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Your VOC programme is underperforming,
and you know it.
www.futurelab.net
This article is not to convince you that you should have a Voice of the Customer
(VoC) program. It’s 2020 – we assume you have this by now. If not, please let us
know if you need arguments to convince your manager, we will help you. Either
way, the below is your guideline on how to set up your programme.
50% of all Voice of the Customer practitioners are
unhappy with their programme1
.
Fred Reichheld, the creator of the Net Promoter System, claims that 70% of
companies do NPS wrong. And too many VoC programmes that we at Futurelab
have ever encountered are struggling to reach their full potential or present a
substantial ROI. Given the current focus on ROI in the evaluation of VoC (and
in the broader sense CX) programmes, this is a dangerous position to find
yourself.
As someone responsible for Voice of the Customer in your company, you
must be asking yourself if you can do something about this. Well, if we were to
summarise more than 15 years and over 40 projects we have worked on, we
would say that a successful VoC programme always follows a specific path.
It’s OK to skip some smaller elements, but you have to stick to the main steps
towards VoC glory, including the core elements crucial for all steps. Without
them, you will not reach the maximum outcome, and the programme can
eventually fail to create the desired impact on the bottom line.
ARE YOU STRUGGLING
TO PROVE THE VALUE OF
YOUR VOC PROGRAMME?
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
2
For real world examples and cases how we applied these principles,
please join one of our webinars on webinar.futurelab.net/voc
3
The steps of the Value Cycle are:
1.	 At the CORE are systems and processes to collect and analyse
customer data to produce actionable insights.
2.	Companies can CREATE value based on those insights by:
• Closing the loop on negative feedback
• Using positive feedback to drive sales
• Improving operational efficiencies
3.	In order to CAPTURE this value, companies should prove it
(e.g. in an ROI model), and adjust processes and KPIs
4.	Finally, it’s essential to COMMUNICATE it to demonstrate success,
inspire, and align people around the customer
Let us expand on this in more detail for each of the above steps.
CREATE
COMMUNICATE
CORE
data | systems | processes
CREATE VALUE
insight | action
CAPTURE VALUE
prove | improve
COMMUNICATE VALUE
train | empower | align
Virtuous Value Cycle
4
Core: Collect Customer Insight
At the CORE of this process lies a tool of collecting, analysing, and sharing
the Voice of the Customer data. Ideally, it also combines customer feedback
from various sources with financial, operational, and employee-supplied
information. As an output, this system supplies practical insights to all
relevant stakeholders, so that they can take action on improving the
customer experience.
The CORE element will require:
•	A technology platform that captures customer and employee feedback
•	A data strategy, providing you with the understanding of whom to ask
for feedback, what to ask from them, when in the customer journey to
do it, and how to do it.
•	A set of limited tested metrics that will explicitly describe the current
customer situation; both from inside-out and outside-in view. This also
includes capturing qualitative data through open questions, and not
falling into the trap of focusing entirely on the numbers.
•	Several clearly defined processes. How do you feed data back into your
CRM system? How will your people make decisions which customers to
reimburse, and which fire? How do you test and learn?
THE CORE
OF THE MATTER?
For real world examples and cases how we applied these principles,
please join one of our webinars on webainar.futurelab.net/voc
5
Create Value
THE KEY TO
CREATION.
Based on these actionable insights generated in
the CORE, the organisation can start CREATING
VALUE, by which we mean:
•	Improving the customer experience by closing the loop. Start closing
the loop tactically (with each customer who provided feedback),
and then strategically (by taking organisational learning from all that
feedback). Driving insight-based action should be the key theme for all
your efforts. Don’t act upon it? Don’t ask for feedback then.
•	Use insights to drive sales. A VoC programme can drive sales in direct
and indirect ways. You can get a quick win by approaching your happiest
customers for an upsell or recommendation. A longer-term drive is in
taking marketing lessons out of the drivers of recommendation you
identify.
