This blog was originally published by me on 10/18/2010 at

On the heels of my recent paper, Customer Data: The Essential Element of Your Enterprise Voice of the Customer Program, here is an exercise that you can use to identify all of the sources of customer data in your organization, specifically, the sources of customer feedback data.

Every department in your company thirsts for feedback from customers to help  measure brand awareness, design products, improve service offerings, understand satisfaction levels, and more. Unfortunately, more often than not, there is no concerted effort across the organization to ensure that (a) customers are not over-surveyed – which can be defined either as being surveyed too frequently, i.e., no touch rules, or asked the same or similar questions by different departments – or (b) the feedback is collected, analyzed, and used in a cohesive fashion.

In a previous blog post, I talked about creating a CX Journey Map. Think about the many customer touchpoints of your organization, and then think about the various departments in your organization that might be asking customers for feedback at each of those touchpoints. It can be quite overwhelming — for you and for your customers! To make sense of it all, you should compile a Customer Feedback Map to accompany your CX Journey Map.

Creating a Customer Feedback Map can be a daunting task, especially in very large, disparate, and/or siloed organizations, but the benefits – not the least of which is financial – are endless. For example, if you have nine different departments all working in a vacuum, including licensing nine different survey, EFM, or text analytics platforms, consolidating the data can reduce costs and improve the way the company listens to the voice of the customer. Other benefits include reducing/eliminating respondent fatigue, increasing response rates, and improving the actionability of the data.

The Customer Feedback Map should first identify your touchpoints and the corresponding departments that support each. Start with a Customer Lifecycle Map that outlines high-level touchpoints within each stage. Then list:

  • All forms/sources of customer feedback at each touchpoint
  • Other feedback that’s not directly linked to a touchpoint
  • Owner of the feedback
  • Audience for each piece of feedback
  • End user (internal) of the feedback
  • Objective/purpose of the feedback
  • All resources used for feedback/analysis (software, tools, etc.)
  • Other desired sources of feedback (if any are missing)

The next step is to consolidate. Centralizing to one department both the ownership of your VOC efforts and the platform used to collect, analyze, and respond to the feedback eliminates redundancies, creates efficiencies, saves money, and ensures a cohesive approach to your VOC initiative overall and, ultimately, to the customer experience.

Identifying the various sources of customer feedback within your organization is a valuable exercise. You may just discover some very scary information:  how much your customers are being asked to provide feedback – and just how little of that is actually being used in a meaningful way.