Capturing the Voice of the Customer: Part 1 — “The Need”

This is going to be a two-part post. Although the topics are well-connected, they really address two parts of the issue. The first (this post) is "the need." The second (follow up post) is what you can do to satisfy that need.

What we’re talking about is the need to capture the voice of the customer. When talking to contact center professionals about this, I typically get two reactions.

Reaction 1: "Oh yes, we so desperately need to know and measure what customers think about us." Then they do nothing about it.

Reaction 2: "We have a pretty good general idea about how satisfied our customers are." Oh how wrong you are!

To illustrate what is wrong with both of these reactions to the need to gather and measure the voice of the customer — a.k.a. how satisfied they are with you, your products, and your service, take a look at one of my all-time favorite bar charts. This comes from a study done by Bain & Company (lots of smart guys with impressive degrees). It shows the difference between how satisfied companies THINK their customers are, compared to how satisfied the customers REALLY are.

Customer Satisfaction -- Perception vs. Reality

80% perception vs. 8% reality. So what you can draw from this sample of 362 companies is that for the most part, they (and all of us) don’t know squat about how satisfied or dissatisfied customers are.

So what do you do about it? I’d like to hear your opinions. And in my follow-up, part 2 post, I’ll talk about how you can use technology to capture this important voice of the customer.

Joe Staples — The Blogorator, or in Italian, la blogoria