The voice of customer (VoC) can be defined as a process for gathering and fetching customers’ needs with respect to specific products or services. All the suggestions, needs, and requirements of the customer cloud are organized into a hierarchical structure to make strategies in accordance with all those proposals. In addition, these strategies are implemented on a priority basis to achieve the satisfaction of customers in terms of value addition. The process involves both qualitative as well as quantitative research tools and methodologies. In other words, there can be four dimensions of Voice of Customer, i.e., demands by the customer community, structural organization, prioritizing the needs, and finally, implantation of policies and strategies for customer satisfaction (Freeman & Radziwill, 2018).
Moreover, these steps are generally taken at the start of any firm’s process, service, or product. In further proceeding, VOC proves to be decisive a key factor and input to formulate and prepare new products according to customers’ expectations, needs of the time, or market trends. This process has given marvelous outputs for developers in terms of speedy growth and development of the respective firms.
Moreover, successful VOC is a very significant and decisive role player in firms’ development. Various hotels have used the organization-based self-esteem system to capture the feedback and increase the customer clouds. This system has achieved multiple purposes like strengthening the employees’ service, changing the mindset of employees, improving services, and doing value addition. These goals have been achieved based on customers’ suggestions. This system proved to create a dual dimensional effect concerning customers’ satisfaction as well as enhanced efficiency of staffing of respective restaurants. In this context, the individual managerial staff has an opportunity to supervise the subordinates in a better way and also focus on customer satisfaction to attain a high reputation for their hotel. Such effects can streamline the gesture of high competition in the food industry (Huang & Kwok, 2021).
In addition, VOC can be proved a game-changer in business worldwide due to its magnificent and massive applications. Along with customers’ feedback and experiences, it can shape any company’s strategic decision-making and improve the relationship between the firm and customers. The process is trust gaining tools from the customers, and in return, the company, organization, or firm can make growth by leaps and bounds. In this context, research analysis tools have helped and guided many organizations to utilize VoC data pool and take timely decisions to impose and generate positive impacts. Ultimately, respective organizations have sprouted their businesses, and a new world emerged. It is not wrong to say that VoC has played a fundamental role in shaping and formulating the present-day technological age compared to past times. This process has left indelible imprints in human history in a brief period of time.
Furthermore, the voice of customer (VoC) is not an ancient or outdated concept in the field of business, industry, or administration. A historical perspective states that it was as early as in 1990’s when this term was used for the first time. The concept of VOC was originated by Graffin and Houser when they provided its definition in their research paper in 1993 (Griffin & Hauser, 1993). After the concept and definition, a long pause of a decade is observed in terms of any further development regarding this concept. However, Gerald M. Katz (2001) stated that product development could be improved by using VoC concept in any market research for the first time. In 2001 VOC was the first time not bound to any specific market, but its applications were expanded to all the industries and firms concerning paying heed to customers’ feedback. However, in 2005 it was further clarified that improving VoC and successful customers’ feedback is either critical or absolutely critical according to most executive bodies.
However, in modern times the successful VOC is essential for the growth and progress of any firm. In other words, understanding, interpreting, and implementing the needs and requirements of customers is mandatory for any organization and firm to gain set goals. In addition, with speedy developments in the world of the internet and information technologies, the concept is vigorously practiced. In this concern, various social media platforms are helpful to analyze and make strategies regarding customers’ needs. It is like a guarantee of a successful product along with a high-value addition over time.
Review of Literature:
Alowad et al. (2020) concluded that problems and issues of the emergency department (ED) could be resolved by specific tools integrated with VoC. In this context, the major concerns deal with service quality and satisfaction of patients regarding the emergency department. Various demonstrated issues include lacking beds, limited emergency staff, communication gap between patients and staff, and delay of services. In this context, a successful VOC program is pretty helpful to address such issues based on customers’ prioritized needs and demands. VoC perspective along with VOP may enhance patient flow, improve patients’ satisfaction, and amplified emergency capacity, increase infrastructure and nourished health facilities, etc. based on successful VOC; a future plan must be proposed to activate streamline in the emergency department and lessen the waiting time for patients to acquire health facilities.
Moreover, the traditional VOC approaches can be transformed towards digital data tools in a massive capacity. Such tools and aligned methods can provide sufficient and more efficient customer data. A most appropriate and typical example is smartphone usage in this regard, with a lot of advantages that were even hard to imagine in the past. In addition, the research application used for this purpose is termed “mobile market research applications (MMRAs)”. It is worth understanding that MMRAs can provide access to data customers at the initial stages and also eradicate ambiguities due to modern innovation. Similarly, it can transform the organizational setups and old mindset to new horizons of modern technology. The only need for this tool is an accommodation of the new methods by the respective teams of organizations. These teams are supposed to restructure themselves according to the need for technology and intend to reorganize the ongoing projects on the lines devised by this application (Green et al., 2020).
Singh et al. (2021) reported that various surface interfaces could provide multiple ways to interact with customers and films in modern times. It is a machine age having evolved and embedded with automation innovations, robotics progress, and artificial intelligence, which are expanding day by day. The framework regarding film capacities can be operated based on one voice to deliver diverse customer clouds. In this connection, the customer data pool and their feedback must be integrated to deliver a trustworthy and excellent interface. The world is facing coherent and harmonious streams of customer engagement in industries. Hence, the success of VoC also relies upon the same principle. In addition, such a framework can be delivered better results by proposing three themes. These themes may include the interrelationship of interaction space, various devices, interactions, and various interfaces. Secondly, multiple capabilities must exist to generate artificial intelligence tools to engage more customers. And lastly, the one voice strategy to meet the critical need so that more customers can be engaged in this aspect.