•	Improve operational efficiencies. VoC can be a great learning tool for
the organisation to save cost. Not with a blunt axe, but by identifying
whether you do things that your customers don’t care about. If your
customers don’t mind waiting 30 seconds on hold instead of 10, focus
your budget somewhere else. But cost savings also come in reducing
complaints, cutting down the time spent in customer service, and
spreading the learnings from the customer into the whole organisation.
For many CX teams, this is where it ends. They do great things, but
insufficiently prove and share the impact they are generating. That’s
why you need to take the next steps.
For real world examples and cases how we applied these principles,
please join one of our webinars on webainar.futurelab.net/voc
6
CAPTURE
IS THE MAIN DRIVER
Once you have created value, it is essential to CAPTURE
it fully. The main drivers of capturing value are:
•	Demonstrating the value of customer experience and the power of recommendation.
Having a compelling story and an illustration of the importance of CX is critical for any
VoC programme. Otherwise, your colleagues and executives may never fully grasp the
meaning of customer loyalty and word of mouth economics.
•	Developing a pragmatic ROI  Business Model to get managerial support. To ensure
resources for your CX efforts, you need to build a transparent ROI model, which will also
help to develop convincing business cases for individual CX initiatives. This calculation is
essential to move VoC and CX out of the nice-to-have into the must-have budget line.
•	Finally, without KPIs adapted to the new reality, no real change will take place in the
organisation. Start with a review of all existing KPIs (especially at the operational level) to
see how they impact the customer (often through unintended consequences). Are you
sending the right impulses into the front line? Is the KPI you are using to communicate
your customers’ voice driving action or is it enticing your staff to cheat?
Now that you have the proof in hand that what you are doing is creating profits for the
company and its stakeholders, it’s time to close the virtuous cycle.
Capture Value
For real world examples and cases how we applied these principles,
please join one of our webinars on webainar.futurelab.net/voc
7
DRIVE FURTHER
CHANGE
What good is all of the above if we don’t use it to drive further
change in the company? Communicating the value you
created helps to steer the process further. You will need to:
•	 Showcase success stories and the ROI created: nothing is more convincing in a
corporate environment than showing success.
•	Ensure all employees are Willing, Skilled and Able. Summarising this big topic: you want
to convince people to act (in their heads and their hearts), but must also ensure that they
know how to act upon the insights you deliver to them while enabling them to take the
necessary actions with the right processes and tools.
•	Bring other stakeholders on board. One swallow does not make the spring, and
you cannot do it all by yourself or even as a department. The whole company must
be on board. So start with delivering compelling business cases, demonstrating how
collaborative action based upon customer feedback is the way to more profit, share and
market growth, and even stakeholder benefits.
Communicate Value
For real world examples and cases how we applied these principles,
please join one of our webinars on webainar.futurelab.net/voc
8
CHECKLIST  FOCUS
Below is a quick checklist to see how you are doing. This exercise can help
you to focus your attention on where it matters most.
Talk to us if you want to know how to improve on any individual step – or if
you’d like us to run a diagnostic for you to show where the quick wins and big
wins are in your VoC program.
Give yourself 0 points for No Implementation, 1 point for some
implementation, and 2 points if you feel your organisation is fully there.
How Are You Doing?
TOPIC
No implementation
Score=0
Some Implementation
Score=1
Fully there
Score=2
CORE: ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS
Systems
Metrics
Processes
CREATE VALUE
Close the loop
Driving sales
Improve operational
efficiency
CAPTURE VALUE
Value of CX and
recommendation
ROI  Business Model
Implement the right KPIs
COMMUNICATE VALUE
Showcase success stories
and ROI created
Ensure staff are willing,
skilled and able
Bring other (senior)
stakeholders departments
on board
9
1
CustomerGauge survey
2
Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain  Company,
Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld
WHAT IS YOUR SCORE?
0-5 points:
Perhaps your VoC program is put in place
just to have a box ticked on some corporate
scorecard or to be able to mention it in
an annual statement. Without the proper
implementation, it risks becoming merely a
distraction, or a waste of effort and money.
Let’s talk.
