Is your Voice-of-the-Customer program Strategic? or Tactical?


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Many companies have voice-of-the-customer efforts in place, making large investments in VoC systems like Medallia or Qualtrics and the staff to generate monthly dashboards and reports. Typical efforts cover dozens if not hundreds of customer experience contacts across a variety of touchpoints, providing qualitative and quantitative data that get processed through text analytics, excel or Tableau for visual presentations.

While many business leaders applaud the effort to capture and report all this customer data, few can say that they know:

  • If they are delivering an on-brand experience
  • That the experience they are delivering is “better than competitors”
  • The impact that an improved customer experience has on revenues and profits

Our term for this is tactical VoC program vs. Strategic VoC programs. C-Suites that have Strategic VoC insight can be more aligned and focused on delivering the “On-Brand experience” that will create competitive leadership and accelerate growth and profitability. Without strategic customer insight, companies end up extremely busy, but have too many projects that don’t deliver the impact and measurable results that drive the business.

Source: Tucker & Company 2021

B2C Case Example – Driving 35% growth with an On-Brand Experience

A national restaurant chain was interested in understanding and improving it customer experience, specifically in the deployment of new retail formats to promote new menu items as well as technologies that would address wait times during lunch and help customers customize their orders for exactly what they liked.

The research scope covered more than 25 elements of the customer experience – including packaging, service, order execution, café design / colors, signage, digital ordering kiosks, new menu boards, cleanliness & sanitation, café wi-fi and power outlets, takeout order pickup, parking, etc. Thousands of customers were interviewed and surveyed to assess the impact of the various factors and regression analysis were performed to determine the most statistically valid elements if overall satisfaction.

When the analysis was complete, the more than 20 insights were developed regarding changes that need to be made – but the impact of the changes on sales, retention, frequency of visit and loyalty was inconclusive. To find the answer, discussions with loyal customers opened the door to strategic insights.

Customers involved in the research felt confused about all the different elements they had been poked and prodded about – and told the research team they were really looking for 4 things from their experience at that company – and that everything else was a nice to have, but wasn’t part of their decision to select that restaurant. These 4 elements made up their “On-Brand Experience”.

When this “On-Brand Experience” was delivered customers were delighted – their decision to go there was validated, the friends they brought were impressed, they made a commitment to return and they told other friends on social media about their experience. As they each told their story about “why” the experience was important, the “on-Brand Experience” became clearer.

To test the insights, a quantitative analysis of thousands of customer experiences was performed to assess how often the “On-Brand Experience” was delivered and the impact it had on loyalty, revenue and retention.

The Impact of delivering On-Brand Experience on 3 key metrics

Source: Tucker & Company 2021

Based on these insights, the operations team refocused their efforts from tactical improvements across 17 different areas to strategic improvements in 4 areas to deliver the “On-Brand Experience” more consistently and used the brand loyalty from the customers to fuel their growth, including:

  • Generating same-store revenue growth of 35% (vs. negative trend in the past)
  • Reducing customer acquisition unit costs by 60% by capturing testimonials and positive social media messaging to complement marketing efforts that enabled growth to be fueled without budget increases
  • Reduced employee attrition by a 15% by simplifying employee training

The ROI of the program was determined to be over 200% – well beyond other investments and it “earned” the increased investment from the C-Suite.

Strategic VoC program provided these mission-critical elements:

  1. Clarity about what constitutes the “On-Brand Experience” – at a strategic level and at a tactical level that every front-line employee can understand and deliver against. This needs to be in the customer’s language and compared to competitive offerings – not just “marketing-speak” and industry buzzwords.
  2. Measurement of the “On-Brand Experience” delivered to customers – not a hundred touchpoint metrics that can distract and confuse the organization, but carefully selected metrics based on the moments that matter and the key customer experience elements that make up the foundation of an “On-Brand Experience”
  3. Clear Linkage of Delivery of the On-Brand Experience” to revenues, retention and profits. The type of clarity that allows everyone to make decisions on how much to invest in programs necessary to deliver the elements of your unique on-brand experience.

Source: Tucker & Company, 2021

Greg Tucker
Greg Tucker is a Who's who of Customer Experience and award-winning CX practitioner, advisor and leader for more than 15 years. As CEO of Tucker & Company he consults to Fortune 1000 enterprises and emerging companies on Customer Experience strategies and programs, delivering transformational business results. As a CX Officer and CMO at Copart Auto Auctions, he implemented an end-to-end CX program across all channels that delivered a 20% improvement in Enterprise profitability and received the 2012 CX Innovation Award for delivering a powerful ROI from the CX Program.


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