Voice of the Customer: No Longer a Cry in the Dark


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Towards the end of last year, we ran a survey of 300 European executives to find out about their plans and challenges around Voice of the Customer programs.

Voice of the Customer, as you’re well aware, is one of the core elements of many Customer Experience programs, and one that mustn’t be overlooked. Trying to measure, manage and improve the Customer Experience without the Voice of the Customer is little more than an elaborate guessing game.

The full report of the survey is available here, but for those of you pushed for time, some key points include:

  • Customer-centricity is a focus for a large number of organisations across a range of industries.
  • The findings show that 85% of businesses surveyed expect to have the same or larger budgets for Voice of the Customer programmes in 2011 than they had in 2010.
  • Customer advocacy and retention remain vital for many businesses, primarily because of reduced budgets which makes the task of recruiting new customers more challenging.
  • Despite this, customer acquisition still registered high as a business challenge when measured across all industries, though this was driven by high scores from some specific industries.
  • “Generate actionable insights” ranked highly in the Business Goals section, suggesting that businesses are beginning to understand the importance of using the Voice of the Customer to improve processes, rather than playing lip service to the concept.

As if often the case, for me at least because I’m not a numbers-oriented person, the most interesting points came in the verbatim comments. In a lot of them, it was very clear that Voice of the Customer is moving from a fancy name for a customer satisfaction survey, and becoming more established as a way of channelling customer opinions into the business—and more importantly, providing direction for decision makers.

For me, many of the “best” comments were about company culture. Company culture is an elusive beast and one that’s hard to define, let alone tame. The fact that businesses increasingly recognize that it’s vital to infuse culture with a focus on the customer can only bode well for customers in the long run.

For obvious reasons, I shan’t include all the comments that were made, but below are a few that struck a chord with me. They might do the same with you.

“A focus on customer-centricity in our culture is vital to the future survival of our organization.”

“Ultimately, our goal is to drive a customer-centric culture. In order to do this we must understand our customers’ needs through our Voice of the Customer program, and drive actionable insights.”

“Through Voice of the Customer, we can improve products and services and deal with issues where necessary. It’s vital that we advise customers of the actions taken as a result of their feedback so they know their feedback is valued, enabling us to forge stronger relationships.”

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.


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