With huge advances in the tools and methods available to analyse unstructured customer data, Vanessa Flather takes us through the wealth of untapped insight to be gained from Voice of the Customer (VoC) feedback.  


When retailers look to examine and measure the relationship they have with their customers, they typically focus on two areas – brand experience and customer experience. In our work with retailers across multiple sectors, it’s become clear that the impact of customer experience (CX) on overall brand perception is greater than ever. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) are the most significant, and most widely used, customer experience metrics.  

NPS measures the extent to which individual customers would recommend your product or service to their friends, on a scale of 0-10. CSAT arguably takes it even further in its simplicity, usually composed of a single question such as “On a scale of 0-10, how satisfied were you with your recent purchase?” 

The regular, reliable stream of direct customer feedback from NPS and CSAT ensures their popularity, and indeed the value to be gleaned shouldn’t be underestimated. We believe, however, that these metrics only form part of the customer experience puzzle.  

One key limitation on both metrics is their ability to truly represent the end-to-end customer experience. Considering this, we commissioned internal research with our analytics team that discovered, depending on scope and response rates, survey-driven CSAT and NPS data could represent as low as 5-10% of all customer interactions. 

An additional factor to consider is situational bias. Put simply, customers are much more likely to fill in feedback surveys when their emotions are heightened, be that negative or positive. The data is still valuable, of course, but it can be difficult to gain a full spectrum view of customer mood and intention from the surveys.  

There’s a lot more customer experience data out there, and the retailers who harness this data – who better understand the voice of their customer – are the retailers who can most effectively deliver exceptional customer experiences.  

So, what’s the missing piece of the puzzle?  


Voice of the Customer – Listen, Empower, Engage 

Voice of the Customer (VoC) provides organisations with a detailed understanding of customer requirements, based on customer interaction data. The sheer volume of available data, however, can be daunting. This creates a need for data and analytics experts to properly mine and structure this data, before uncovering the actionable insights that can transform the customer experience.  

Once properly armed with this VoC data, organisations can deploy a ‘Listen, Empower, Engage’ approach to delivering valuable improvements across all aspects of their customer journey.  

Listen – by mining conversations at scale, retailers can uncover opportunities to improve the customer experience 

Empower – by using natural language processing, organisations can spot signals from conversations and link these to the customer experience, creating the environment for a great customer conversation.  

Engage – by understanding the topics, sentiment and emotion of the conversations from the customers’ perspective, it’s possible for retailers to deliver proactive, personalised communications strategies  

Accessing, understanding and utilising your VoC data can provide opportunities to transform your retail operation and brand, for the better – across sales, delivery, and service. We’ve identified four key ways in which VoC can transform your business: 

It’s time to transform your customer experience 

With NPS and CSAT, retailers get a sense of how their customers are feeling about their products and services. 

Innovative retailers, however, want more than this.  

By listening to their customers like never before, by challenging themselves to better understand their customers’ needs, and by embracing the wealth of data available from their front-line, real-time customer interactions, retailers can deliver a holistic, transformative and innovative brand and customer experience.  


Interested in learning more about harnessing Voice of the Customer data to transform your customer experience? Download our guide: Beyond Brand, NPS and CSAT - it’s time to recognise the voice of the retail customer.