“&%$!” (Part II) — Improving Your Voice of the Customer Program

Mary Rockman
Posted by Mary Rockman on November 11, 2019
Improving your VOC Program

Improving your VOC ProgramWelcome back to our exploration of voice of the customer (VOC). If you didn’t read “&%$!” Part I of this two-part series, you’re encouraged to enjoy that before you read this post. Like any good sequel, we’re jumping right in without much review.

The only thing we will remind you of is our inspiration for this series: Kevin Dunn, HubSpot Academy Education Manager, presented at our Appleton HubSpot User Group (HUG). Not only does Kevin share his knowledge with agencies around the country, he hosts a biweekly video web series called Agency Unfiltered that is definitely worth checking out.

OK, onto Part II. Let’s continue to explore creating an optimized voice of the customer program, focusing on:

  • Improving survey response rates
  • Strategically analyzing customer feedback
  • Using marketing automation software
  • And exploring more ways to avoid customer feedback that starts with “&%$!”

How Can You Increase Your Survey Response Rates?


People respond better when messaging is personalized. You can use personalization tokens in your survey email subject lines to contextualize by customer, industry, product, and service. Plus, you can use A/B testing in those subject lines to continually improve your open rates and response rates.

Make your survey accessible to everyone by delivering it in-language and with a mobile optimized experience. You can also improve email deliverability by sending it from a real person on your business domain and filter out your unengaged contacts.


We loaded you up with stats during Part I of this VOC series, so here's another:

  • Surveys that open with a multiple choice question have an 89% completion rate (vs. 83% for open-ended questions).1 That may not seem huge, but every little bit helps. Simplify your survey by keeping it brief — ask only what’s critical — and keep the copy easy to understand, easy to answer, and jargon-free.


A day or two before the survey hits, alert your customers that they’ll be receiving a survey email and to keep an eye out for it. Share why you’re asking for them to complete a survey. Be considerate of your customers’ time; tell them what time commitment you’re asking for, even if it’s just a minute or two.

Test everything before the request is sent! Test the email send, test the survey, test the “thank you” page, and test mobile vs. desktop. Make sure everything works.

How Can You More Strategically Analyze Customer Feedback?

Remember: Quantitative data tells you if something is wrong. Qualitative data tells you why.

HubSpot has developed a solid framework for reviewing customer feedback. First, establish listening posts; regular, reliable ways of gathering data. Next, understand customers’ sentiment; why they feel the way they do. Lastly, look at data through an improvement lens; so the customer experience is always getting better. Let’s explore this more below.

HubSpot's Feedback Framework

Understand Customer Sentiment

Step one is simple: calculate and track the satisfaction metrics. Now, identify the themes and root causes for feedback. How? By using the “Five Whys,” which dig into cause-and-effect relationships. Keep asking “why” to drill down into a particular problem. Here’s an example:

Use the "Five Whys"

At this point, you can start categorizing common themes and patterns. Place feedback into buckets: functionality, usability, reliability, billing, etc.

Improve the Customer Experience

Prioritize the changes that matter the most to customers. Choose to immediately implement the changes that have the highest impact with the lowest cost. Then, develop an action plan with your internal task force that reinforces a customer experience culture and participates in achieving improvements.

Follow up one-on-one with customers using the method(s) they desire, whether that’s email, a handwritten note, phone call/video chat, or personal visit. Lastly, any and all progress made in improving the customer experience should not only be measured, it should be shared internally with the company.

With marketing automation software, such as HubSpot’s Service Hub, you can leverage feedback and tools to analyze customer responses and integrate it with your CRM. This example (again from HubSpot, via Kevin), shows the various VOC service tools to help you connect and exceed expectations.


You can see that there are multiple executions that can help convert customers into promoters that can grow your business:

  • Tools for feedback: surveys, live chat, tickets
  • Tracking metrics
  • Nurture through email
  • Alert sales or service to address issues


VOC Research Can Drag You Down or Lift You Up

In Part I of our VOC series, we shared Kevin’s case study on how Domino’s Pizza completely turned their business around in the last 10 years, and it all began with VOC research.


Patrick Doyle, Domino’s CEO, said, “You can either use negative comments to get you down, or you can use them to excite you and energize your process to make better pizza.”2 Not all of us are in the pizza-making business, but we can use the feedback from our customers to provide an amazing customer experience in every phase.

How can VOC program results affect your annual marketing plan? Review our toolkit page, Annual Marketing Plan Template & Resources, for tips and insights. Just click below.

Topics: Inbound Service

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