Editor’s note: Roberta O’Keith is director, CX consulting, at customer experience and market research provider Confirmit, Kansas City, Kan. 

Over the past few years, focus on using the voice of the customer to improve experiences has emerged as a top priority for many that want to differentiate their company. Unfortunately, the growing need for feedback is facing a strong headwind as customers grow increasingly reluctant to take surveys. Why? Respondents often feel that their efforts will go unnoticed. Many companies fail to follow up with the customer, close the loop internally or leverage the insights to make tangible improvements to their business.

The seemingly endless appetite for more feedback also leads to an even larger problem: feedback silos. These emerge as different departments within a single organization try to fill the feedback gap conducting more, often redundant, surveys that apply only to their areas of interest. Add MR organizations conducting respondent research on top of this and companies face an uphill struggle trying to see the big picture. 

Data silos are a common business challenge especially when multiple feedback management tools are used. They make it impossible to consolidate feedback for an organization to get a clear, holistic view of the customer experience. They impede the ability to take effective action, and successfully closing the loop becomes nearly impossible. This challenge tends to be self-perpetuating and means that improving the customer experience remains a distant reality.

Despite significant investment in voice of the customer programs, decision makers still aren’t getting the insights they need:

It is important to understand, however, that decision makers are not suffering from an absence of raw data. Quite the contrary! Most businesses are swimming in raw data from across their organization. A study by Forrester found that approximately 98...