Recently, I met with the person who leads the voice of the customer (VOC) program for a $1.6B company in an industry that is in complete transformation.

She proudly told me that more than 1,000 respondents replied to the latest customer survey. And the numbers were great: More than 85% of the respondents were either satisfied or highly satisfied with the services the company offered.

The problem? The firm has only a 68% retention rate.

Most organizations try to predict retention rates based on customer-satisfaction scores. The reality is that in B2B, user satisfaction does not equal customer retention. Here's why...

I asked the person in charge of VOC, "Of the 1,000-plus respondents, how many were decision makers?" Her response: "Zero." Only three responses were from influencers; virtually all the responses were from the user/purchasing level.

Key question: Is yours a holistic VOC program or simply a Voice of the User program?

Such a situation is very common. I rarely see more than a 20% weighting of decision makers and influencers combined in VOC programs. Consequently, such customer surveys and programs are most often deceiving and misleading.

Remember, most customers who leave a company leave satisfied. The truth is that user satisfaction does not equal customer retention!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sean Geehan is CEO and founder of the Geehan Group (www.geehangroup.com), which connects executives to their most important customers in order to maximize customer retention, sales, profit, and long-term market alignment. Sean is the author of the upcoming book The B2B Executive Playbook. Contact him via sean@geehangroup.com or 877-226-1621.