Steps for Proving VoC Business Impact

In this blog, Harley Manning shares insights on what "separated the winners from the contenders" in Forrester's Voice of the Customer Awards. His advice: 

"If you're running a VoC program, please take the time to think through how you'll measure - and prove - your program's impact on your business and your customers - not because you want an award...but because it will crystallize your thinking about why you're listening to customers and how the insight you gain can create benefits for your organization."

Customer Strategy Consulting - The Six EssentialsIn our experience, we have found six essentials for driving business impact through VoC programs. The two that align most closely with Harley's advice are Relevance and Alignment and Validation

Two characteristics that define world-class Relevance and Alignment include:

  • Aligning your customer program to the strategies that support your overall corporate objectives. Once this alignment is understood, it will be easier to quantify the return your program is having on the business.
  • Integrating customer insights into the daily responsibilities and processes. For example, engineers might have a hard time understanding how they can directly impact customer perceptions. However, if we tie the customer perception data with the internal metrics that are familiar to our engineers, it becomes relevant to their job and something with their control.
Validation is about proving the business impact. World-class validation includes linking financial, operational, and employee metrics together to create and validate the service-profit chain. It involves tracking action plans, that were prompted from the VoC program through to completion and ultimately to a quanitifiable ROI. 

Validation can be one of the most challenging essential elements, but as Harley suggests, it is one of the most important.

If you are struggling to quantify the business impact of your VoC program, start by making sure your program is aligned and supports the business strategy. Once you have this in place, work to combine the customer feedback with other authoritative data sources to quantify the impact it is having on your business strategy.


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