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Opinion VOC Execution

What Drives Excellence in VoC Programs?

Annette Franz (of CXJourney, Confirmit and CXPA fame) wrote a great article (here's the link) on the the CXJourney site called "Listen With the RIght Intent" which is all about how to approach listening to customers.

Like all good writing, it triggered a though process about what creates the problem of ‘bad’ listening in the first place. 

Some of the key questions Annette asks are:

Are you really listening to understand?
Have you already got a response in mind before you’ve even heard the other side out?
Are you going past listening to actually hearing?
Are you picking up on the nonverbal side of what your customers and employees are communicating to you?

I started to wonder what was the cause this type of narrow thinking? I came to the conclusion that it’s rooted in core business drivers for the VoC program. Are the present or absent?

A couple of questions to ask yourself and your team:

What is your reason for asking customers to communicate with you?

You're on the weak side if the answers are:

Getting the checkmark (so you can say 'we have a feedback program')
Getting customers 'off our backs'
Want to feel like you’re including customer feedback in your business decisions (even if its influence is limited by quality)

Or do you have stronger business drivers?

1. Do you believe that really understanding your customers mindset can drive greater success for your business?

2. Do you recognize the brand value of making customers feel like you listen to and hear them?

3. Have you made it a point of improving your entire team’s ability to listen to customers on a consistent and ongoing basis?

What Makes Companies Really Listen

The underlying point here is that the core business drivers are what promote better customer communications. Companies that understand the importance of the Voice of the Customer (across key areas of the business) are the ones that recognize and commit to the art of listening.

Annette points out that poor listening is a lost opportunity — to open more possibilities for delivering strong customer experience and creating brand impact.

Sep 20, 2014  
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