5-10 points:
You have taken the first steps and are on your
way. However, many elements are still missing
from your program, and you are not (yet)
driving the ROI that you could. Let’s have an
initial call to identify the weak points of your
current set-up together.
10-15 points:
Well done, you have established a strong VoC
program that drives Customer Lifetime Value.
However, there are always opportunities for
reaching the next level. Let’s have a chat.
15-18 points:
Impressive! Can we learn from you? Perhaps,
create a case study with your experience?
Please let us know!
Your score:
10
Futurelab: The Customer
Experience Architects
Futurelab is the European customer experience (CX) specialist for
almost 15 years. We help B2B and B2C companies understand the
needs of their customers better and develop a profitable customer
experience (CX). This makes customers more loyal and increases
revenues and margins.
We have services to fit your needs – from strategy development and
small pilots to all-company training programmes. Our focus is always
on identifying quick wins and drive the long-term ROI of any project.
Our recent focus has been on developing and launching Voice of
the Customer programmes that help companies drive action and
profitable improvement from the customer feedback.
infinit.cx:
ADVISE.
IMPLEMENT.
ENGAGE.
As one of the leading German system integrators, infinit.cx ensures
optimal technical conditions in customer service units at companies
like Deutsche Telekom, E.ON, and UniCredit. The goal is always to
create consistent customer experiences across all communication
channels (call, email, webchat, messaging, etc.) eSTABLISHED 1982.
About the
Authors:
Marina Natanova
Director, Head of Research
With special thanks to:
Lynn Van Wezemael, Futurelab
Maria Georgieva, Futurelab
Matts Van Nieuwenhove, Futurelab
Kai Nörtemann, infinit.cx
Stefan Grünzner, infinit.cx
Stefan Kolle
Founder and CEO of Futurelab
Representations
Valencia, Moscow
Network partners
Copenhagen, Prague
Own offices
Antwerpen, München,
HamburgStefan Kolle
sko@futurelab.net
www.futurelab.net
+49 89 262 029 900
Contact
@
Bibliography
Accenture (2012): How to make your company think like
a customer.
Bain  Company (2012): Loyalty Insights, Developing a
root cause capability.
CallMiner (2020): Voice of the Customer Tools and Best
Practices.
CustomerGauge (2015): Advanced NPS®
strategies
nobody talks about.
CustomerGauge (2016): The Executive’s Guide to a Net
Promoter System®, Turn feedback intro revenue.
CustomerGauge (2018): 2018 NPS  CX Benchmarks
Report.
CustomerGauge (2019): Account Experience: How
to Monetize Accounts, Grow Revenue and Deliver
Exceptional Experiences in the B2B Economy.
CustomerGauge (2019): The Definitive Guide To B2B CX.
Engage business media  Confirmit (2019): TIME FOR A
REVOLUTION,
How to Beat the CX Slump.
Forrester (2015): Advocate Marketing Creates B2B
Customer Relationships That Last A Lifetime: Focus
On People, Not Companies, To Increase Advocate
Engagement.
Forrester (2017): Designing For Emotion In Customer
Experience: Tap Into The Full Scope Of Emotion To Go
Beyond Customer Delight.
Forrester (2019): The ROI Of CX Transformation:
The Business Case Report In The CX Transformation
Playbook.
MaritzCX  CX Network (2018): The Big Book of
Customer Insight, Data  Analytics 2018.
McKinsey  Company (2016): Customer experience:
Creating value through transforming customer journeys.
MyCustomer  Confirmit (2017): Customer Journey
Mapping guide.
Pointillist (2017): Measuring Customer Experience
Beyond NPS.
Qualtrics XM Institute (2019): INSIGHT REPORT, State of
Voice of the Customer Programs, 2019: Benchmark of
VoC Competency  Maturity at Large Organizations.
Satmetrix (2009): Improving Your Net Promoter Scores
Through Strategic Account Management.
Satmetrix (2010): Taking your Net Promoter Program to
the Next Level.
Satmetrix (2011): Employee Loyalty: Linking employee
loyalty with business growth.
Temkin Group (2013): Employee Engagement
Benchmark Study.
