Voice of the Customer – what’s needed for success


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Listening to your customers and using the feedback generated is widely considered essential to business success, so how do you make sure the your Voice of the Customer investment and activities will make a difference?

We looked at a recent report on the effectiveness of the Voice of the Customer by Temkin Group which reveals that while the majority of companies have customer feedback activity in place there are some key factors which are essential for success and which will help to identify the (often elusive) Return on Investment (ROI).

Key factors for Voice of the Customer success

  • CEO or senior management engagement
  • Systems integration and technology in place to collect and distribute information
  • A dedicated VoC team or a responsible person
  • Identify and remove organise silos (this may require internal reorganisation)
  • Systematic, regular organisational metrics in place, e.g. NPS or Customer satisfaction scores, shared across the business

So, what can you expect in terms of “actionable insights”?

In an ideal world, customer feedback would sit at the very heart of management; with systems in place to share insights and metrics and customer data driving company strategy. The Temkin Group report reveals that less than one-quarter of companies consider themselves good at making strategic changes to the business based on customer insights.

Despite the fact that good information is collected, businesses do not always act effectively on the insights. Voice of the Customer insights are used to the most effect to:

  1. Provide operational insights
  2. Fix problems with individual customers
  3. Target training needs for employees
  4. Fix process issues
  5. Make strategic decsions more customer centric

And the obstacles to success?

Obstacles to Voice of the Customer improvement and success are identified by Temkin as:

  • Integration across systems
  • Cooperation across the organisation
  • Proving clear ROI from VoC efforts
  • Funding levels
  • Staffing levels

From our extensive experience working with organisations to help improve their customer enagement we find that time and again the biggest issue is measuring and proving Return on Investment (ROI) for Voice of the Customer and customer engagement activities. When a VoC programme has the support of the senior management team and the organisation has a CEO with vision we find that the results generated are more meaningful, proving the return on investment becomes less of an issue and the whole programme runs smoothly.

Systems integration and ensuring that the whole organisation is customer centric is rare in the B2B world, our view is that the companies who are addressing this now, will be the successful ones in the future.

We are always happy to kick around ideas about Voice of the Customer and customer engagement. If you would like to have a chat, contact me [email protected]

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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