Posted: 13th April 2010

Is VOC always Enterprise-wide?

Welcome to our blog! My name is Keith Schorah and I am the founder of Maru/Syngro, a leading provider of customer feedback management solutions, based in the UK. We’ve spent the last six years immersed in all things CRM and VOC (that’sVoice of the Customer for those not already in the know), working with multi-national organisations in their quest to grow customer loyalty and satisfaction.

It’s true that businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the need to integrate customers more closely to their operations. This is no surprise bearing in mind a recent study by Oxford Brookes University which claims that UK businesses are losing around 20 million customers each year, equating to losses of £3.69 billion, due to poor customer service. Through this blog, our mission is to share knowledge of VOC – namely the correlation of customer satisfaction to revenue growth – as well as the interesting nuggets of information we pick up along the way.

VOC is still very much a market in its infancy and so we’re also keen to debate with the industry on how it’s developing. After all, feedback is what we’re all about. My starter for ten is to question whether VOC is delivering what, by definition, it really should be. VOC, in the broadest term, is a system of processes and software that enables organisations to centrally manage customer feedback, whilst enabling the deployment of information across the enterprise. This provides decision makers with important analytical data to increase customer satisfaction and retention, and boost profits.

But, it’s precisely in this dual function of ‘centrally managing customer feedback’ and ‘providing decision makers with analytical data,’ that I refer to when I say that I believe most VOC vendors stop short of providing customers with the full package. And I’m also posing the question, ‘Is VOC always Enterprise-wide?’ The analysis of customer feedback and making sure the right processes are put in place to ensure organisations can effectively manage data must be paramount to any VOC solution. I believe it should act as the driver for the technology, rather than implementing technology to generate mountains of research, and then thinking about the analysis afterwards.

In my experience, most organisations utilise VOC solutions that collect data in a central database and it is then up to the customer to work out who it should go to for analysis within the organisation. I argue that any VOC approach should be entirely ‘intelligence driven’ and it should engage the entire organisation with real time reporting. Driving action from feedback across the whole business is the only way to ensure significant return on investment from customer engagement programmes.

As it becomes more important for businesses to react to customer feedback I believe we must, as an industry, ensure that every part of the organisations we advise are singing from the same song sheet. They should be joined-up in their approach to customer feedback management. There is no point in information remaining in silos. Real customer empowerment may only be gained from information being available and accessible to operatives in all parts of an organisation. Only then can it be classed as truly VOC and thereby truly ‘intelligent.’

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