Zendesk (2020): Zendesk Customer Experience Trends
Report 2020.
11
WE MAKE
CUSTOMER-CENTRICITY
HAPPEN.
PROFITABLY.
Kapucinessenstraat 45,
2000 Antwerpen
T: +32 3 2486 777
info@futurelab.net
www.futurelab.net

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Your VoC Programme is underperforming - do something about it

  • 1. Your VOC programme is underperforming, and you know it. www.futurelab.net
  • 2. This article is not to convince you that you should have a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program. It’s 2020 – we assume you have this by now. If not, please let us know if you need arguments to convince your manager, we will help you. Either way, the below is your guideline on how to set up your programme. 50% of all Voice of the Customer practitioners are unhappy with their programme1 . Fred Reichheld, the creator of the Net Promoter System, claims that 70% of companies do NPS wrong. And too many VoC programmes that we at Futurelab have ever encountered are struggling to reach their full potential or present a substantial ROI. Given the current focus on ROI in the evaluation of VoC (and in the broader sense CX) programmes, this is a dangerous position to find yourself. As someone responsible for Voice of the Customer in your company, you must be asking yourself if you can do something about this. Well, if we were to summarise more than 15 years and over 40 projects we have worked on, we would say that a successful VoC programme always follows a specific path. It’s OK to skip some smaller elements, but you have to stick to the main steps towards VoC glory, including the core elements crucial for all steps. Without them, you will not reach the maximum outcome, and the programme can eventually fail to create the desired impact on the bottom line. ARE YOU STRUGGLING TO PROVE THE VALUE OF YOUR VOC PROGRAMME? DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. 2 For real world examples and cases how we applied these principles, please join one of our webinars on webinar.futurelab.net/voc
  • 3. 3 The steps of the Value Cycle are: 1. At the CORE are systems and processes to collect and analyse customer data to produce actionable insights. 2. Companies can CREATE value based on those insights by: • Closing the loop on negative feedback • Using positive feedback to drive sales • Improving operational efficiencies 3. In order to CAPTURE this value, companies should prove it (e.g. in an ROI model), and adjust processes and KPIs 4. Finally, it’s essential to COMMUNICATE it to demonstrate success, inspire, and align people around the customer Let us expand on this in more detail for each of the above steps. CREATE COMMUNICATE CORE data | systems | processes CREATE VALUE insight | action CAPTURE VALUE prove | improve COMMUNICATE VALUE train | empower | align Virtuous Value Cycle
  • 4. 4 Core: Collect Customer Insight At the CORE of this process lies a tool of collecting, analysing, and sharing the Voice of the Customer data. Ideally, it also combines customer feedback from various sources with financial, operational, and employee-supplied information. As an output, this system supplies practical insights to all relevant stakeholders, so that they can take action on improving the customer experience. The CORE element will require: • A technology platform that captures customer and employee feedback • A data strategy, providing you with the understanding of whom to ask for feedback, what to ask from them, when in the customer journey to do it, and how to do it. • A set of limited tested metrics that will explicitly describe the current customer situation; both from inside-out and outside-in view. This also includes capturing qualitative data through open questions, and not falling into the trap of focusing entirely on the numbers. • Several clearly defined processes. How do you feed data back into your CRM system? How will your people make decisions which customers to reimburse, and which fire? How do you test and learn? THE CORE OF THE MATTER? For real world examples and cases how we applied these principles, please join one of our webinars on webainar.futurelab.net/voc
