A lush jungle scene from a tropical rain forest
PHOTO: Shutterstock

If you’re on your way to building your first voice of the customer program, you might be wondering if the entire process actually works. And by that I mean, is the customer feedback gathered through VOC programs actually useful and actionable, or should you brace yourself for a flurry of poorly thought out attacks on your industry as a whole? Moreover, one might wonder if the VOC movement is based on results, or if it’s just a way for brands to appear interested in their customer’s opinions.

So CMSWire spoke to five different brands who gave us five different ways they benefited directly from their own VOC programs. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

1. Lawley’s VOC Success With B2B Client Retention

Charlie Riley, a New York City-based marketing professional, told CMSWire how he and his former team at privately owned insurance firm Lawley made use of Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is a measure of your customers’ overall perception of your brand. In Lawley’s case, this was measured through surveys. “By using the simplicity of NPS with our customers, we were able to benchmark [net promoter score] across individual regions,” he said.

Riley continued by saying that this approach helped them find several issues through detailed responses that they would never have identified without asking. “[We] saved several accounts by doing following up on the problems [we uncovered],” Riley said, remarking that the process also helped the company identify “several high performing account managers who received excellent reviews from promoters.”

Related Article: What is a Net Promoter Score? And Why You Should Know

2. Planview’s VOC Success With Roadmap Building

Austin, TX-based Planview has nicknamed its VOC program “The Inner Circle”. Bryan Urioste, Planview’s CMO, said that Planview has run more than 40 Inner Circles with over 1,000 participants from 300 companies since 2006. In these circles, Planview, “share product development plans and actively seeks customer [feedback] to incorporate into final software releases. ...We host Inner Circles to refine, prioritize, and focus those ideas based on customer feedback. This includes surveys, phone calls, meetings, collaborative workspaces, as well as ideation sites that enable us to solicit feedback and chat in real-time with customers,” Urioste said.

As for how their VOC program has benefited the company, Urioste stated that one of their inner circles gave them feedback that fundamentally changed how they designed key navigation within their software. Based on that feedback,  said Urioste, "we realized our original design wasn’t going to solve the issues raised by our customers. Even though the feedback and changes extended our product development cycle, we ended up with a product that better served the needs of all of our customers.”

3. Genesys’ VOC Success With Customer Service Improvements

Musa Hanhan, Global Head of Customer Experience Design and NPS at Daly City, Calif-based Genesys, explained how their voice of the customer programs help transform their customer services as well as their internal culture. “Our established VoC practice is transformative both internally for us and for our customers,” Hanhan began.

“It’s transformative because it has changed the way we think [about our customers] as we are able to see [our customer experience] through the lens of our customer thanks to their direct feedback. Plus, it has helped our employees to engage with our customers better. [Finally, it has impacted] the way we create services for our customers,” he explained.

He added that when their customers see the surveys or a request for a feedback interview, they now know that their voice matters and will get incorporated into tangible improvements ranging from how their platform works to how easy it is to do business with them. This motivates them to share more feedback.

Related Article: 9 Challenges to Successful Voice of the Customer Strategies

4. Subbly’s VOC Success With SaaS Product Refinement

When a brand listens to its customers regularly, it’s easy to mold an entire product around the demands of their customer base. Stefan Pretty, Founder and CEO of Los Angeles, Calif.-based Subbly, has a dedicated page gathering feedback. Furthermore, Subbly runs surveys on their pricing page, which asks website visitors about whether they would prefer higher monthly subscription fees and lower transaction fees, or lower monthly subscription fees and higher transaction fees. “We allow customers to voice their suggestions and vote on each other’s on our feedback page link, And we use our Facebook group to get feedback from [our audience]. As for [the pricing page], we’re always evaluating [the survey],” Pretty said.

“Between all these methods of collecting the voice of the customer, we harness their [opinions] on the best way to run Subbly, to shape our product roadmap and the features we roll out. It seems to work well. We’re extremely customer-centric, and because we’re bootstrapped, it has to be that way,” he explained. Pretty also revealed that two recent Subbly features — a newly revamped checkout process and a tax calculation feature — were born out of survey results.

5. Convertize’s VOC Success With UI Bug Fixing

Benjamin Ligier CRO Project Manager at London-based Convertize is the source of our fifth example of voice of the customer programs working in the wild. This time, it’s about how customer feedback helped refine a newly released feature. According to Ligier, “User [feedback] gives us an invaluable insight into how our platform is being used — something that is difficult to appreciate without an outside perspective. One example is with our recently released Persuasive Notifications feature. It was launched with two options for where notifications could appear on a website. [After launch], a customer experienced an issue whereby the available positions both obscured important parts of his website, rendering the feature unusable,” he explained.

Based on that customer report, Convertize made the required changes. “We had the fix released within two weeks. This solved the user's immediate problem, but also gave us a much-improved feature,” Ligier said.