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Elizabeth Glagowski | April 26, 2010

Voice of the Customer 2.0

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Voice of the Customer is an important strategy for any company looking to innovate and evolve. What used to be the job of one department to manually capture customer calls to measure satisfaction has become an enterprisewide initiative that includes not just listening, but participating and acting on insight. Advancements in technology and strategy have created Voice of the Customer 2.0.

Today's feature article in 1to1 Magazine explores how companies are meeting new customer expectations with their voice of the customer programs. In the article, Rob Key of Converseon explains VoC's evolution:

"In 2008 companies needed to track voice of the customer," he says. "In 2009 new tools emerged to collect new customer information, but the information was still siloed. 2010 will see the maturing of the industry. Voice of the customer programs need to grow up and be infused across the enterprise."

In essence, companies need to align all parts of the business around customer feedback, take swift action in real time, and close the loop with customers to let them know their voice was heard. To drive the point home, Barry Libert of Mzinga makes a poignant comparison. "If I only talk to my wife once a year, I'd probably get divorced," he says in the article. "Customers are groups of individuals that need to be cared for [in a timely way]."

Jeff Resnick of Opinion Research Corp. has five recommendations for companies looking to evolve to VOC 2.0:

  1. Link Voice of the Customer efforts to specific outcomes.
  2. Design the program to collect information based on those business outcomes.
  3. "Get religion" about communicating fully with customers. They need to understand how their information will be used so they will be willing to provide it.
  4. Engage customers and employees in social research and integrate it in the organization.
  5. Include Voice of the Employee in your feedback program. They are often the unsung heroes with their information they can provide about customers.

How is your company advancing your Voice of the Customer strategy? Will 2010 be the year it integrates across the enterprise?

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