  • 5. 5 Create Value THE KEY TO CREATION. Based on these actionable insights generated in the CORE, the organisation can start CREATING VALUE, by which we mean: • Improving the customer experience by closing the loop. Start closing the loop tactically (with each customer who provided feedback), and then strategically (by taking organisational learning from all that feedback). Driving insight-based action should be the key theme for all your efforts. Don’t act upon it? Don’t ask for feedback then. • Use insights to drive sales. A VoC programme can drive sales in direct and indirect ways. You can get a quick win by approaching your happiest customers for an upsell or recommendation. A longer-term drive is in taking marketing lessons out of the drivers of recommendation you identify. • Improve operational efficiencies. VoC can be a great learning tool for the organisation to save cost. Not with a blunt axe, but by identifying whether you do things that your customers don’t care about. If your customers don’t mind waiting 30 seconds on hold instead of 10, focus your budget somewhere else. But cost savings also come in reducing complaints, cutting down the time spent in customer service, and spreading the learnings from the customer into the whole organisation. For many CX teams, this is where it ends. They do great things, but insufficiently prove and share the impact they are generating. That’s why you need to take the next steps. For real world examples and cases how we applied these principles, please join one of our webinars on webainar.futurelab.net/voc
  • 6. 6 CAPTURE IS THE MAIN DRIVER Once you have created value, it is essential to CAPTURE it fully. The main drivers of capturing value are: • Demonstrating the value of customer experience and the power of recommendation. Having a compelling story and an illustration of the importance of CX is critical for any VoC programme. Otherwise, your colleagues and executives may never fully grasp the meaning of customer loyalty and word of mouth economics. • Developing a pragmatic ROI Business Model to get managerial support. To ensure resources for your CX efforts, you need to build a transparent ROI model, which will also help to develop convincing business cases for individual CX initiatives. This calculation is essential to move VoC and CX out of the nice-to-have into the must-have budget line. • Finally, without KPIs adapted to the new reality, no real change will take place in the organisation. Start with a review of all existing KPIs (especially at the operational level) to see how they impact the customer (often through unintended consequences). Are you sending the right impulses into the front line? Is the KPI you are using to communicate your customers’ voice driving action or is it enticing your staff to cheat? Now that you have the proof in hand that what you are doing is creating profits for the company and its stakeholders, it’s time to close the virtuous cycle. Capture Value For real world examples and cases how we applied these principles, please join one of our webinars on webainar.futurelab.net/voc
  • 7. 7 DRIVE FURTHER CHANGE What good is all of the above if we don’t use it to drive further change in the company? Communicating the value you created helps to steer the process further. You will need to: • Showcase success stories and the ROI created: nothing is more convincing in a corporate environment than showing success. • Ensure all employees are Willing, Skilled and Able. Summarising this big topic: you want to convince people to act (in their heads and their hearts), but must also ensure that they know how to act upon the insights you deliver to them while enabling them to take the necessary actions with the right processes and tools. • Bring other stakeholders on board. One swallow does not make the spring, and you cannot do it all by yourself or even as a department. The whole company must be on board. So start with delivering compelling business cases, demonstrating how collaborative action based upon customer feedback is the way to more profit, share and market growth, and even stakeholder benefits. Communicate Value For real world examples and cases how we applied these principles, please join one of our webinars on webainar.futurelab.net/voc
  • 8. 8 CHECKLIST FOCUS Below is a quick checklist to see how you are doing. This exercise can help you to focus your attention on where it matters most. Talk to us if you want to know how to improve on any individual step – or if you’d like us to run a diagnostic for you to show where the quick wins and big wins are in your VoC program. Give yourself 0 points for No Implementation, 1 point for some implementation, and 2 points if you feel your organisation is fully there. How Are You Doing? TOPIC No implementation Score=0 Some Implementation Score=1 Fully there Score=2 CORE: ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS Systems Metrics Processes CREATE VALUE Close the loop Driving sales Improve operational efficiency CAPTURE VALUE Value of CX and recommendation ROI Business Model Implement the right KPIs COMMUNICATE VALUE Showcase success stories and ROI created Ensure staff are willing, skilled and able Bring other (senior) stakeholders departments on board
