Six Trends Reshape Voice Of The Customer Programs

One of the most important components of customer experience is a strong voice of the customer (VoC) program. In the past, I’ve written about two core elements of VoC programs: 1) The five levels of customer feedback; and 2) The “LIRM” processes for getting value from the feedback.

My work in this space has uncovered some major shifts; which led me to publish a report called Voice Of The Customer: The Next Generation. To begin with, I’ve found a number of problems with current approaches to VoC programs, the most glaring is that programs are all listen and no action. Companies obsess about the measurements and analysis, but many lack processes for responding to the insights in a closed-loop manner.

Given the current issues with VoC programs and the new capabilities enabled by a host of vendors, I outlined 6 key trends for VoC Programs:

  1. Tapping into unstructured and unsolicited feedback
  2. Integrating social media monitoring
  3. Increasing the tempo of responding
  4. Widening the access to insights
  5. Going beyond metrics to diagnostics
  6. Creating continuous feedback mechanisms.

I can’t go over the entire report in my blog, but I wanted to highlight the first trend. Today, most firms use multiple-choice surveys as the basis for their VoC programs. But there’s a ton of other listening posts that don’t fit into this mold. So companies regularly lose out on critical insights. But new capabilites like text mining, sentiment inference, and social media extraction allow firms to systematically gain insights from unstructured, unsolicited feedback:


These important listening posts include items like inbound emails, calls into the call center, comments on surveys, comments on company blogs, posts and comments on non-company blogs, and feedback on third party sites.

The bottom line: The voice of the customer is too valuable to waste

Written by 

I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

13 thoughts on “Six Trends Reshape Voice Of The Customer Programs”

  1. Bruce, I would agree that you need to look into tapping into unstructured and unsolicited feedback. We have discovered that Customer have a subconscious experience, I wrote about this a while ago in a post It it is this that is unstructured by it’s very nature and very difficult for Customers to even articulate.

  2. Dear Bruce,
    Very analytical posting , post CRM is the CIM, the Customer Involvement Management, all valuable feedbacks and keeping in constant touch with customers are a part of the CIM.

    I do agree with you that enough emphasis must be given for Voice Of The Customer.

    With Warm Regards

  3. Colin’s post on the subconscious experience was quite interesting. Whatever we can do to uncover the true feedback of customers (and incorporate that into processes for changing how we operate), the better. This is all, as Debashish stated, a process of customer “involvement.” Colin and Debashish: Thanks for your comments.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.