Three Steps to Gain the Most Value from a Voice of the Customer Study: Step One

We frequently hear, “We’re thinking about conducting a Voice of the Customer initiative.  What are the best ways to be sure we gain the most value from our VOC study?” 

In fact, there are three absolutely critical factors. We've decided to share our response in a series of posts. For today, we'll focus in on just one. 

#1 Choose Your Customers Wisely

Customers who account for a large portion of your revenue are among the most important voices to hear.  They know you well—how and why you excel, and importantly, what areas are most in need of improvement.  If customers are purchasing consistently and even better, with increasing sales year over year, their grasp of your operations, customer service, and industry edge will be more insightful.  In today’s age of supply chain management and security, they will likely have a pretty reasonable view of your competitors.  Where do you outperform the field, and importantly, what can you learn from competitive performance?

Look to a select number of underperforming accounts as well.  These are the customers from whom you may have only a portion of their business—yet you know they’re spending a lot more in the category.   Why have they elected to give more share of their wallet to others and not to you?  How do you rank in their preference for suppliers? 

What about lost accounts or prospects?  These are the accounts you have no business with currently.  In some cases, these accounts may be able to provide some degree of insight, but more often than not, they have no vested interest in seeing you succeed. Know that they will require far shorter conversations and will be much harder to reach.  Only rarely have we found lost or prospect accounts able to provide meaningful insights—so plan your investments in those conversations wisely.

“Customer selection for the process was directed towards what I wanted to learn. We have regular customers and customers that never buy from us, so our customer selection was critical.
— President, $50M Chemical Manufacturer

Stay tuned for the next steps in the following posts!