In a nutshell
How can you have great conversations with your users if you don't listen to their voices! It is important to have a systematic method for monitoring and collecting customer feedback on customer needs, expectations, understandings, and product improvement. This is what we call Voice of the Customer (VoC). A good Marketing Strategy is a strategy where you collect customer feedback everywhere your customers are.
In the Marketing Canvas
In the Marketing Canvas, we have identified 6 main categories for building your Marketing Strategy: Customers, Brand, Value Proposition, Journey, Conversation and Metrics. Each of these categories, have 4 dimensions which means that a total of 24 dimensions (6 by 4) are defining your Marketing Strategy.
Listening to is one of the 4 dimensions of the Conversation category.
How do you use it?
“Listening to the needs of your customers isn’t an optional exercise; it’s mandatory. Even if you don’t intend to differentiate on customer experience (and you’re in a small minority if so), the value of listening to customers is real, measurable, and immediate.” CMO.com
In the Marketing Canvas, I have chosen to call the category Conversation instead of the classical communication because I believe that we should have dialogues with our customers and not classical monologues as it could have happened during the industrialised advertising (push monologues) period. Starting from there, the first logical dimension to have in the conversation category is Listening To which could be translated as actively listening to the voice of your customers (VoC).
I used to say that business could be compared with love. Imagine a couple where one partner is talking while the second one is not listening. Do you think it could work on the long run? It will create certainly frustrations and potentially rupture. In the business, you should also listen to your customers and not only when they have a problem.
Hubspot is even saying that successful businesses understand their customers.
But listening is not the same as understanding. How you listen, and to whom you listen, is critical. Even a smart, high-end business can be led astray by misunderstanding the strengths and weaknesses of different customer feedback channels. HBR
As said in the Harvard article, you should be very careful about the way you do listen to your customers. Multiple techniques exist and should be carefully chosen in function of context and needs.
Again, if we come back to the love analogy, I believe that if you don’t want to genuinely to understand what your customers are saying (empathy and caring about their emotions and feelings), you won’t capture insights that will them and … you.
Not having a program that systematically listens to your customers, use this information to take action and monitor the results will be a brake to your goals.
Is the way you are currently Listening to your users helping you achieve your goals?
Hubspot, 12 Voice of the Customer Methodologies To Generate a Goldmine of Customer Feedback, https://blog.hubspot.com/service/voice-of-the-customer-methodologies
Harvard Business Review, 2015, Everyone Says They Listen to Their Customers—Here’s How to Really Do It, https://hbr.org/2015/10/everyone-says-they-listen-to-their-customers-heres-how-to-really-do-it