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3-Question Quiz on Your Approach to VOC

Service organizations are at the center of VOC, and unlike our counterparts in marketing and market research, we don’t have to ask for it! Yes – that was a bit of sugar-coating the type of VOC we’re most exposed to in service interactions, but the truth is that we have access to tremendous VOC.

As enterprise receptivity to customer voice increases, it’s noteworthy how often I’m asked about improving the customer experience beyond the basics. It’s almost as if VOC initiatives that don’t include the words “innovation,” “customer insight,” and “unstated needs” are insufficient. My advice? Careful putting the cart before the horse.

There is a greater degree to which service organizations can augment R&D or marketing efforts on innovation and unstated needs analysis, but let’s make sure we’re getting the basics right first. Based on several of our best practitioner’s insights, here are three questions you should consider:

1. How defined is the scope of your VOC collection?

The scope of VOC data is literally infinite. While the idea of determining unstated needs and providing market insight is appealing, our best practitioners purposefully limit their VOC efforts to fixing customer-articulated issues. This matrix highlights what’s in and out of scope – customers contact us with problems – so VOC efforts should first and foremost be oriented in the upper right.

2. How deep are you going with your VOC info?

While issue sensing (i.e., determining potential customer pain points) should be a broad-based exercise, true VOC listening should mine for actionable information. Obviously we can’t go deep on all facets of VOC – there is simply too much information. But, a limited scope allows intensive deep dives into customer pain points.

VOC scope

Click Image to Enlarge

For CCC Members, Demarco, a US telecom company, has an intensive deep dive process conducted by their QA staff. This case highlights a low cost method for using VOC to mine root cause data.

3. Are you fully leveraging frontline staff to augment VOC?

Lara wrote a post on frontline involvement (definitely worth a quick read), and her point stands that we often see frontline reps as a highly underutilized source of great information. Yes, it’s true that simply asking staff for suggestions yields a lot of noise. That’s why smart organizations have provided basic training in root cause analysis to help staff suggest relevant improvements based on customer voice.

For CCC Members, Zurich Financial Services uses a very light lean training method to make sure frontline staff can and should participate in customer experience improvement efforts.

So where does your organization stand on the basics? And at what point do you safely venture beyond the basics?

Comments from the Network (1)

  1. Lucy
    on May 18, 2010

    I like the 4 square idea. We use a similar approach when drilling down into the Customer Service feedback area.
    We look at the volume of customer feedback as well as the impact. You might have 1 customer tell you about an error in yoru product that could be a compliance issue whereas many customers could tell you that they don’t like the button color being red.
    Do you fix the 1 issue that could have big impact but most don’t know about it OR fix the facade that most customers do see and are actively giving you feedback on?
    That is where the hard connversations lie when allocating your finite resources…

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