Voice-of-the-customer (VoC) technologies play a critical role in the evolution of enterprise customer experience (CX) programs, helping CX leaders focus on driving improvements that impact both the customer and the business.

Unfortunately, CX leaders struggle to achieve state-of-the-art VoC programs that fully integrate data, help prioritize projects, calculate business value, inform the design process, and lead their company culture to embrace — and even demand — the voice of the customer.[i] That’s partly due to a crowded and confusing vendor market that makes it difficult for buyers to identify the right technology and services partner and then get full value from their investments.

What Differentiates Vendors?

In “The Forrester Wave™: Customer Feedback Management Platforms, Q1 2020,” we gave our highest ratings to vendors that proved they can help complex enterprises move from a foundational VoC program to one that is state of the art. These vendors help CX leaders:

  • Move beyond surveys to engage customers in a variety of feedback methods including — but not limited to — calls to the contact center, social media posts, and chat transcripts.
  • Integrate — both easily and often — with other data sources.
  • Analyze text, then output actionable insights.
  • Provide strong ongoing customer support and services.

How To Prepare For Vendor Selection

To chart a path to successful vendor selection, CX leaders must be strategic when they go shopping for CX technologies. This means that before evaluating vendors, CX leaders must:

  • Assess their VoC program to identify and document gaps.
  • Have a clear why for evaluating vendors, such as acquiring better technology versus getting more and better support and services.
  • Engage other stakeholders to jump-start collaboration and understand their needs.
  • Outline their own business needs and objectives to inform the overall strategy.
  • Define the short-, middle-, and long-range strategy associated with achieving the objectives.
  • Be prepared to reassess the strategy as the program evolves.

Remember that CX transformation takes years and is about more than technology — it is also about people and process. That’s why CX professionals and VoC leaders should invest in creating buy-in, driving cross-functional collaboration, and formalizing processes and frameworks before they invest in another technology.

[i] See the “How To Build Your Voice-Of-The-Customer Program” Forrester report.