If you’re not interviewing your B2B customers via web-conferencing, it’s time to reconsider. While in-person interviews are still the “gold standard,” there are 10 advantages of virtual VOC… many of which you’ve probably not considered. The second half of this paper contains dozens of suggestions for top-flight VVOC, organized around 7 recommendations. This is the definitive work on virtual VOC: Download it now and add a powerful modern-day tool to your customer insight toolbox.
Preview: Virtual VOC (VVOC)
Some companies dismiss web-conference voice-of-customer interviews because in-person interviews are “better.” Sure, meeting with someone in-person is indeed the gold standard: A 2-hour in-person interview is usually superior to a 2-hour virtual VOC (VVOC) interview.
But what if you spent ten hours of travel for the in-person interview and zero hours for the virtual VOC interview? What if your travel budget is limited? And what if there are hidden advantages of VVOC you’ve never considered?
This white paper examines 10 advantages of VVOC—some obvious, but many “hidden”:
- Lower cost: You could easily spend $50,000 in travel expenses for in-person interviews… plus considerable employee time wasted in rental cars, security lines and cramped airplane seats. These costs disappear with virtual VOC.
- Dispersed customer contacts: What if your customer’s R&D staff is in Houston and its marketing is in Chicago? Or if your customer contacts are working from home… and your team is as well? With VVOC, geography no longer matters.
- Viewable probing tips: With VVOC, you can refer to probing tips in front of you during the interview. You can also do this with in-person interviews, but it’s smoother with virtual VOC because customers don’t see you checking your notes.
- Training for colleagues: Have your virtual VOC trainees join you in a conference room to observe interviews. They’ll learn a great deal without travel costs, taking much time, or disrupting the interview dynamics.
- Probing suggestions: If your VVOC team meets in a conference room, make sure it has a whiteboard. As the observers think of good probing questions, they write them on the whiteboard for the moderator to use.
- Assistance for note-taker: With in-person interviews, customers sometimes get so engaged they fail to notice the note-taker has fallen behind. Customers tend to be more helpful in virtual VOC.
- Rapid debriefing: It’s important to debrief as soon as possible after any VOC. With virtual VOC you can start immediately, without looking for a place to meet and set up the laptop again.
- Easier scheduling: Sometimes the hardest part of B2B VOC is scheduling the interview. The issue usually boils down to availability and reluctance, and virtual VOC helps with both.
- Low-impact cancellations: You’ll likely have some cancelled customer interviews. With VVOC, you don’t need to limp back to the airport empty-handed. You simply reschedule.
- Greater project speed: If your new product reaches annual sales of $5 million, the NPV of accelerating it by one month is about $80,000. Virtual VOC lets you move faster with more productive scheduling and conducting multiple interviews each day.
Do these virtual VOC advantages sound attractive? Then be sure to download this white paper and read the second half: It’s loaded with practical tips to ensure your VVOC team comes across as highly polished and gains impressive customer insights.
For more, see the 2-min video, Conduct virtual customer interviews, part of Dan Adams’ series of 50 (free) 2-min videos, B2B Organic Growth.