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Is Your Voice of the Customer Program Being “Gamed”?

How often have you heard  comments that tell you a company is doing Voice of the Customer (VOC) research? For example, “When you get the survey, be sure to give me a 10.”? Or, “If there is anything that would prevent you from giving me a 10, please tell me and I will fix it.”?

This happens frequently in companies that attach employee compensation to customer feedback.

When employees try to boost their customer satisfaction Index  (CSI) or their Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) the results may be skewed positive.  Thus, you do not get an accurate read on the strength of the bond between your company and your customers.

You face the risk of inaccurate conclusions from your VOC programs that use single question metrics as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  Because of these risks, The Dunvegan Group created a composite measure (e.g., multiple factors) to evaluate customer retention/defection.

Through rigorous research, across multiple B2B categories, three critical factors signaling potential customer retention/defection emerged. Using multiple questions to create a composite measure blocks internal personnel who try to  “game” VOC programs.

Three Critical Factors

1. Service Excellence: Customers expect a high level of service excellence when dealing with B2B Enterprise companies.

At the highest level, customers intend to continue to do business with your company AND they are willing to recommend your company when asked.

Providing excellent, recommendation-worthy service, is the first factor in retaining customers. But, it may not be sufficient to keep your customers coming back.

2. Pain Tolerance: Change occurs when the pain of the situation is greater than the pain of making a change.

Customers tolerate a degree of poor service as long as the pain of making a change exceeds the pain of putting up with the situation.

This is the second factor in retaining customers and the first hurdle for customers who are receiving less than excellent service. Pain tolerance  gives your company an opportunity to remedy the situation and rescue the business before the customer defects.

3. Competitive Choices: Change occurs when you have access to something better or more appealing than the current situation.

This is the third factor in customer retention and the second hurdle for customers who are receiving less than excellent service. Because, customers who see no better options, despite experiencing poor service and a high degree of pain, will not switch.

But customers who believe competitors are at least as good/better than you, may switch despite your company’s excellent service.

Building stronger relationships

We measure these three factors in Voice Of the Customer programs. We identify individual customer contacts who are:

  • strongly bound to your company
  • at risk of defection, and
  • everything in between.

And, we show you what actions to take to build stronger relationships.

The Dunvegan Group works with B2B companies to improve customer and employee retention. Programs are founded on The Platinum Rule®, “Treat other people the way they want to be treated.” Learn more about our solution.

Anne Miner founded The Dunvegan Group in 1987 as a full-service marketing research consulting firm. Under her leadership, the company has adapted to changes in the markets, advances in technology, and economic ups and downs. The firm developed its own processes, metrics, and software to support the services it delivers to Business-to-Business corporations, as well as smaller companies, including start-ups. The company serves clients across North America and around the world as they thrive and grow through serving their own customers according to the insights customers provide.