The Hierarchy of Engagement

Sometimes it helps to have a framework.

Frameworks are useful when you are trying to sort out a problem or figure out an issue. Say you’re trying to develop a business strategy. A common place to start is to do a SWOT analysis to assess your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This is just one popular framework to help make sense of things.

Let’s apply it to customer loyalty initiatives…

For any voice of the customer program to be productive it must prompt action and generate results. For that to happen, employees must be engaged. Below is a framework we use that helps figure out what needs to happen to get employees engaged and supporting customer relationship strategies.



  • Awareness – are people even aware of your customer listening program? If they don’t even know it exists, you can be darned sure it is not going to generate much action.
  • Understanding – do people get it? They may know about the program, but they may not know what you’re trying to achieve, how it works, and what they are supposed to do.
  • Belief – do they really believe in it? Do they feel the feedback from customers is credible? Stakeholders need to be convinced that the customer insights are valid and that the program will make a difference.
  • Action – Once your people are aware of your voice of the customer program, understand their role, believe in the information, they are much more likely to take action to build customer loyalty and increase customer retention. 

We call it the Hierarchy of Engagement. This framework helps figure out what must be done at each level to engage your stakeholders to prompt action and deliver results.




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