the customers’ perception of your brand/product. You can learn what comes to their mind when they think of your product. These questions collect action, descriptive, cognitive, emotional, etc., types of customer responses. 

Some sample voice of customer questions to include in this questionnaire are:

  • What comes to your mind when you think of our brand/product?
  • Where have you seen or heard of our brand, product in the past months?
  • Do you know what we offer? If you do, how did you hear about our brand?
  • How would you describe our products to a friend or a colleague? 
  • How likely are you to recommend our brand to your friends or colleagues?
  • How was your last experience with our brand?
  • What have you heard about our brand, products, or services?
  • What was your first impression when you interacted with our brand for the first time?

5. VoC Loyalty and Recommendation Questions

Loyal customers are your brand advocates. They are valuable assets and share good things about your products and services with their friends and family. This set of questionnaires helps you measure their loyalty and how likely they will recommend you to their friends and family.

Some sample voice of customer survey questions to include in this questionnaire are:

  • Do you find us a high-quality brand?
  • How would you rate our products in terms of value for money?
  • Do you trust our products and services?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate us as compared to our competitors?
  • How likely are you to recommend our products, or services to your friends and family?
  • Will you purchase from us in the future?
  • What is the value add brought by our products?

6. VoC New Product/Feature Testing Questions

Making new products or adding new features without even understanding if these features will add value to your customers’ lives results in product failure. Thus, you should capture the feedback from your customers and know their opinions. 

Some sample voice of customer survey questions to include in this questionnaire are:

  • Do you think the new product/feature adds value to your life? If yes, how?
  • What is the thing that you don’t like about our existing product? And why?
  • What elements do you consider while purchasing a product?
  • What do you think about the new features added to the product?
  • Do you think the product will be improved by adding new features?
  • Do you think we should launch more such products? Which products and why?
  • In your daily life, are you using similar products from any other brand?

7. VoC Competitive Analysis Questions

Have you ever asked how they perceive your competitors? This set of voice of customer questionnaires helps you capture detailed insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your products against the competitors. 

Some sample questions to include in this voice of customer questionnaire are:

  • What made you purchase from us, not from the competitors?
  • What features do we have better than the competitors?
  • Who are the top three competitor brands that come to your mind when you think of us?
  • How can we stand out from the competitors and do better?
  • Name a brand you would buy from in our absence.
  • Would you like to share some feedback? 

Read More: 21 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey Questions to Ask

Voice of the Customer Survey Templates to Use

Creating a VoC template helps you a lot in saving time and effort. The questions included in a Voice of the customer survey template enable you to understand the expectations your customers have for your brand. The key to a successful VoC survey is that you capture exactly what your customer feels about your brand without any dilution in the survey. 

Taking exact note of the pain points of your customers, you get a deep understanding of the buying behavior/decision. This further helps you shape your strategy accordingly.

What are the customers’ complaints? What are their expectations from you? How can you solve their complaints?
I like shopping for veggies and fruits online, but I can not recommend this shopping store to my friends since the last time I ordered fruits online, most of them were not fresh. Fresh veggies and fruits Ensuring veggies and fruits are fresh and not damaged.
Also, their checkout process is lengthy and tiresome. Every time I have to log in to their app and run the checkout process from scratch. I wish I could be done in just a couple of moments. Smooth checkout process The steps included in the checkout process should be reduced to a minimum. This will save time, and customers won’t have to go through a lengthy process.
They don’t have many payment options. More payment options in the app Including more payment options for easy transactions for customers’ convenience. Customers can choose their choice of payment mode.

VoC templates help you create VoC surveys in minutes. Thus, it is better to brainstorm and come up with the best possible scenarios to capture feedback from the customers.

Voice of the Customer Survey Methodologies

Imagine walking into a shoe store, and spending some time looking around. The manager walks up to you and asks,

Did you find what you were looking for at our store?”

Now, if you say yes, that means you are satisfied, but if you say no, they will understand that they failed to meet your expectations. 

You won’t even realize that it was an important survey feedback. Your answers helped the business in improving. Such experience questions are often asked at the stores. 

A business should ask VoC questions in a well-structured, systematic way. 

According to a KPMG study:

  • 86% of customers are likely to recommend your brand to their friends or family.
  • 66% of customers will put positive reviews online after a good experience.

You can use active methods as well as passive methods to capture feedback. Every interaction you have with your customers, lets you know your customers’ behavior, satisfaction level, brand loyalty, etc.

1. Focus Group

Focus groups include a small customers’ group that share their feelings towards a particular brand or product. This type of structure enables the customers to share their opinions about you openly, which are hard to capture otherwise using other feedback methodologies. 