  • 9. 9 1 CustomerGauge survey 2 Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld WHAT IS YOUR SCORE? 0-5 points: Perhaps your VoC program is put in place just to have a box ticked on some corporate scorecard or to be able to mention it in an annual statement. Without the proper implementation, it risks becoming merely a distraction, or a waste of effort and money. Let’s talk. 5-10 points: You have taken the first steps and are on your way. However, many elements are still missing from your program, and you are not (yet) driving the ROI that you could. Let’s have an initial call to identify the weak points of your current set-up together. 10-15 points: Well done, you have established a strong VoC program that drives Customer Lifetime Value. However, there are always opportunities for reaching the next level. Let’s have a chat. 15-18 points: Impressive! Can we learn from you? Perhaps, create a case study with your experience? Please let us know! Your score:
  • 10. 10 Futurelab: The Customer Experience Architects Futurelab is the European customer experience (CX) specialist for almost 15 years. We help B2B and B2C companies understand the needs of their customers better and develop a profitable customer experience (CX). This makes customers more loyal and increases revenues and margins. We have services to fit your needs – from strategy development and small pilots to all-company training programmes. Our focus is always on identifying quick wins and drive the long-term ROI of any project. Our recent focus has been on developing and launching Voice of the Customer programmes that help companies drive action and profitable improvement from the customer feedback. infinit.cx: ADVISE. IMPLEMENT. ENGAGE. As one of the leading German system integrators, infinit.cx ensures optimal technical conditions in customer service units at companies like Deutsche Telekom, E.ON, and UniCredit. The goal is always to create consistent customer experiences across all communication channels (call, email, webchat, messaging, etc.) eSTABLISHED 1982. About the Authors: Marina Natanova Director, Head of Research With special thanks to: Lynn Van Wezemael, Futurelab Maria Georgieva, Futurelab Matts Van Nieuwenhove, Futurelab Kai Nörtemann, infinit.cx Stefan Grünzner, infinit.cx Stefan Kolle Founder and CEO of Futurelab Representations Valencia, Moscow Network partners Copenhagen, Prague Own offices Antwerpen, München, HamburgStefan Kolle sko@futurelab.net www.futurelab.net +49 89 262 029 900 Contact @
  • 11. Bibliography Accenture (2012): How to make your company think like a customer. Bain Company (2012): Loyalty Insights, Developing a root cause capability. CallMiner (2020): Voice of the Customer Tools and Best Practices. CustomerGauge (2015): Advanced NPS® strategies nobody talks about. CustomerGauge (2016): The Executive’s Guide to a Net Promoter System®, Turn feedback intro revenue. CustomerGauge (2018): 2018 NPS CX Benchmarks Report. CustomerGauge (2019): Account Experience: How to Monetize Accounts, Grow Revenue and Deliver Exceptional Experiences in the B2B Economy. CustomerGauge (2019): The Definitive Guide To B2B CX. Engage business media Confirmit (2019): TIME FOR A REVOLUTION, How to Beat the CX Slump. Forrester (2015): Advocate Marketing Creates B2B Customer Relationships That Last A Lifetime: Focus On People, Not Companies, To Increase Advocate Engagement. Forrester (2017): Designing For Emotion In Customer Experience: Tap Into The Full Scope Of Emotion To Go Beyond Customer Delight. Forrester (2019): The ROI Of CX Transformation: The Business Case Report In The CX Transformation Playbook. MaritzCX CX Network (2018): The Big Book of Customer Insight, Data Analytics 2018. McKinsey Company (2016): Customer experience: Creating value through transforming customer journeys. MyCustomer Confirmit (2017): Customer Journey Mapping guide. Pointillist (2017): Measuring Customer Experience Beyond NPS. Qualtrics XM Institute (2019): INSIGHT REPORT, State of Voice of the Customer Programs, 2019: Benchmark of VoC Competency Maturity at Large Organizations. Satmetrix (2009): Improving Your Net Promoter Scores Through Strategic Account Management. Satmetrix (2010): Taking your Net Promoter Program to the Next Level. Satmetrix (2011): Employee Loyalty: Linking employee loyalty with business growth. Temkin Group (2013): Employee Engagement Benchmark Study. Zendesk (2020): Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020. 11
  • 12. WE MAKE CUSTOMER-CENTRICITY HAPPEN. PROFITABLY. Kapucinessenstraat 45, 2000 Antwerpen T: +32 3 2486 777 info@futurelab.net www.futurelab.net