Voice of the Customer Examples to Maximize Customer Experience


Sarah Simon

Sarah Simon

Author Bio

With over 20 years’ experience in customer experience, Sarah’s passion lies in operationalizing the Voice of Customer to drive outstanding customer experiences. Her specialties include VoC architecture, developing linkages to business performance, reduction of customer defection and analyzing customer feedback to tell the customer’s story. Her expertise in VoC survey design has combined with omni-channel customer listening to structure sophisticated, customer-friendly VoC programs. 

Currently, she serves as VoC Consulting Director at Confirmit, where she combines her industry thought-leadership with customized needs-analysis to architect new feedback initiatives and corresponding customer experience strategies. She also runs diagnostics on existing programs to optimize structure and function to yield significant business insights from mature programs.


Author Bio

Confirmit's Voice of the Customer (VOC) solutions emphasize the customer experience (CX)

So often we speak of Voice of Customer and Customer Experience as such highly complementary entities that we forget the two disciplines do not always get along. Most of the time VoC and CX do harmonize well toward a shared goal of improving the experience of our customers. Sometimes, though, the two disciplines collide within an organization. A strong Voice of the Customer initiative is imperative to a company’s success, but VoC cannot come at the expense of the customer in a “win at all costs” approach to data collection.

The following guide provides additional information about Voice of the Customer Programs.

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Consider the following examples I have encountered:

  • “We can’t shorten the survey, we need answers to all 35 product feature rating score questions!”
  • “Our response rate to the annual relationship survey is too low. Let’s drive higher response volume by sending a third reminder then have the account manager call the customer to encourage participation among non-responders.”
  • “We don’t have a large enough customer base for cross-program anti-fatiguing rules. We understand customers could theoretically receive all 5 program surveys in one month. That’s a chance we’ll take.”
  • “Corporate uses a 10 point scale, but our tech support benchmark vendor uses a 5 point scale, so let’s just ask the customer each rating question two different times. They’ll understand!”

What good is pushing hard to collect customer data if the end result is a damaged customer relationship? Most companies are in the business of attracting and retaining customers. A survey program that pesters, fatigues, annoys, burdens and confuses the customer is counter-productive to forging a strong relationship with the people who pay your bills (customers).

Why not address the above concerns with customer-friendly solutions?

  • Randomly cycle the 35 product feature rating score questions throughout the survey respondent base so each customer sees no more than 10 feature rating questions in one sitting.
  • Leverage holistic, non-pesky response volume increase tactics such as a clear and compelling call-to-action in the invitation, targeting only the most pertinent audience with personalized messaging, and closing the loop with 360-degree customer feedback.
  • Resist the temptation to make shortcuts in limiting the frequency of survey obligations asked of each customer. Self-modulate customer survey volume before respondent fatigue reduces feedback volume for you. Carefully prioritize touchpoint and ad-hoc survey initiatives, even if it means eliminating lower-value surveys from your portfolio.
  • Randomly assign invitees to either the 10 point or the 5 point version of the survey, but do not confuse and annoy the respondent by walking them through the same questions twice to satisfy a corporate need for duplicate data on both scales.

Customer data collection is critical for garnering customer insights, but VoC and CX teams cannot risk the happiness of the customer to get their data in-hand. A well-designed VoC initiative is built and executed with the best interest of the customer in mind, enhances the customer experience and supports CX optimization efforts.

The following guide provides additional information about Voice of the Customer Programs.