Everyday VOC (EVOC)

Your sales and technical support reps are making hundreds of customer calls annually. But are all customer needs uncovered, explored, and delivered to your solution providers in an actionable form? With Everyday VOC, your customer facing employees use What-Why-Clarify probing. This leads to uniform CRM capture for effective data mining later… and more effective selling now.

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Preview: Everyday VOC

You can turn your sales force into a learning force with Everyday VOC. When they probe deeply and capture customer needs uniformly in your CRM, you’ll gain unprecedented market insight. And they’ll sell more.

Your B2B customers have a long list of problems to be solved. But it’s not their job to carefully explain each one and deliver it gift-wrapped to your solution providers. It’s your job, and Everyday VOC can help you do it.

You’d like to see market needs move seamlessly from the minds of your customers to your R&D, but valuable insights are often filtered out. Imagine what might be happening when your sales rep talks to a customer:

  • Poor listening skills: Is your rep in the “broadcast mode” selling your product line, or are they eagerly listening to the problems the customer is facing?
  • Few probing questions: When a problem surfaces, does your rep probe to learn when it happens, how often it happens, where it happens, the impact when it happens, and the value in preventing it?
  • Haphazard call reports: Does your rep draw special attention to each customer need in his or her call report, or are they co-mingled with other information, e.g., competitive pricing, job changes, and industry news?
  • Weak data mining: Can your marketing or product managers mine your CRM to detect weak signals of market needs before competitors, or is the data a mish-mash?

Everyday VOC uses a simple but highly effective probing methodology your sales, tech support, and other customer-facing employees can employ. This leads to two major benefits for your business:

  • Benefit #1: This probing helps your sales rep sell more during the customer call itself. It boosts sales now.
  • Benefit #2: This probing provides uniform capture of needs for effective CRM data mining. It boosts sales later.

Some say, “customers can’t tell you what they want.” But they’ve missed two points. First, B2B customers can tell you much more about their needs than end-consumers. Second, understanding “what customers want” is a fuzzy goal. Let’s break it down to either outcomes (customers’ desired end results) or solutions (suppliers’ offerings).

It’s true that customers usually can’t tell you the solutions they want. But that’s not their job. It’s yours. Can they explain their desired outcomes? B2B customers most certainly can. They’re in business to make money and can tell you when they want faster line speed, fewer defects, lower labor costs, or the ability to produce a product that’s brighter and shinier.

Everyday VOC employs our “What-Why-Clarify” probing method. When a customer problem surfaces, you ask probing questions in this sequence:

  1. “What” questions. This doesn’t mean your questions start with the word “what,” but rather you’re trying to understand what the problem is all about.
  2. “Why” questions. While the “What” questions are for observation, the “Why” questions are for implication: Why does this matter to the customer?
  3. Clarify questions: To clarify the customer’s desired outcome, use an “outcome statement,” a clever approach developed by Tony Ulwick of Strategyn. You test what the customer wants, using the format, verb—unit of measure—object.

When you conduct Everyday VOC and market scouting followed by these market-focused interviews, you don’t just work on the outcomes customers truly care about. You work on these outcomes when customers want you to.

You’re now aiming your R&D at precisely the right spot at precisely the right time. Do Everyday VOC well, and you’ll leave your competitors far behind. And you won’t just do it once. You’ll do it every day.

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