While the ultimate goal for any Voice of The Customer (VoC) program should be to infuse customer insight into every decision within an organization, not many of these efforts have achieved that lofty goal. As it turns out, companies are at four different levels of VoC maturity.
- Collectors. At the first stage of maturity, VoC leaders are caught up in just getting data. They spend most of their time focused on discussions about identifying the right “listening posts,” choosing the questions to ask, and debating the metrics to use.
- Analyzers. At the second level of maturity, VoC programs do a lot of data crunching. They find interesting and novel ways for uncovering insights about what’s working and what’s not working in the business. They have some cross-functional processes setup, but the group is not very well integrated with the rest of the company. The data they share with other organizations is often mostly standardized.
- Collaborators. At the third level of maturity, VoC programs have strong relationships with other parts of their business. They’ve developed processes for tailoring data and insights to meet the needs of other organizations and support continuous improvement efforts.
- Transformers. At the final stage of maturity, VoC programs link customer insight data into most of the proceses throughout their company, from operational activities to strategic decision making. They help organizations throughout the company change how they operate to take advantage of feedback and other customer insight data.
Based on my very unscientific analysis, I would estimate that the distribution of VoC progams is as follows:
- Collectors: 40%
- Analyzers: 40%
- Collaborators: 18%
- Transformers: 2%
Only one out of 5 VoC programs have reached the “Collaborator” level, which is the minimum level that all VoC leaders should be aiming to achieve.
The bottom line: VoC programs have a lot of room to grow(-up)