Voice of the Customer: Who is in Charge?

When it comes to representing customers inside an organization, who is in charge?

It's a question we've been debating for a number of years, and the subject of a recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Based on a global survey that included 389 marketing and non-marketing executives, as well as in depth interviews with CMOs from diverse industries, an investment in a CRM system was deemed as the highest contribution to businesses in 1-3 year horizon.


With the growing importance of always on communication needs due to
more available bandwidth and the use of multiple devices to access
information, I would add organizations should make an investment in a content management system (CMS).

Create once and publish everywhere (COPE) should be a mantra for both CMOs and Chief Information Officers (CIOs). Now's the time to make that "information" part of the title pay off.


When I look at data that projects the growing importance of social in the future I wonder what definition we are using. Is it about the promise of "media" at scale through networks owned by companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter?

Given the rapid changes in the retail and business to consumer (as well as peer to peer) markets, it makes sense that face to face would remain a strong contender in the high engagement channel question.

Because we do live and operate in the real world as human, I've long said that in store is the new frontier for digital innovation. Customers are driving this trend — it's a trend, not a fad.

Thanks to good CRM implementations and appropriate uses of data for personalization, we're going back to the future. Now even an operation with dozens of stores and a thriving online business can tailor their offers specifically to you.

As for who is in charge… it may well be a co-owned responsibility to make sure customers are heard, and the business is served at the same time. Today, that involved more than one expert head, and we should stop trying to paint any achievement as the result of the work of a lone ranger…

… or risk perpetuating the myth that any one person can do it all. Or worse, that the customer is passive and waiting to be bossed around. Neither is realistic.

From an agency standpoint, when I think of who represents the voice of the client, I think of the strategy group.

We act on behalf of the client by asking and helping answer a series of fundamental questions ahead of executions: 1) what's going on that matters? 2) what change is needed? 3) what should be done first, the second, then third, etc.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.