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Voice of Customer | What it is and What it is not!

April 28, 2012

So, we all love to say – Yeah, I love my customer and they love me too 🙂 But, what we forget is the outside-in view. Do your customers love you – maybe. So, consultants love to charge you big $s and of course you love to pay them the buck to identify the voice of your own customers.

What we forget is the fact that they are your own customers and they would love to interact with you and be recognized by you. Let me quote a simple example – On my trip to the middle east, a Subway outlet at the Mall of the Emirates had a customer feedback form and the lady at the counter was handing that over to every customer. Some used it as tissue, some threw it off, some gave it to their kids to scribble. Certainly, VoC is more than that – its “listening beyond surveying!”

To listen its also necessary to initiate an interaction and not just hand over a questionnaire. Of course we all would love to talk to customers but enterprises face a very small problem – well they have millions of customers. Honestly, a very simple solution probably is to leverage transactional data. For instance, a bank has to anyways service an account holder, the real deal comes when you start generating knowledge out every transaction. Suppose, if an account holder enters a branch to change his communication address, it means that maybe he has purchased a new house  and might now have several financial needs owing to this development.

Social Media is another excellent listening platform. People are talking about experiences and if lucky, about you. The crux is to first listen to customers, enthusiasts, media, competition and market and then initiate conversations that build communities of loyalists.

VoC is more than gathering data and running campaigns. Its about humanizing data, deriving insights and interacting with consumers. In a nutshell, buying fancy marketing automation and analytics tool is good but not good enough. Its only useful if one is able to derive knowledge out of each data point and then use this knowledge in every future communication.

In next parts we will see a next step on utilizing VoC for business results.



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