Is your feedback programme being knocked off-course?

steering back on course

When clients start talking to us about implementing their voice of customer programme, they always set out with the very best intentions to use it to improve overall business performance. But sometimes, things don’t go according to plan.

It’s worth asking yourself the questions:

Is our customer feedback programme delivering the results we expected?

Is it helping drive improvements in sales revenues, Net Promotor Scores and employee engagement?

Is it helping reduce costs and wastage?

If the answers to the above are “no”, it’s time to examine why it’s not being as effective as it should be and work towards steering it back on course.

With over 20 years experience of the world of customer feedback, we've identified 5 reasons why some VOC programmes fail:

1. No clear objective

Launching a VoC program without a clear objective is tantamount to failure. Some companies believe they are focusing on the customer because they have a VoC programme in place. Unfortunately, a data is useless without a purpose.

When setting up a new programme, start by defining who your customer is and what problem you think your customers are attempting to solve. Then link this to your product or service – how can this help solve their problem?

Once you know who your target audience is and what issue you need to resolve, you will be able to define the objective of your programme. This will shape how you communicate with customers and what you ask them.

And don’t forget that all customers suffer from survey fatigue. Keep it short, simple and relevant.

2. Not getting everyone on board

A successful VoC programme requires buy in from all departments and all levels of staff in your organisation. Operating different silos of feedback leads to missed opportunities and additional costs managing different programmes.

Listen to all feedback and consolidate it into one platform to get a 360 degree view of your customers’ opinions. Then use the insight to prioritise actions to improve experience across the whole organisation.

3. Not really listening to your customers

The objective of a VoC programme is to listen effectively to your customers. This isn’t just once a month or once a year, it’s regularly on an ongoing basis. Hear what they’re saying, engage with those who complain, thank those who give praise and show them you really are listening to them and taking action to improve their experience.

4. Not acting on the feedback you receive

Have you ever given feedback only to see if blatantly ignored and never acted upon? There is no point in launching a VoC programme if you’re not going to pay attention to what is being said.

Over time, customers will stop giving feedback and become disillusioned with your brand. People have limited time and patience, so if you want your survey to be the one customers fill out, then you need to make it as easy as possible for them, but to also show them they aren’t wasting their time.

Let your customers know you’ve listened to them, show them what you intend to do about an issue and then take the relevant action.

5. Treating your VOC programme like a market research study

A VoC programme is not a one off market research exercise. An effective programme is an ongoing one with everyone seeing the results, learning from it and implementing improvements to processes, people, products or services to increase customer satisfaction rates.

It should be an integral part of your organisation with all stakeholders taking ownership and built to suit the needs of your business.