Focus groups differ from customer interviews as they include small groups of customers whereas customer interviews are one-on-one direct discussion with the customers.

2. NPS

NPS (Net Promoter Score) is a feedback analysis method used to examine how customers feel about your product or service. This voice of the customer methodology includes questions like, ‘How likely are you to recommend our products/service to your friends or family?’

Such questions help you understand how happy or satisfied your customers are with your product/services. A good thing here is that this tool lets you identify the detractors, and you can work on your strategies to convert them to promoters.

promoters detractors and passives

3. Live Chat

Live chat is probably among the most preferred customer interaction channels, establishing a direct connection between both ends. This fast customer support channel is highly effective and offers instant support. Customers use live chat to seek help in several situations, such as pricing, shipping, purchasing, delivery, missing product, etc. 

These queries sent by customers help you understand their pain points. You can immediately respond via live chat and take the necessary actions to resolve those queries.

4. Online Surveys

Businesses usually send online surveys after customers interact with your product/service. There are multiple ways these surveys can be forwarded to the customers and fit perfectly when you plan to survey a large customer base.

online surveys

These surveys let you assess both qualitative as well as quantitative data easily. The data analysis of these findings helps businesses understand a lot about their customer base and see how they can improve further to match the expectations.

Read More: 15 Best Online Survey Tools (Free+Paid)

5. Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool and one of the most widely used channels for customer engagement. Customers these days use social media to share their feelings, opinions about any brand or services a business offers. This tool has a huge customer base who engages in online activities every day. Thus, social media can be used to capture the voice of the customers. 

Keeping a track of brand mentions over social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) helps you find a lot of data (customers, their pain points, time, etc.). Taking a note of these elements lets you plan strategies accordingly to solve their queries. One thing to note here is that customers share their opinion or experiences but not communicate with you directly.

Read More: Best Ways to Utilize Social Media for Customer Surveys

6. Customer Interviews

Customer interviews are structured to capture feedback for one or two customers at a time. It does not include a large customer base. The process consumes time but emphasizes a lot on the customers being interviewed. The personalized approach of customer interviews helps you gauge into their thought processes. 

The findings of this VoC methodology give you highly specific data into the key factors that are positively or negatively impacting the customer satisfaction level. Since you are communicating with the customers directly, there are no chances of dilution. Also, you can use UCaaS platforms that unite all business communication channels and third-party software integrations within one unified platform to prevent miscommunications.

7. Feedback Form

Businesses put feedback forms on their websites so that the customers can fill those forms. This is the way which customers use to share their good or not so good reviews about the business. These forms are open to every visitor and contain some questions to gauge into their behavior. 

There are several ways to use feedback form on the website, such as pop-up feedback form, or chatbots. These forms can contain various forms of questions, such as single question to multi-questions. 

Read More: 15+ Best Mobile In-App Feedback Tools

8. Website Behavior

If you are trying to capture the passive behavior of the customers, website behavior is a great way. This methodology enables you to capture data, such as how many customers are on the website, which pages are they browsing through, where they spend more time, how long they spend their time, etc. 

Improving websites based on the data collected further improves website performance and enhances customer satisfaction and engagement level.

9. Online Reviews

Reviews are yet another powerful source of gaining customer insights. There are several customer review portals, such as Yelp, Local Guides, TrustPilot, etc. Customers visit these websites to share their honest opinions about the experience they had with a product/service. 

Businesses analyze this data to ensure that they meet their customers’ expectations. They can further capture all the negative data to analyze how they can improve themselves so that they can stay with their customers.

Increase Customer Success with Voice of the Customer Surveys

It takes a lot to be the customer favorite. Voice of the Customer Surveys can consume some time, thus avoid rushing into things haphazardly. This whole process of surveying customers and proactively listening to them isn’t going to end in a day or two; rather, it’s a long-term strategy that continues actively. 

So far, we have understood the importance of proactive listening and how it works. Customer success of any business largely depends on how satisfied customers are with the services. And VoC Surveys are the best ways to know about customer satisfaction level. If the level is not as per the standards, it means the business needs to take necessary measures to bridge the gap and find solutions. 

An important thing to remember there is the success rate of the VoC survey as well. If not implemented correctly at the right time, the survey data may not be as accurate and valuable, leading to a lot of time and resource wastage. This will lead to poor VoC scores.  Thus, you must use VoC techniques that can help you capture customer data in real time without any discrepancies. ProProfs Survey Marker tool ensures that you capture original data, and process the analysis in a time-efficient manner. The tool comes with ready-to-use survey templates.

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About the author

Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, Foundr, and CXL. As a customer support executive at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in developing a complete customer support system that more than doubled customer satisfaction. You can connect and engage with Jared on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.