Jeff leads leads marekting at Ping Identity; more than 2,000 companies use Ping to provide secure and convenient single signon to their customers, employees, and partners. Jeff is a former venture capitalist with wide ranging experience in enterprise software, consumer applications, social technologies, and media markets.
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3 responses to “Voice of the Customer is Dead”

  1. Jaime

    I agree, VoC is dead, but BoC (Behavior of the Customer) is not.

    I couldn’t agree more. If I may add one additional point to Forrester’s 4 bullet points would be to add ways to engage with customers easier, based on insights. See the problem is that insights are great, but many companies fail to convert these “actionable insights” into actually doing something. Take real-time customer satisfaction indices, feedback, and even social media engagement metrics. While these KPIs might be real-time, they cannot provide a way for a company to understand the dips or ups in them and a way to act on that information.

    1. Jeff Nolan

      yes, very good point. Customers signal intentions to companies but if there is no receiver for the signal, a business action that activates, then it’s a lost opportunity. I think you are also suggesting that signals are very noisy and lack an aggregate view… I agree.

  2. Piers Alington

    I agree with the point from Jaime about the failure to convert findings from voice of customer feedback into action. Raising customer expectations that ‘something will be done’ only to have no response or change just reinforces the customer’s perception of ‘business as usual / not really interested’.

    However, I think there is a simple distinction here between “insight” and “information”. I don’t remember who it was that drew the distinction between these, but it is one that we apply to our work with clients – Insight is information that gets acted on; Information is simply the findings from any feedback.

    The main purpose of the new tools that Jeff talks about in the main article is to enable organisations to take action where possible or necessary easily, and to be able to sift through the myriad topics that arise from Voice of Customer feedback to see what does need action.

    Far from VoC being dead, I think it is only at the earliest stages of its development – with the still the earliest glimmerings of any revolution in companies using the insight to effect change. Whilst customers continue to respond with “Wow, I never thought you would read that stuff” at the point when companies make targeted follow-ups, we know that VoC has a long way to go.

    What is a real danger is the over-use of the phrase VoC itself. Like CRM before it, it has already been so abused in terms of what has been described as VoC that it risks losing any credibility, ie, it has been used to describe just about any survey, interview, research, panel or conversation that an organisation has with customers, often without any actual ‘voice’ component.

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