Fred Reichheld says 95% of all VOC Programmes are set up incorrectly – is yours?

As those who follow me know, I am quite passionate about Voice of the Customer (VOC) Programmes being set up correctly to drive action, engagement and ROI. I have given many speeches, presented at least 50 webinars in 3 languages and given advice to dozens of companies around this topic. In 2020 we also dropped a first whitepaper around this. We have now published a fully revised and extended version of our whitepaper, which you can download here.

Why this new version of the whitepaper? As the headline says, the majority of all VOC programmes are conceived and implemented in such a way that they don’t deliver the ROI they could (and should). As I believe – or actually, know – that a well executed VOC programme is essential for any company that wants to be customer centric, this pains me. And more importantly, these underperforming VOC programmes run the risk of being axed by the company, “as this thing doesn’t deliver anyway”.

Maurice Fitzgerald has run a test twice in the last decade. He answered (truthfully) 100 NPS surveys he received over the year to see what happened. As per the rule we all know, the loop should have been closed with him 100 times. At the very least in those cases where he gave a detractor score someone from the company surely followed up with him, right? In reality, the first time he ran his test, NOT ONE company followed up with him. The second time, in 2022, literally ONE company did.

The above story shows two things wrong with the NPS (or in a broader sense, VOC) at the moment. Too many surveys, and not enough action or follow-up. This lack of action is one major factor of what makes customers hesitate to fill in surveys anymore – why bother if the company wont bother? The second factor is the sheer volume of surveys received – the more you receive, the less likely you are to answer. The answer to both is quite simple – ONLY survey if you are planning to take action.

In our whitepaper, which we produced together with Forsta (our favourite CX platform) we show how to avoid these and other traps. In summary the virtuous value cycle looks like this:

  1. At the Core is the planning – set your VOC programme  up correctly to deliver actionable insights to you
  2. Create value – ensure that action take place to create added value for customers and the company
  3.  Capture that value – prove to the rest of the organization that value is being created through a good ROI model. Translate this into business models and KPIs.
  4. Communicate the value – showcase it and make sure everyone in the company is willing, skilled and able to drive improvements

We explain each of these topics in-depth in the whitepaper, including practical tips & tricks, and a self evaluation tool. You can also take a look at our webinars, which you will always find on the inspiration page on Futurelab.

So, please have a read and let us know what you think. If you have questions, hit me up – I am always available for a quick sparring or to take a first look at your current plan or existing programme.


Of course, we will also continue to develop this topic, and share our insights in webinars and articles. Watch this space. For instance, we are working on a really exciting project we call “The Future of NPS”.  On the one hand we start using voice based feedback collection, as this drives higher response rates and allows for very interesting additional analysis of emotions and sentiments. On the other hand we can combine this with predictive analytics. The combination of the two is mesmerizing. We are still looking for co-development customers so if you’d like to know more, shoot me a mail at