The Trouble with Voice of the Customer Programs
I’ve had a lot of conversations with folks at midsize to enterprise companies about Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs. In all of these conversations they are under pressure to create growth with little time or resources and previous attempts to launch product have not worked out so well.
There are two problems they need to solve
- They don’t know their customer beyond the demographic basics
- The process for developing new products and features doesn’t work (or in some cases doesn’t exist beyond some big shot asking for something)
To tackle this many companies are implementing or considering VOC programs. A voice of the customer program is a structured effort to collect, analyze and act on customer input to help improve customer experience (CX) and drive business results. To me a VOC program the following four elements: engaging with customers, measuring and analyzing results, taking action and developing your staff to be more customer-focused. If you go the VOC route these are the challenges you’ll face:
Time and Investment to Value
A VOC program involves surveying, interviewing, collecting metrics, analyzing results, prototyping, testing, storing information, training and more. It’s easy for six months and tens of thousands of the dollars to be gone before getting anything out of it.
Lack of Business Impact
The impact of VOC programs on business objectives is unclear. Companies report improvements to the customer’s experience but not financial results.
A VOC program generates a lot of quantitative and qualitative information. It doesn’t guarantee a hit product. This risk can cause companies to seek more and more data before making a commitment and they will miss their window in the market.
A VOC team could easily become siloed from the product, sales and engineering teams. Their insights will be stuck in powerpoints to nowhere instead of informing product roadmaps.
I’ll be addressing how to manage these challenges in upcoming posts. I’m always excited to learn about the challenges you are facing in this area
Image: I was in the mood to use pastels