Report: State of VoC Programs, 2013

1310_StateOfVoC2013_CoverWe just published a Temkin Group report, State of Voice of the Customer (VoC) Programs, 2013. The research shows how large organizations are using VoC programs. Here’s the executive summary:

For the third year, Temkin Group benchmarked the voice of customer (VoC) programs within large organizations. These efforts continue to deliver successful results as companies have increased staffing and plan to spend more in areas such as customer insight and action platforms and text mining. We also found that executives are taking a more active role in VoC programs. When it comes to sources of insight, the use of mobile feedback has more than doubled since last year. Looking ahead, companies plan to focus less on multiple-choice surveys and more on interaction history and predictive analytics. Respondents also completed Temkin Group’s VoC Competency and Maturity Assessment, which examines capabilities across what we call the 6 Ds: Detect, Disseminate, Diagnose, Discuss, Design, and Deploy. While only twenty percent of companies have reached the two highest levels of VoC maturity, this level represents a significant increase from last year. When we compared high scoring VoC programs with others, we found that they spend more on analytics, use more data sources, and employ more full time employees.

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Once again, we found that an overwhelming number of companies report that VoC programs deliver positive business results, fueling an increase in focus on VoC. The most spending momentum is in software for managing VoC programs—which Temkin Group calls Customer Insight & Action Platforms—and text analytics. In both of these areas, more than 40% of firms plan to increase spending, while less that 6% are planning a decrease.

Companies are also expanding the staff on their VoC teams. Thirty-six percent of companies have more than five full-time employees dedicated to their VoC efforts, up from 31% last year. Sixty percent have three or more employees, an increase from 52% in 2012. The number of companies soliciting feedback via mobile phones has more than doubled from nine percent last year to 20% this year and is poised to continue rising. When asked to estimate the importance of different sources of customer insights three years down the road, more than 70% of respondents said that social media, customer interaction history, and predictive analytics will become more important. Multiple-choice surveys, the historical mainstay of VoC programs, received the least positive outlook.

We split the companies into two groups based on their overall scores in our VoC Competency and Maturity Assessment (see below) and compared the top half of the companies (with more mature VoC programs) to the bottom half of the companies (with less mature VoC programs). Ninety-two percent of companies with more mature VoC programs report that their VoC efforts are successful; as opposed to only 58% of less mature programs. These better VoC efforts also spend more on analytics, use more data sources, have more full-time staff, and enjoy more executive support.

The report has tools and data for benchmarking your VoC program. Here’s how companies performed in our VoC Competency and Maturity Assessment that assesses the 6 D’s of VoC programs:

1310_VoCMaturity

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The bottom line: Companies should increase their VoC maturity levels.

About Bruce Temkin
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, marketing, interaction design, customer service, and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

One Response to Report: State of VoC Programs, 2013

  1. derek says:

    You point out lots of investment momentum, but the maturity levels look like more baby steps, does 2011 through 2013 show any acceleration in maturity?

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