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.

The graph of value chain thinking

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.

Voice of the customer is an essential investment! We should design it to inform our entire company about customers’ expectations and to monitor performance of moments of truth. We should design it to enhance customers’ experience in their VoC participation rather than to be a burden to customers. Like any other essential investment, we need to be strategic and bold in what we expect from VoC: the model below shows the value chain that leads from VoC:

  1. VoC data is combined from all sources for a 360-degree view of customers, and analyzed for pattern discovery and prioritization (Intelligence & Customer Lifetime Value)
  2. Which informs the company’s Strategy and Culture foundation
  3. Which sets the stage for customer experience design, improvement and innovation that will be rewarded by the customer base
  4. And employees view their roles and responsibilities within a customer experience context, and are engaged in making changes that customers care about
  5. Which earns customer engagement and channel partner engagement
  6. Which drives retention, loyalty and business results.

The value chain that leads from voice of the customer

This customer experience management (CXM) value chain reflects “laws of nature” — when you short-cut it, you short-cut your results. When you proactively manage it, you transform customer experience and maximize ROI of VoC, CXM, and the business overall.

Read more: How Value Chain Analysis Can Help Deliver Value

Feature image purchased under license from Shutterstock.