Whether it's coming from contact centres or social media channels, marketers now have more data on their customers than ever before.

How are they making this data actionable to drive changes in their organisation and what’s driving this focus?

According to a recent Econsultancy report Voice of the Customer: Listen, Measure, Act, the most progressive organisations are setting up Voice of the Customer (VoC) programmes, using insights to drive change outside the customer services silo. 

Highlights of this report were reiterated during our Voice of the Customer roundtable hosted at the Econsultancy office this week. 

Attendees came from a wide range of different companies and roles within the industry, and here I'll be sharing some insights from the session.

I’ve got enough data already – get me a tool, now!

A common challenge reported by all in attendance was that they had a lot of data, but it was hard to make actionable – either because it was held in silos in different parts of the organisation, or that it was hard to compare datasets from different CRM systems

As a result there was an eagerness to learn from others of potential systems that would allow companies to reduce time spent trying to make sense of the data, identify actions based on analytics and build a more accurate customer journey.

What are the benefits of a VoC programme?

Attendees reported that it was increasingly challenging to connect to customers because relationships were much more nuanced "with a lot more shades of grey". 

VoC programmes were seen as crucial in bringing a new understanding of the consumer, enabling marketers to understand needs and respond with relevant, personalised, communications.

The more progressive companies in attendance were using VoC to create more emotional connections with customers, using the information to steer the whole customer experience strategy.

Others just starting out were keen to make better use of data to identify customers that wanted a relationship and those that preferred something that was more transactional – so as to make best use of marketing budgets.

Getting buy in from the c-suite

Attendees further down the line with their VoC efforts reported the effectiveness of case studies as a way of initially introducing the strategy to senior management. Those with more budget had commissioned external research, in the form of focus groups, to bring to life the voice of the customer.

Another had considered creating life-sized cut outs of the typical customer in the boardroom to create a more visually engaging presentation.

Amazon was used as an example of best practice, with Jeff Bezos making senior managers join the customer services team at intervals to observe and take calls, and a number of attendees reported similar systems to break down the head office/front line divide.

Some of the advantage of initiatives, reportedly, had been greater investment in staff and tools, as well as greater ownership of VoC programmes across the organisation.

Jim Clark

Published 16 March, 2015 by Jim Clark

7 more posts from this author

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Comments (3)

Martin Hill-Wilson

Martin Hill-Wilson, Owner at Brainfood Consulting

VoCs need to leverage interaction analytics to get the data into a meaningful state. Now easy to compare voice and text sources. Also easy to compare against post interaction surveys. Combine that with voice of the advisor and any organisation has more than enough to get going with their transformational agenda

over 3 years ago


Sue Cole, Director at Best of Wales

Working in a small business www.bestofwales.co.uk it maybe quicker to act on customer needs and insights. Driving information to make life simpler and think through the different connections is not just interesting but allows everyone in the business to contribute and create new ideas. The business is in tourism so it is fun and of course competitive. We are a long way from just offering a 'product' ie a holiday cottage, as everyone does that. We are able to offer ideas for couples of places to explore, things to do for families, tips on the place to see dolphins playing off the coast etc - Is it storytelling or content ? Whatever term is used it helps to add that insight and that comes from listening and knowing the scope of the offer. We work in Wales, which is rich in heritage, beaches and offers that place to chill out. So we listen, then act, measure and keeping listening.

over 3 years ago


Meng Goh, Product manager - Voice of the Customer at WDS, A Xerox Company

Customer care is no longer just about voice - in helping our clients to deliver care solutions across multiple channels it’s clear that customers want to engage with brands on their own terms, using the channels that are convenient to them. For brands, delivering an excellent customer experience in one channel is no longer enough: they need to deliver in an omni-channel world, which increases the complexity of VoC programmes significantly. Today's best-in-class VoC programmes allow brands to relentlessly improve the customer journey and experience by learning from every interaction; as well as empowering employees to take quick corrective action when something goes wrong.

over 3 years ago

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