What VOC Is

At its simplest, VOC is just a fancy term for surveys that solicit feedback about your site or your organization. The invitation may come from a pop-up message when visitors first arrive at your site, or from a feedback button on a page. It may even come from an email message that you send to customers.

The surveys use a variety of questions and formats to gauge how respondents feel about things. They also collect data on the respondents so that analysts can correlate the responses to specific groups.

There are four main reasons for companies to conduct VOC studies.

To get new ideas

Your customers may have motivations or concerns you’re not aware of, and asking them can yield new ideas. Once you have an idea, you need to then find out whether it is valid and applies to a broader audience, or is limited to just a few respondents.

To evaluate things you can’t find out elsewhere

This can be particularly helpful in evaluating your competitive environment. For example, if you’re running a media site, you may want to identify direct competitors (other media sites, for example) and indirect competitors (television or movie theatres) your visitors are aware of.

To see whether improvements worked

This may be a simple evaluation—asking for a user’s impression of a new feature—or it may involve comparing satisfaction scores before and after an upgrade to see whether users prefer the new approach.

To collect demographic data (such as age and income) that you can’t get elsewhere

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