Unraveling the Failures of Voice of Customer (VOC) Initiatives

by Mohammedali Rajapkar, on Jul 3, 2024 11:05:57 AM


Initiatives focusing on the Voice of Customer (VOC) are often praised as the foundation of customer-oriented strategy. Companies seek to actively listen to their customers to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. Even while getting insights is exciting, a lot of VOC efforts fall short of their potential. Let's examine the typical flaws that prevent VOC initiatives from yielding useful information and bringing about meaningful change.

Measures the Wrong Things

VOC projects may concentrate on metrics that are unimportant to clients. Rather than measuring customer happiness, they measure what is straightforward or aligned with the company's objectives. This discrepancy suggests that companies might be making progress in domains that don't significantly affect the total customer experience.

Example: A company might track the number of support tickets resolved but not check if customers are happy with the solutions.

Fails to Reflect Real Customer Experience

By ignoring important details from their interactions, VOC initiatives run the risk of producing distorted perspectives and subpar tactics that fail to capture the genuine consumer experience. If companies don't comprehend the nuances of the customer experiences, they might create strategies that only solve a portion of the issue.
Example: Only collecting feedback after a purchase, without considering the entire customer journey, misses key insights from pre-purchase research and post-purchase support.

Lack of Insight and Feedback for Change

Leveraging feedback to drive change is the aim of VOC efforts. But, organizations are left with meaningless data that doesn't result in improvement if they don't offer actionable insights. This can result in missed opportunities for enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Example: Gathering vague feedback like "improve customer service" without specific suggestions leaves companies clueless on how to act.

Lack of Ownership within the Business

VOC programs must be integrated across the entire organization in order to be successful. Efforts may fail if there is unclear accountability or if various departments manage VOC in different ways. Accountability and a well-coordinated strategy to integrating client feedback are ensured by prominent ownership.
Example: Without support from senior leadership, VOC initiatives might not get the resources they need, leading to little impact on business strategy.

Mere Data Collection Exercise

Without a specific goal in mind, gathering a lot of data can be useless. VOC initiatives lose their relevance if they merely concentrate on collecting data without analysing it to derive useful insights. A strong foundation is necessary for VOC programs to convert unprocessed data into well-thought-out actions.
Example: Storing feedback in different systems without integrating it leads to fragmented insights that are hard to act on.

Complexity and Cost Prohibit Implementation

Businesses may find that VOC projects are too expensive and resource-intensive to properly implement, losing out on important insights, as they grow more sophisticated and costly. Ensuring the sustainability and efficacy of the program requires striking a balance between the anticipated benefits and the costs.
Investing in expensive VOC software that’s hard to maintain might lead some businesses to underuse or abandon it.


Initiatives focused on the voice of the customer have enormous potential to influence customer-centric strategy and propel organizational success. Their efficacy is contingent upon their capacity to precisely gauge client demands, authenticate real-world experiences, provide practical insights, cultivate a sense of ownership among employees, evade the pitfall of data collecting for the purpose of data collection, and guarantee economical implementation. Through proactive resolution of these obstacles, companies may fully realize the benefits of VOC programs and establish more robust relationships with their customers.

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