Voice of the Customer - Just Do It.

Some customers just want everything! So how do you discover the few things that matter most to them among the many things that they think they need?  

Have a plan and a purpose.  

Voice of the customer data without a strategy is merely tactical.  When an organization becomes tactical in response to customer feedback, it gets diverted by putting out the fires instead of focusing on profitable growth and creating long term value for stakeholders.  Eventually, all the whipsawing causes other parts of the organization to become disinterested, and the program finds itself in the backlog. 

Getting Started

Don’t worry about the volume, velocity or even veracity of the voice of the customer data.

If you have a few customers, getting started is easy.  Call and talk to them.  With minimal effort, their responses to questions you care about will become clear and their problems will most likely be temporary.  If you have a moderate amount, keep asking them.  I’m sure you can pull together some of the most important issues and prioritize them accordingly.  

If you have many customers, asking each and every one of them is still possible, but finding the signal through the noise can be difficult and seem unwieldy.  Take it from a math guy who enjoys dealing with lots of variables in several dimensions.  No doubt you will solve all of their problems (that’s the spirit!), but you need a plan, you need a purpose and you need structure. You need a strategic framework. 

Why a Strategic Framework for VOC

The structure of a framework gives your organization guardrails avoiding any significant lapse in good decision making.  It creates a repeatable calibration and helps to course correct and grow to be more well-defined over time.  

With planning and structure, the difficulty of finding the next best opportunities for your organization will become clearer and clearer.  Even emerging to mid-size companies that focus intently on individual customer problems need a framework to encompass the scope of their decisions.     

Your existing and potential customers are signaling what’s most important to them. Find that signal.  Gather the data, delve into it and determine what are your best growth opportunities.

Next time, we’ll provide some frameworks for you to consider.