Are Voice of the Customer Programs Failing?


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A blog post by a Forrester analyst caught my eye a few weeks ago. In some new research in which Forrester surveyed Customer Experience professionals, they’ve found that 65% of respondents admitted that their Voice of the Customer programs don’t take systematic action based on customer insights. In addition, the majority of respondents don’t tailor the insights they gather for different internal audiences.

I suppose this isn’t really a shocking figure. Voice of the Customer programs are still often rebadged customer feedback projects which aren’t part of a wider company initiative. And in the cases where there is a real intention to create a systematic program, it’s still unusual for a fully-fledged, actionable, closed-loop process to be implemented on day one. Voice of the Customer, like most other aspects of Customer Experience, is an iterative process.

While many companies are still clearly not getting it right, I think we can still applaud the fact that companies are trying to get these programs off the ground. In a still-shaky economic environment, there are clearly some evangelists out there who are making a case for something which, at least on the face of it, is a cost generator, not a cost cutter.

Notably, in a survey we ran at the end of 2010 about Voice of the Customer programs, “generate actionable insights” was one of the key goals identified by our respondents. Again, this is heartening because it does demonstrate an understanding that it’s action driven by feedback that will prove the worth of the program, and ultimately benefit the business.

There’s a long way to go for many businesses on the Voice of the Customer journey, but increasingly, companies are getting it right, so there are more best practices, better technologies and more top-level support to help pushing forward.

One such place for best practices and support, is the European Customer Experience World event which took place in London recently. One of my colleagues, James Westlake, has blogged about it here and noticed some trends which really point to the maturation of the industry.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Carolyn Hall
Carolyn Hall is a Product Marketing Manager with Confirmit. Primary focus on creating marketing and PR materials that focus on the business value of technology. Articles published in a number of marketing and customer-focused publications, and experience of hosting round table session with senior marketing executives.


  1. Try initiating a customer appreciation program for your highest value customers…its 5 times cheaper to keep good customers than it is to find new ones…


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