A Guide to the Voice of the Customer

6 minutes
Eric Roth
A Voice of Customer survey

A Guide to the Voice of the Customer

6 minutes
Eric Roth
A Voice of Customer survey

In the scope of the point of purchase industry, the VoC, or the “voice of the customer” is a market research technique that gathers feedback, opinions, and preferences from customers at the point where they make a purchasing decision.

These insights shed light on what drives a customer to buy, how a product is perceived, and what improvements can be made to the customer experience. For retail displays and other in-store marketing, this, in turn, can lead to better display design and product placement along with more effective messaging. In the end, the goal is to increase customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and sales performance.

Implementing a VoC strategy can be done through various channels, including customer surveys, shopper reviews, and more. In the article below, we’ll cover what the VoC measures, how it influences retail display design, and common methods to collect important data.

What a VoC Campaign Measures

When executing a VoC study, research can focus on a variety of key aspects, depending on what’s important to a brand. Each category provides unique results that help when planning a retail display program and beyond.

  • Customer Satisfaction
    Brands assess customer satisfaction levels at the point of purchase to understand how well their products and services meet shoppers’ expectations. Negative feedback identifies pain points, allowing brands to address and resolve issues promptly and improve their satisfaction scores.
  • Brand Loyalty
    Any positive feedback regarding a product or service contributes to brand loyalty, so understanding these strengths enables brands to reinforce what their customers value. In turn, this builds trust and credibility by addressing concerns and consistently delivering on expectations.
  • Competitor Analysis
    Analyzing customer feedback in comparison to competitors provides a wealth of information, namely insight into a brand’s unique selling propositions. Brands can then leverage this information to gain a competitive edge in the market.
  • Marketing Effectiveness
    Feedback from VoC studies can reveal what marketing messages resonate with a target audience. Brands can optimize marketing campaigns, ensuring the messaging is aligned to connect with customers and resources are invested in strategies that yield the highest impact.
  • Further Enhancements
    Customer feedback can extend beyond products and in-store marketing to include operational aspects like packaging, delivery, and customer support. With this information, brands can address common issues by streamlining processes, improving response times, and providing a better overall experience.

How VoC Influences Retail Display Design

The voice of the customer plays a significant role in influencing the design and effectiveness of point of purchase displays. Understanding customer preferences, needs, and behaviors helps brands create displays that capture attention, drive engagement, and ultimately contribute to increased sales.

Here’s how VoC can influence the design and construction of POP displays:

  • Design
    The VoC guides the visual design of retail displays. Color preferences, imagery, and an overall aesthetic can be incorporated to create displays that speak to a target audience.
  • Messaging
    Like design, VoC can also identify messaging and communication styles that customers like. With this, brands can tailor content and phrasing to match these preferences. In addition, understanding customer inclinations for promotions, discounts, or product highlights help brands employ compelling offers into their displays.
  • Product Placement
    The voice of the customer can illustrate shopping behavior in retail environments. This, in turn, can influence how products are placed or arranged on store displays. Customer feedback also reveals opportunities for cross-selling or bundling products.
  • Interactive and Engaging Elements
    VoC may highlight customer preferences for interactive elements. These insights influence the inclusion of innovative features like digital screens or hands-on experiences that make displays more memorable and enhance engagement.
  • Space Utilization
    Understanding how customers navigate through retail spaces guides the placement and size of retail displays. Brands can optimize space based on store traffic patterns. Additionally, VoC campaigns inform decisions about the visual hierarchy within displays so key products or messaging is placed strategically based on customer preferences.
  • Seasonal and Trend Considerations
    VoC provides information about shoppers’ thoughts on seasonal and trending products which can affect how POP displays are adapted to showcase products that align with current seasons.

In summary, VoC serves as a guiding force in building effective retail display programs by informing design, messaging, product placement, interactivity, and overall customer experience. Brands that actively listen to the voice of their customers create displays that not only capture attention but also influence purchasing decisions.

How to Collect VoC Data

Collecting voice of the customer data for a successful retail implementation can involve various methods to understand customer preferences, behaviors, and expectations. Here are some common ways to collect data for use when designing POP displays.

  • Surveys and Questionnaires
    Using this method can be as easy as sending a survey to customers after they make a purchase to ask about their experience and thoughts on the product display. Online survey tools offer the ability to gather feedback from a broader audience. Pro tip! Offer a discount or other unique promotions to customers who take the time to fill out a survey. Even a small percentage off a future purchase goes a long way to thank a consumer for providing valuable information.
  • In-Store Observations
    Some brands opt to conduct in-store observations to better understand how customers interact with displays. For this type of survey, researchers note shopper behavior, including what captures a customer’s attention and how they navigate the store. For a step further, eye-tracking technology can also be utilized to analyze which elements on a display attract the most attention.
  • Focus Groups
    Focus groups use guided discussion to explore specific aspects of a POP display’s design, messaging, and visual appeal. This type of data collection method often involves sharing prototype designs to gather immediate reactions and feedback.
  • Social Media Listening and Online Reviews
    Customers often share experiences online through social media or reviews. When brands track their name mentions on comments, discussions, or in Google reviews, they can actively engage their customers and collect feedback in real-time.
  • Feedback Forms and Kiosks
    Providing feedback forms at key locations within the store, including near in-store merchandising, encourages shoppers to share their thoughts on the displays and the impact they have on purchasing decisions. Additionally, installing interactive kiosks to gather the information offers brands feedback quickly.
  • Customer Interviews
    Talking directly to shoppers through individual interviews offers deeper insights into their preferences. If in-person interactions aren’t feasible, phone or video calls also provide a chance to explore their thoughts on the effectiveness of the store display.
  • Purchase Analytics
    Analyzing sales data from POP displays identifies trends and correlations between product sales and the effectiveness of specific display elements. Examine purchase patterns to understand the impact the retail display has on decision-making.
  • Mobile Apps and Loyalty Programs
    If applicable, gather information through a brand’s mobile app. Prompt users to provide their thoughts on an in-store experience and interactions with the branded display. Integrate VoC surveys into loyalty programs to incentivize customers to share their views on the in-store marketing programs.
  • Collaboration with Retail Partners
    When possible, work closely with retail partners to gather insights from their customer base. Leverage their feedback channels to obtain data on your retail display.

By employing a combination of these methods, brands can gain a comprehensive understanding of the voice of their customers, enabling them to design more effective and engaging POP displays that resonate with their target audience.

In the end, actively embracing the voice of the customer empowers brands to refine the customer journey at the point of purchase, designing displays that not only draw attention but also align with customer preferences. By utilizing VoC data, companies can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, driving meaningful improvements to retail displays and increasing their sales performance.

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