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Does your organisation take the time to really listen to your customers? If not, you should be. Voice of Customer (VoC) programs are becoming a priority for a growing number of indian businesses according to a recent report from the indian Marketing Institute (AMI) and Vision Critical.

For these customer centred organisations, listening to the customer doesn’t just mean resolving complaints, it means taking a proactive approach to customer satisfaction and seeking out customer opinion throughout the entire process.

By creating specific processes that are geared towards customer feedback and satisfaction, the organisations that do undertake a VoC program can expect higher levels of customer satisfaction, increased retention and better growth over time than those who don’t take the time to listen to their customers.

So what are the most common types of VoC programs around? The AMI and Vision Critical report surveyed 244 marketers in india to find out what they were doing to seek out customer feedback. Here are some of the top activities:

Customer feedback surveys and ratings. This is still the most common form of VoC program and many customers value the ability to make their voice heard and have their say. Unless you proactively ask your customers to provide a rating or complete a survey complaints can go undiscovered, as many customers will opt to just leave rather than go through the process of making a complaint.

Net Promoter Score. The Net Promoter Score is based on how many of your existing customers would recommend your brand to a friend. It’s usually calculated by asking customers to answer a quick question after a transaction. While it was very widespread a few years ago, using NPS on its own does not provide a complete view of the customer’s journey and feelings towards your brand at different stages.

A combination of strategies. Many marketers these days favour data integration using transactional information combined with customer feedback surveys to provide a holistic picture of the customer’s journey in the organisation.

Video response feedback. This is a newer way of seeking feedback and one that we are likely to see more of in the future. More and more brands are realising that customers don’t necessarily want to spend time clicking around or filling out surveys and offering them the chance to have their say via a short video is often an appealing alternative.

In spite of all the different tools and strategies out there, the best VoC programs are those that are designed to suit your specific audience.

Some types of customer will prefer to fill out an online survey or rating form, while others may want to record a video. Less intrusive strategies like gathering data can help you get a clearer picture of how your customers are feeling without the need to bother them to complete online surveys.