Mousavi et al. (2020) stated that social media usage has become crucial in modern times. As most of the customers search and ask for help from multiple firms by using social media platforms. So, all the respective firms who need successful VOC must be adorned with a suitable strategy to satisfy their customer cloud on social media. In this context, the most dynamic platform is Twitter. Through research on these platforms, various factors can be identified for effective customer care. For this purpose, a diffusion process is introduced that helps firm teams to respond to customers on Twitter. The primary domain addressed under this process is sentiments of the customer community that help the strategists to formulate respective policies and make timely decisions. In other words, the time has led the firms towards digital customer care under the umbrella of the telecom sector. Such innovative adoptions can help firms estimate and analyze multiple parameters to address various insights of customers engaged with the industry.
Multiple cognitive and expressive barriers exist in solving the said problem. These barriers and blocks impose a collective impact in this regard to impede the voice of customers (VoC). Various organizations use chunk words like customer experience and their engagement without solid effort. In this context, one of the fundamental barriers is the failure of the respective organization to define their customer. Most companies fail to devise the culture to understand and interpret their customer strata based on feedback. Such invaluable insight has become the biggest challenge to look at on priority.
Similarly, another barrier is a lack of decision power in terms of the right decision at the right time. For example, in the context of the health care industry, the respective authorities do not provide opportunities to customers and stakeholders to be a part of decision-making. In other words, the enterprise’s obstacle with VoC reaches the point that “customers’ voice is not heard properly”.
Moreover, another roadblock in the way of successful VoC is biased surveys. The organizational commitment may rust with political influence either from the inner sphere of the organization or from the national political sphere. It is because of the fact that survey design and its conduction method play decisive roles in successful VoC. For example, the influence of social media in recent times tends to change the opinion and voice of the customer. The political narrative and impacts in this regard alter the original and true nature of customers’ voices over certain aspects.
Meanwhile, the economic lack to improve VOC is an enriched hurdle and a blasting barrier to overcoming the problem. The allocation of budget in this context is not up to mark according to the needs of this specific issue. Organizational setups try their best to increase profit and to fulfill this purpose; a particular cut may impose on the funds being used for successful VoC.
In addition, the language barrier on the part of customers is the pivotal player to amplify this problem. Communication problems impede the customers’ engagement over platform, provided and required services as well as adopted platforms. Similarly, various other hurdles like tools, processes, substandard technological applications, inefficient virtual implications, and distorted two-way conversation matter a lot in this regard.
The core foundations of successful VoC need a strategic and multidimensional program with certain suggestions to overcome various barriers. The foremost recommendation in this aspect lies with the voice of customer research. Organizations and industries like health care collect customers’ data in multiple ways. Such data pool proves as an asset for the respective company or organization for future improvement and production matters. So, to secure and devise long-term planning, it is necessary to collect accurate and research-based data of the customers.
Further, all the surveys and surveys tools must be transparent, unbiased, and logical in accordance with the purpose statement of the company. In addition, internal political sphere or external interference in this aspect must be rejected with iron hands. Executive bodies in this connection must devise durable and trustworthy ways to accomplish research and surveys without any intervention and pressure.
Moreover, modern time is the world of social media. Huge attention must be paid to such platforms while considering specific facts. These facts demonstrate that such platforms provide informal, distorted, and, more often, one-way information. So, social media strategies must be adopted by rectifying all these issues. Similarly, economic barriers must be removed on a priority basis, especially while collecting data pool, analyzing the data as well as implementing the policies based on this data.
Additionally, technological barriers must be removed in this regard. The executive bodies must make timely decisions and formulate strategies according to customers’ demands. For this purpose, two-way communications between customers and organizational representatives are highly recommended.
Hence, last but not least, it can be inferred from the above discussion that the voice of customer (VoC) is a process for grabbing customers’ needs and demands in terms of multiple products or services. This process has revolutionized the world in modern lines to ease, facilitate and satisfy the customers’ strata worldwide. Though it is not a pretty old concept, modern-day development owes its existence to the voice of customer. Various researchers have burnt the midnight oil to estimate its importance and suggested ways to make it a successful program. However, specific barriers like misunderstanding customers, political interference, economic shortages, and misuse of modern technological tools impede its development and application. In this context, various measures should be taken on priority. For example, timely decision-making by the respective authorities, political non-interruption, funds availability, and fruitful usage of social media platforms are highly recommended. The need of the hour is to promote and implement timely strategies in this aspect.
Alowad, A., Samaranayake, P., Ahsan, K., Alidrisi, H., & Karim, A. (2020). Enhancing patient flow in emergency department (ED) using lean strategies–an integrated voice of customer and voice of process perspective. Business Process Management Journal.
Freeman, G., & Radziwill, N. (2018). Voice of the Customer (VoC): A Review of Techniques to Reveal and Prioritize Requirements for Quality. JOQAT–JOURNAL OF QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, APPLIED ENGINEERING, AND TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT, 1-29.
Green, W., Cluley, R., & Gasparin, M. (2020). Mobile Market Research Applications as a New Voice of Customer Method: Implications for Innovation and Design Management. Research-Technology Management, 63(1), 49-55.
Griffin, A., & Hauser, J. R. (1993). The voice of the customer. Marketing science, 12(1), 1-27.
Huang, Y. K., & Kwok, L. (2021). Customer mistreatment and employee customer-focused voice: the bright and dark sides of felt trust. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.
Katz, G. M. (2001). The “one right way” to gather the voice of the customer. PDMA Visions, 25(2).
Mousavi, R., Johar, M., & Mookerjee, V. S. (2020). The voice of the customer: Managing customer care in twitter. Information Systems Research, 31(2), 340-360.
Singh, J., Nambisan, S., Bridge, R. G., & Brock, J. K. U. (2021). One-voice strategy for customer engagement. Journal of Service Research, 24(1), 42-65.