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Posted by Andrew McInnes on March 21, 2011
More than half of companies say that they have voice of the customer (VoC) programs in place today, and many others say that they’re planning to establish programs within the next year. That’s a good thing, because collecting, analyzing, and acting on customer feedback is a recipe for success in financial as well as customer experience terms. The firms recognized in Forrester’s 2010 Voice Of The Customer Awards attributed impressive business results to their VoC efforts, ranging from increases in customer retention to increases in revenue per customer.
Unfortunately, most companies still aren’t feeling the business value of their VoC programs. We recently surveyed members of our Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey. The vast majority of respondents said that their VoC programs were extremely or very valuable in improving customers’ experiences. But fewer than half said that they got the same financial value from their programs. This might not be a huge shocker, but it is a problem.
Companies that see gaps between the customer experience and financial benefits delivered by their VoC programs are likely:
Are these the only possible explanations for the reported gap between the customer experience and business value delivered by VoC programs? Of course not. Some companies might be too early in the process to see financial benefits. Others might not directly measure financial benefits but still believe (and thus report) that they exist. Nevertheless, VoC leaders who see this gap in their organizations should examine whether they are doing and measuring the right things to drive and demonstrate business benefits. Those are the levers they can pull to take their programs to the next level. If they do nothing, they’ll continue to see their efforts regarded as disconnected from — or even antithetical to — financial success, when that’s actually far from the truth.
Forrester recognizes VoC programs that drive customer experience and business value in our annual Voice Of The Customer Awards. The 2011 nomination period starts on March 25th. Visit our VoC Awards home page for details about past winners and this year’s process.