Melissa Leon

In today’s environment, surveys are everywhere. You receive them from airlines, restaurants, grocery stores, and in some cases even at your work from vendors. But, for some reason, it’s still a rare sighting to see a B2B organization take their customer’s voice seriously. Why is this? 
Consumer marketing spends so much on market research because, simply, marketing is so costly – they have to ensure their success. Consequently, B2C companies are swimming in customer data. 
In B2B, the stakes are higher and marketing typically just means awareness or market research. Market research is simply seeing if your marketing is working. But what about the rest of the organization? Companies don’t have near the customer intelligence to make operational and systematic decisions, because traditionally they don’t think they have to. Yes, all companies vouch their customer-centricity, but are they really?
Here are 5 benefits to implementing a Voice of the Customer (VOC) program that will enable you to listen to your customers better in a B2B environment:
1. Lead in Brand Integrity: It’s about the integrity of your customer experience. This customer experience becomes your brand and, if not managed properly, can make or break you in a world that can behave like a B2C. Your consumer’s smartphone and word of mouth can be your organization’s biggest strength or your biggest weakness.
2. Open Communication: In B2C, consumers call a company’s call center or post on social media to recall their latest experience with a brand. In B2B, customer communication can get stifled at the account manager level – or worse – not get to anyone at all. It’s harder for a customer to know who to talk to to ensure what they need done immediately, is in fact completed to their satisfaction. VOC provides a direct pipeline not just to sales, but to the rest of the organization, which is a key differentiator for your customer.
3. Proactive Initiative: Market research is reactive. Typically it’s done every 2-3 years and sample sizes can leave something to be desired for someone on the line making big business decisions. After a few months, following up is no longer an option because it is simply too late. With VOC, customer data is collected in real-time, piped to the right players in the organization and quickly acted on. Most within 24 hours. Imagine the changes and decisions a company can make with that stream of intelligence!
4. Perfected Calibration: Tune in. Gain the ability to quickly calibrate your offering, product, customer experience and marketing with customer intelligence.
5. Unrivaled Trust: In B2B, relationships are king. When customers talk to you, they assume you are listening and thus feel heard, understood and consequently, valued. They trust you understand them. You are creating engagement just by listening.
Only VOC for B2B will tell you if your business decisions and investments are accurate, you’re living up to your brand promise, and are truly driving value in the eyes of the customer. 
In the Houston area? Join Melissa in for an in-person CX Cocktails and Conversations event on March 8, 2018Register now.