Voice-of-the-Customer Design

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Bringing a clear voice to decision-making

In any business hundreds of decisions are made every day. But how many of those decisions include the customer’s point of view? At Walker, our goal is for the customer to be at the heart of every decision. 

Designing an effective VOC strategy involves evaluating existing sources of customer intelligence, determining the additional sources which are needed, infusing the necessary analysis to interpret customer insights, and determining the right approach to make customer intelligence available for day-to-day decision making.  

Optimize Customer Listening

Walker Customer Listening Architecture

There’s no shortage of ways to listen to your customers. While this is great news for customer experience (CX) leaders, it also makes your job more complicated. With so many new and evolving methods to connect with your customer, it’s difficult to harness their insights and put them to use – all without burdening your customers. Too often, voice of the customer programs are disjointed and confusing.

Today’s CX leaders need a better approach. Walker helps companies develop the right approach for their business – a customer listening architecture that provides essential customer intelligence in a manner that is efficiently and effectively put to use.

  • 20 Ways to Listen

    How do you listen to the voice of your customers? Today, there is no shortage of options! A quick glance at the list below demonstrates more than a dozen ways you can connect with customers, many of them in real time.

    How many of these methods apply to your organization? While most company’s use several different methods, many struggle to pull it all together into a practical, actionable system.

    1. Phone surveys
    2. Interactive voice response (IVR)
    3. Web-based surveys
    4. Mobile-optimized surveys
    5. VOCE – voice of the customer through the employee
    6. SMS/Text-based customer feedback
    7. Advisory boards
    8. Paper surveys
    9. Journey mapping
    10. In-app customer feedback
    11. Qualitative interviews (phone, face to face)
    12. Online communities
    13. Online panels
    14. Ethnographic research
    15. Social media monitoring
    16. Focus groups
    17. Customer complaint systems
    18. Website feedback (site intercept, online polling)
    19. Kiosks
    20. Smart speaker (Alexa, Echo, Home)
  • 1 Listening Architecture

    Think about what it takes to build a house. Countless elements are involved – electricity, plumbing, temperature controls, layout, roofing, windows – the list is almost endless. It’s essential to have a single plan – a way to pull it all together to make the house practical and livable.

    Building the right voice of the customer approach is similar.

    Today’s customer-focused companies need a single comprehensive system – a listening architecture to ensure they garner the best insights from the right customers using the most effective methods – all aimed at meeting the objectives of their business.

    Walker works with organizations of all sizes to identify gaps and align disparate listening activities into a single intelligent and effective system that drives customer-focused change.

  • 5 Key Steps

    No two companies are alike, so each company needs to consider their specific situation to build the right listening architecture to meet their needs. Walker collaborates with companies on the following five steps to develop the most efficient and effective approach.

    1. Inventory - Begin by taking inventory of the way you currently listen to customers. Consider all existing listening methods and how customer intelligence is processed and analyzed.
    2. Objectives - It’s critical to identify important business objectives and how customer experience initiatives align. Leaders of customer experience management programs need to make sure your objectives aren’t too shallow (response rates, customer ratings, Net Promoter scores). Instead, focus on how the voice of the customer can influence business performance.
    3. Stakeholder needs - Focus on the needs of each department, region and function to identify what customer insights are needed and how they will be put to use.
    4. Synthesis - With a complete inventory conducted, objectives identified and stakeholder needs defined, you can now pull together this information into a roadmap outlining a comprehensive listening architecture.
    5. Implementation - Finally, execute and monitor the plan, making necessary modifications along the way.


    Walker has a full range of services to guide you through this process and embed the new system into the day-to-day workings of your organization.

  • Countless Applications

    It’s easy to get caught up in managing the details of a voice of the customer program. CX leaders can find themselves overly focused on the mechanics of gathering insights, generating reports, implementing market research and monitoring customer satisfaction scores.

    Voice of the customer is about so much more!

    CX leaders must constantly focus on how their VOC programs align with company objectives and performance. Below are just a few of the high-impact applications for voice of the customer strategies:

    • Improving customer retention – lowering churn while generating increased revenue from existing customers.
    • Becoming easier to do business with – streamlining processes throughout the customer journey while establishing procedures that are more profitable.
    • Providing superior customer service – anticipating customer issues, delivering better customer experiences and ultimately lowering the cost to serve.
    • Improving quality – increasing early detection and rapid escalation of customer issues, driving customer satisfaction up and costs down.
    • Innovating faster – anticipating customer needs to generate revenue from launching better products or services.
    • Better targeting of prospects – increasing efficiency in hit rates and sales cycles, resulting in an increase of new sales.
    • Gaining a competitive edge – understanding customers’ experiences and needs to establish a clear advantage.

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