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Successful Programs: Services & Insights from Forrester VoC Report

July 12, 2019

Sam Richardson

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Is your Voice of the Customer program speaking to you? Or are you spending more and getting less than you expected?

In a recent report advising CX leaders on when and how to transition Voice of Customer (VoC) vendors, Forrester CX Analyst, Faith Adams, suggested starting with a services partner to make the most of the technologies already in place. We were thrilled that Faith mentioned Nepa as one such services partner. While coverage of the CX measurement space has focused on shiny new tech offerings in recent years, we’re proud to be recognized for what we believe is our willingness to challenge conventional thinking with flexible technology infrastructure and services to build on what works.

Humble brag over – read on for our brief summary of the 3 Key Takeaways from the June 2019 Forrester report, How To Transition Your Voice-Of-The-Customer Vendor

Takeaway 1 – “Failure is not always the vendor’s fault”

Forrester notes that the complex intertwinement of client and vendor can make it difficult to make a change, so some caution is warranted. There will be implementations that come up short. There will be a need to continually fine-tune programs and, sometimes, to find new vendors. Whoever the vendor, organizations will have to change, too, if they want to maximize value.  This includes how they conduct surveys, share data and communicate internally, and, importantly, how they manage the balance between technology and services.

Takeaway 2 – “Consider the reimplementation option”

Noting the cost in time and money, Forrester suggests that companies first consider a reimplementation of an existing program before moving to a new vendor.  It’s at this point that bringing in a new (or a first-time) service provider makes sense.  An outside point of view can bring fresh perspective, and the provider may be able to introduce ideas that head off the need for a wholesale change in technology.  Nepa works with many clients in this way, optimizing existing VoC capabilities and working to identify and capture more incisive insights from existing infrastructure.

But if the VoC program is too deeply flawed, and the level of management frustration has reached a point of no return, then there may be no other choice than to make a change.  When that becomes necessary, it’s important that you approach the process in a systematic way.  An entire post could be written about that – but with an increasingly complex set of VoC technologies, it’s best to take your time and engage help in the process.

Takeaway 3 – “Successful VoC programs balance technology and services”

In recent years, there was a tendency to look for tech-only, DIY, solutions. As CX metrics remain below expectation and flat, companies recognize a need to do something different to address their current challenges, which include data formatting and siloing, failure to fully exploit the insights available from the data, an inability to incorporate unstructured and unsolicited data, failure to track and report ROI, and many more. In another post, we’ve shared more thoughts on ways a services provider can help companies identify and address these weaknesses. 

As Forrester notes in its report, VoC is still at an “immature” point in its development in spite of all the tools and talent available to improve the platforms.  That means mistakes will be made.  At the same time, new technologies will be introduced that will move the state of the art forward.  Some vendors will keep pace, others will fall behind.

Whether you’re changing vendors, doing a reimplementation, or looking at VoC for the first time, it’s important to have a resource available who understands the technology and can guide you along.  If you’re there, start with a call to Nepa.