Our research has shown that effectively collecting, analyzing, and acting on customer feedback is critical to successful customer experience efforts. That's why we created Forrester's annual Voice Of The Customer Award to recognize companies that are leading the way in this area.
We will collect nominations through Friday, June 4th.
Any company that wants to have their Voice of the Customer programs considered for the award should complete the online nomination form. Companies can also submit an additional PowerPoint presentation with up to five slides to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forrester analysts will grade each nomination based on four criteria: business value to the organization, positive impact on customer experience, innovative approach, and potential for other companies to repeat the practice. We may select more than one winner based on the strength of the submissions.
We received dozens of strong submissions last year, including those of last year's three winners. We look forward to seeing how companies have raised the bar since then.
We all know there's a big difference between wanting to deliver good customer experiences and actually taking steps to do it. But most companies haven't crossed that divide. Executives consistently tell us that customer experience is important to their overall strategy, yet most also admit that their firms don't have a clear understanding of target customers or systematically incorporate customer needs into their decisions. That leaves employees to design experiences based on things like personal opinions and internal politics. It's no wonder customers aren't impressed.
In Bruce Temkin's and my latest research, we look at a key tool to move from ambition to action: customer journey mapping. We define customer journey maps as documents that visually illustrate customers' processes, needs, and perceptions throughout their relationships with a company. The journey mapping process helps firms align around a shared vision of target customers, identify broken moments of truth, and get the insights they need to improve.
The customer journey mapping process involves five key steps:
Collect internal insights
Develop initial hypotheses
Research customer processes, needs, and perceptions
Analyze customer research
Map the customer journey
Obviously, customer journey maps won't provide much value if they're not put to use. Our research uncovered three categories of best practices for effectively using journey maps: widely sharing customer journey maps, taking action on the insight, and sustaining the learnings over time.
While we talked to a bunch of companies about their journey mapping efforts as part of this research, we'd love to hear about your experiences. Have you mapped your customers' journeys?
Forrester's Gen Y design research stems from The Gen Y Design Guide report published in December 2007. It describes how Gen Yers are different (and they are!) and identifies four design tactics for reaching them online. To delve deeper into each tactic, I've been scouring the Web and picking the brains of our design agency contacts to find good examples and spot missed opportunities. We already published findings related to the first Gen Y design tactic, immediacy, back in November of last year.
To find good social interactivity practices, we looked for sites (excluding social networks) that 1) provide the opportunity to communicate with others, and 2) offer tools for self-expression.
Here are some of our findings:
Zappos.com makes it easy to share product information.
Lands' End lets customers email personalized virtual models.
Sprint offers forums for device and service support.
Charlotte Russe helps friends shop together.
Wet Seal allows customers to design and vote on outfits.
Threadless.com rewards users for expressing themselves.
Forrester’s research has uncovered many trends that enable companies to dramatically improve how they collect, interpret, and react to customer feedback. So we have created a Voice Of The Customer Award to recognize companies that are leading the way in this critical area of customer experience.
Forrester is collecting nominations for this award through Friday, May 29th. Any company that wants to have their voice of the customer efforts to be considered for this award can submit a nomination in one of two ways:
Forrester analysts will review each nomination and grade the submissions based on the following four criteria: Business value to the organization, positive impact on customer experience, innovative approach, and potential for other organizations to repeat the practice. Forrester may select more than one winner based on the strength of the submissions.