I love this quote by Sara Blakely, Spanx founder and self-made billionaire. It applies to today’s CEM (customer experience management) practices in so many ways. Primarily, it identifies two key problems that companies encounter when “listening” or collecting feedback.

Issue #1: Purpose of collection (it shouldn’t be for validation, it should be for progress).

Issue #2: Follow-through with collection (why collect feedback if you aren’t going to do anything with it? Pass it on to the people who can move your company forward).

In other words, many companies are great at collecting feedback, but they aren’t so great at acting on it. They may have endearing taglines like, “We’re Listening,” but truthfully, listening doesn’t count for anything if there is no follow-through with what you hear.

So, as our blog title aptly asks, you’re listening, but is that enough?


Case and point, according to Forrester Research, Inc.:

·   Only 31% of companies track their revenue impact from their VoC (Voice of Customer) initiatives.

·   Only 40% use their VoC insights to inform customer experience design decisions.

These should be alarming figures to many. Why?

Because too many organizations spend money on surveys, data collection and customer care marketing, but don’t get a return on their investments. They don’t take the time to actually develop and integrate full-scale customer experience programs that touch every part of the business, from the customers to the frontlines, all the way up to the executive suites.

Real progress requires buy-in from all levels, and a desire to change customer experience from the inside out. It also requires all parties to understand the tangible value of feedback and how it can be purposeful, actionable and impactful on company goals.

So how do you begin with following through with feedback? For starters, you can employ a callback program like T-Mobile did when they experienced a dip in retention and sales due to poor communication between frontline employees and customers. They realized that collecting customer feedback wasn’t enough, so made sure their senior agents called back all customers who reported poor service. The goal was to resolve customer concerns and instill faith in the company and employees again, thus leading to better service and improved retention.

These were the incredible results of the program:

– 89% of customers saw a positive change in satisfaction

– 20% of customers were more likely to extend their contracts

Want to learn more about how you can go beyond listening with your customers? Read about T-Mobile’s success story here.


Source: “The State of the Voice of the Customer Programs, 2014: It’s Time to Act”, June 2014