Programmatic Voice of the Customer (VoC) is the continuous collection, organization, and analysis of feedback on your product or service, designed to help you use data to understand customer sentiment and steer strategic growth and development.

But why include the ‘programmatic’ monicker?

Two factors make it essential to consider an upgrade to ‘Programmatic’ VoC: frequency and volume.

First, let's talk about frequency. Product development is no longer confined to internal teams that launch a complete, final design. Instead, the aim is to launch, test, & repeat – as fast as possible. For example, software companies now publish a minimum viable product (MVP) and based on customer feedback then iterate, iterate, iterate. Even in real-world physical products, the name of the game is move fast, break things. For example, within four months SpaceX delivered four prototypes of its Starships, all of which suffered RUDs (rapid unplanned disassemblies!) and were simultaneously seen as successes.

To iterate quickly means that the quarterly NPS survey is no longer valid and monthly surveys are old news. Today, customers send feedback the instant they open the package, sign up for your software, or step on the plane – and they desire fast action in response. Passengers start tweeting if the plane sits on the tarmac. In fact, maybe ‘frequency’ is the wrong term; it’s more like an ever-rolling-river of feedback, comment, criticism and praise.

In today’s product-led world where user growth can be explosive and so can churn, iterating quickly on customer feedback to ensure your product and customer experience stays at the top is vital.

Companies that adopt programmatic systems for VoC experience 55% greater retention rates
*Aberdeen Group, The Business Value of Building Best-In-Class VoC Program

Product analytics are real-time and continuous, and your feedback loops should be no different. To handle this kind of iteration frequency, and at scale, requires a data-driven system, process, and method – in short, ‘programmatic.’

Which brings us to volume. Facebook records around 4.75 billion posts daily. If you’re in consumer retail, how do you monitor, process, and extract anything remotely useful from that deluge? How do you confidently direct action in response to such a large volume of opinions without hard data on what matters and why? Now add in your other brand channels like Twitter, Discord, Instagram, and more, then top it off with emails, calls, chats, surveys, and support tickets… and Bam! You’re waaaay under water!

The only way to manage the onslaught is to have a programmatic system, with defined processes, clear data, and truthful reports. Going programmatic with VoC will help encompass these multiple channels, bring order to the chaos, and scale up without breaking the bank.

80-90% of company data is unstructured: Text, community chatter, video chats, social posts, email, and more
*MIT Sloan, Tapping the power of unstructured data

Of course, for smaller teams, centralizing channels of feedback and relying on human analysis can suffice. Manual processes with slower review cycles, based on spreadsheets and presentations to the board, can work well—up to a point. For larger businesses and for startups with explosive user growth, manual working soon runs into a dead end dictated by time, cost, or capacity. The sign-up-now world includes the quit-tomorrow world, and customers do not have patience for you to meet every quarter to review your customer feedback!

Fortunately, the self-learning capabilities of AI have arrived at just the right moment.

AI can detect and surface actionable Voice of Customer insights from thousands of data streams—and unlike human beings, it can do so without bias or sleep. AI makes it possible to capture and understand customer sentiment in real time, and analyze the trends that could influence product strategy, development, and, ultimately, growth.

Caravel offers an all-in-one hub for customer feedback powered by AI technology to bring your Voice of Customer program to life. By excluding personal subjectivity, Programmatic VoC powered by Caravel generates consistent results with a transparent process. As your data volumes rises, you can rely on Caravel’s AI to accurately analyze your responses and point you in the right direction.

For companies setting a product-led growth strategy, Programmatic Voice of Customer is vital to success, and AI is leading the way.

Reach out here and we'd be delighted to help.