We frequently hear, “We’re thinking about conducting a Voice of the Customer initiative. What are the best ways to be sure we gain the most value from our VOC study?” This post is the third part in a series called 3 Steps to Gain the Most Value from a Voice of the Customer Study.
In fact, there are three absolutely critical factors. In our last post we discussed Step Two: Define your survey tool correctly. For today, we're going to focus in on Step Three.
#3 Respect the Results and Take Action
Now comes the hard part. Tons of data, loads of interview content, and where to turn? A strong Voice of the Customer initiative steps back from the weeds and looks for common themes, threads of conversations that show some consistency—both good and bad. The best initiatives will take all the qualitative information and quantify it. These are the types of initiatives that really listen, even when the message is disheartening.
Perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard customers voice their lack of understanding of your product portfolio. Or, that they want more—not less—engagement from your sales force. Or even more surprising, perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard that customers believe your next ‘best idea’ is not so great. That they’d wish you’d innovate differently.
A robust Voice of the Customer Report should become one of the most ‘dogged eared’ documents in your arsenal of strategic planning and actionable tools. It should be shared and socialized throughout your organization. Perhaps share selectively with those departments and team members who are most impacted by the results. Then share more comprehensively with your key management team who will drive change.
Voice of the Customer initiatives at their root are change management tools. How can we improve? What do we need to grow the business? How can we fix the issue that makes our customers frustrated to the point of exasperation?
We liken it to ‘eating the elephant one bite at a time.’ Importantly, it’s your customers’ perception – and that perception may or may not ring entirely true. But, it is their perception. And, to change perception you have to engage in changing mindset. One step at a time.