The State Of VoC Programs, 2014

Voice of the customer (VoC) programs play a critical role in improving customer experience. They gather data for customer experience (CX) measurement efforts and uncover insights that help improve customer understanding.

To assess the state of VoC programs, we asked companies how long their VoC program has been in place, how valuable the program is to drive CX improvements and deliver financial results, how the program governance works, and if it is supported by VoC consulting and technology vendors. And we asked participants to rate their program’s capabilities on the four key tasks of VoC programs — listen, interpret, react, and monitor.

Here are some highlights of what we found:

  • Most VoC programs have been around for three or more years, are run or coordinated by a central team, and consist of fewer than five full-time employees. Many also turn to outside vendors for help.
  • But VoC programs are still not taken as seriously as other programs in an organization: They improve customer experience but struggle to deliver financial results. And they aren’t embedded enough in the organization. The good news is that many have some executive support, but they lack the resources they need and aren’t fully embraced by employees.
  • For VoC capabilities, we found that VoC programs are still better at listening than at acting on the insights they find.

More details about our study will be available to you in my upcoming report about the state of VoC programs (it will come out in June 2014). The other piece of research following this is a report about what successful VoC programs have in common.

If you’d like to discuss VoC best practices, please be in touch. I’ll also be speaking more about how to optimize VoC programs at Forrester's Forum For Customer Experience Professionals East in New York, June 24th to 25th. Hope to see you there.

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