Voice of customer surveys: a killer tactic for quick CRO wins

Funnel analysis, A/B testing & landing page optimisation are all fantastic ways of improving your websites conversion rate.

However, nothing will come close to the effectiveness of VoC analysis to deliver quick conversion rate and website usability increases.

What is VOC?

VoC is an acronym for Voice of Customer and is the process of getting feedback from your customers in their own words. You’re aiming to find out what the customer was hoping to achieve, whether they achieved it and get an insight into their aversions and sticking points on your website. 

In terms of the online journey it is the process of getting feedback from visitors to your website in their own words whilst they are still interacting with your website.

Following a period of VoC data gathering you will be left with a collection of visitors’ expectations and aversions on your website that can be mined for insights into possible changes and ideas for future A/B testing.

When to do VoC analysis?

As VoC gathering is typically aimed at understanding the expectations of the visitor it is often good to get this feedback early in the journey whilst their initial intentions are still fresh and they have not been skewed by their journey on your website.

However, data collected from all stages of the journey is extremely valuable so I always generally suggest multiple points of contact.

Avoid doing it within the first two pageviews as this tends to increase bounce rates, however, if you are investigating the reason for a high bounce rate then you can afford to get feedback from the first pageview.

On an ecommerce website I would tend to approach visitors for feedback on product pages and on the checkout pages, for the checkout pages I implement a delay of around one or two minutes to allow the visitor a chance to complete the page.  

This makes it more likely that you will be targeting the visitors who are having a problem on the page or who may be wavering in their buying decision process and don’t interrupt the visitors making quick progress through the checkout.

Another effective point of contact is the on-exit survey; this is where you offer visitors the chance to offer their feedback just before they leave the website.

It is often useful to only target visitors who have not converted with this offer.  

How is it performed?

There is a new standard forming for gaining visitor feedback during a journey and that is the small pop-up window in the bottom right corner of the website.

It can often sit in a closed state during your journey before popping out with a question at an un-suspecting moment in the journey asking for your feedback.

Below is a typical example of VoC in action on a website:

Voice of Customer

This can be built in house or you can take advantage of the growing number of companies offering this service for a relatively low fee, some examples include: Qualaroo, WebEngage or FeedbackDaddy.  

What do you ask?

The line of your questioning will ultimately depend on your website and the lines of enquiry that you are following at a given time.

However, Avinash Kaushik shared three questions that will always deliver valuable insight in his post ‘The Three Greatest Survey Questions Ever‘. They were:

  1. What is the purpose of your visit to our website today?
  2. Were you able to complete your task today?
  3. If you were not able to complete your task today, why not?

The exact wording can be changed but the basic themes would allow you to gain a valuable insight into the actions that the visitor is looking to take on your website and any obstacles that prevented them from doing so.

If you are new to the area of VoC then I would suggest you stick to these three questions to break yourself in and from these you will undoubtedly find there are other things you would like to ask visitors.

How does it deliver quick wins?

Through VoC gathering you are removing a lot of the guess work that can go into your hypothesis generation enabling you to run effective A/B tests more quickly.

During regular hypothesis generation you analyse data from your analytics packages to generate a series of questions such as ‘Why are 24% of visitors dropping out after adding X product to their baskets?’.

You then attempt to answer this question in the form of a hypothesis that can be tested on the website to determine if it is true.

With VoC analysis the visitors are handing you the problem and the solution, all you have to do is test if that problem is affecting more than just the person who reported it.

Once you have finished your period of gathering you have to analyse the responses and group together those that have the same themes, you can then focus on the biggest groups first and work down the pile until you have tested all potential problems and improved your website, at which point you run another round of data gathering and the whole process repeats itself. 

Have you used VoC to help improve your websites conversion rates? What insights did it deliver? Were you able to increase your conversion rate as a result of VoC gathering?

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