In a shocking finding, new Forrester research discovered that only 20% of businesses act on the market insight obtained from customer surveys. This is true in despite the fact that these insights lead to actions that drive business improvement. The report "How To Design An Effective Voice Of The Customer (VoC) Insights Program" can be downloaded for free. "Market insights professionals often carry out customer satisfaction surveys – a key component in voice of the customer research – but then struggle to turn results into strategic insights that can support their company in achieving business goals," said senior analyst Richard Evensen. Asking customers their opinions about a company's services and then not implementing responsive changes is a huge waste, in my opinion. It's a critical mistake when a law firm interviews clients and then ignores their comments. What's the problem? Failing to align the research with business goals. "By aligning research decisions to business and stakeholder goals and needs, market insights professionals ensure that the research results will be more actionable and acceptable." "Has your CEO put customer experience as a top 10 strategic goal? Or is there a big push to increase the base of renewal clients? If so, then you need to make sure that you have survey questions related to these," Evensen said. In testing out what a potential right question is for your company, make sure that at the very least, the questionnaire: Links to business gains. Forget interesting questions or like-to-have information. Executives and stakeholders are busy, respondents' attention span is short, and survey real estate is at a premium. Make sure that the questions you ask, and the answers you obtain, will allow your company to improve business results. Links to strategic focus area. Getting insights on areas that the company is not focusing on, and likely won't act upon, has no value. You want to make sure that stakeholders are ready and able to take the insights you provide and do something with them. As such, make sure your questions stay current to business and stakeholder strategic needs. Provides clear responsibility. Knowing which group or process is the culprit or champion in the customer's view is important so that stakeholders know who and where changes should be made (or kudos given). Sometimes the customer doesn't know the company structure, but you should always include questions to find out which touchpoints are the strongest drivers of customers' experiences. Provides actionable insights. The answers to the questions you pose should make it clear what your stakeholders need to do if customer views come in low or high. It's OK to have some general pulse checks (How satisfied are you? How easy/enjoyable was the experience? Would you recommend/renew/purchase?), but pulse checks do not provide actionable information and are insufficient for optimized VoC research.
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