Top 5 FAQ from B2B companies about „Voice of the Customer“
Voice of the Customer, Qualitative Design Thinking Interview, Customer Insight…: some questions still remain the same in B2B environment. Here are the Top 5 questions – and our answers to them collected from many projects in the B2B and engineering environment over the last 6 years.
Q: We have Key Account Managers, Inside Sales and Customer Service. Why do I need Voice of the customer?
A: Sales peoples feedback are vital for VoC programmes, because the have intense customer contact. But their view on customers is based on short term sales (which is generally good) and does not give us the full picture. Every department that is in customer contact does that with different goal. Because of that, the voices that they bring in, are function filtered (which is also very valuable). But VoC is about achieving a unified longterm, unfiltered view, that is collected across silos. That’s why VoC programs need to be set up separately.
Q: What return can I expect on my investment in VoC?
A: As you interview customers about their real needs and real problems. Because of that, VoC profits from increased customer satisfaction and customer loyalty in short-term. With VoC you aim to only develop, what customers really ask for. This is why you can profit from a higher acceptance of new products or services in medium-term. In long term, your innovation funnel allows you to serve future needs, because the interview technique of VoC allows you to uncover unmet needs that your customers were not able to formulate without the help of VoC.
Q: Customer Surveys show, that my customers are happy. Why change?
A: Survey participants are mostly provided by sales people. Because it is only human to avoid bad news or bringin in problems, those participants tend to be friendly and satisfied. Unlike VoC: it integrates both happy and unhappy customers to get a clear picture and directions for development.
Q: What are the typical pitfalls, when implementing VoC in B2B?
A: Concentrating on only one member of the buying center at your customers. Typical buying centers consist of influencers, initiators, gatekeepers, advisers, deciders, users, buyers and payers, all having their individual needs and their filtered view on you.
Q: How can I prevent, that VoC is not only seen as a marketing exercise?
A: R&D focussed companies sometimes have a natural concern about marketing disturbing established R&D processes. Early inclusion of employees, who later on have to work on VoC results, can help. Customer contacts can be eye-openers to engineers for example.
Even more questions?
There are many more questions, for sure. Give us a call and we will love to answer your individual questions. Or check our offering at CUSTOMERVOICE – Industrial Product Innovation!