Value Chain Solution to VoC ROI
Voice-of-the-customer (VoC) ROI can be elusive unless you’re adamantly driving customer experience transformation. The key to VoC maturity and ROI is not sophistication or breadth of market research. It’s about viewing VoC itself and VoC actions and metrics as value chains.
What is a value chain? It’s a sequence of value-adding activities.
Value chain thinking is extremely valuable in customer experience management. You can easily see its power in a customer experience journey map: nothing is an island — everything has a sequence and a series of connections that build upon one another.
1. We need to be thinking of voice of the customer as a value chain: (1) customers have perceptions, (2) so we conduct VoC to capture perceptions, (3) so we act on VoC to make improvements our customer base will reward, (4) so we track our improvement plan progress metrics as predictors of what customers will soon perceive, (5) so we communicate what we heard, what we plan to do, and what we’ve achieved — to propel improvement plan follow-through and to reset customer perceptions, (6) so we monitor VoC to confirm customers’ perceptions of improvements we’ve made.
This is a flow, a sequence of activities where value is being added at each step. It’s a logical series of effort that generates change that everyone appreciates: customers, employees, and investors. That is mutual value creation.
(See the Applied Materials example: Strategic Action on B2B VoC)
In my earlier article on Why Only 15% of VoC Programs are ‘Very Successful’ the first reason given is “you get what you measure”. There were 2 key points to this reason: don’t treat VoC like SPC, and don’t emphasize transforming customers instead of transforming the company:
- “Survey index scores are treated by most companies like SPC — statistical process control — where performance within a “safe range” means business-as-usual is okay.”
(SPC is used in factories where automated machinery must perform within bounds (UCL = upper control limit, LCL = lower control limit) or be adjusted, otherwise junk is produced — SPC is also applied to many business processes for the same reason.)
While SPC is a valid technique, we should NOT view survey scores within a safety zone to excuse business-as-usual: we should be striving to respect customers’ time giving us feedback by continually making things better for them!
Critical moments of truth — any juncture between the company and customer where dissatisfaction may lead to customer defection — should be monitored to ensure safety zone performance, yet we should present them to business managers in ways that create insatiable appetite for VoC. We can do this in terms of the revenue and profit value and characterization of the percentage of customers that aren’t satisfied. While it’s impossible to satisfy 100% of customers, we have opportunities to learn from the percentage that aren’t satisfied. This is more than a statistic: it is a pool of revenue at-risk, it is a Go to the full article.