To clearly hear the Voice of your Customer – be simple, straightforward and succinct


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Measuring and monitoring the Voice of the Customer is as crucial to B2B companies as it is in the B2C world.

Capturing critical customer feedback not only gives insights into issues your customers may have with your products or services but also helps inform you about their perception of your overall performance and understand where to focus your efforts.

Rapid recognition and resolution of problems is an easy way to build customer trust and improve retention.

“Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong”

Donald Porter, V.P. British Airways

Optimising customer feedback is not always easy – you may ask too many questions too frequently. You may not contact them enough and find resentful customers who feel that they are tied into an unfair contract.

Gathering the right information using a Voice of the Customer survey provides the flexibility to generate deep customer insight. Used as an event triggered survey – a one-off when a customer takes an action – generates feedback into the performance of the people involved and the overall suitability of the service provided.

Continual customer sentiment tracking provides deeper and richer data on how customers feel about your product or service, your company and your employees.

It’s easier in the B2C world where numbers are bigger but set up well with the appropriate data gathering mechanism (phone or online) a B2B survey can gather a wide range of in-depth customer opinions.

From our long experience helping clients listen effectively to the Voice of the Customer we find it helps to start with the end in mind. Many surveys are too long because they fail to distinguish interesting from relevant. Concise questions are best and should be as direct as possible. Be open in your approach and upfront as to why you want your customer to complete the survey.

Crucially, a survey must make the respondent feel that it addresses their concerns and isn’t solely there from the business perspective to increase business profits.

For each question you should be able to answer:

  • What will I do when I have the answer?
  • How will it add insight and understanding? Only ask things which you don’t know the answer to and which will result in action

Don’t ask what you already know, what has already been decided or what you have no control over.

Open ended questions requiring the customer to give an opinion are vital for good insight, but be warned, in general, 60% of respondents don’t answer open-ended questions and of the 40% who do, 90% of those give differing answers.

Our advice: keep it simple, straightforward and succinct.

Rob Brickle
Rob Brickle is Managing Director of Bsquared Consulting, a company which specialises in helping organisations improve their business-to-business customer engagement and loyalty. Rob has many years experience advising business leaders on change and strategy and has a passion for helping organisations maximise the lifetime value of their relationships with key customers, suppliers and other key stakeholders.


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