Inviting customer feedback sounds like the right thing to do. However we know that when a colleague says “Joe I want to give you some feedback”, our nervous system responds in ways similar to when we are under attack! We are programmed to defend. Be prepared for a myriad of excuses right across the organisation that point the finger at others, that explain things away and that serve to maintain the status quo.
Even if you accept that feedback is “learning” you also have to accept that “learning = change” (if nothing changes then it is not learning). If you ask for feedback then do nothing with it, be prepared, it may be the motivation for your customers to leave.
Hence, test your ambitions. A Voice of the Customer project has to be viewed as a change to the way we do things. If fear of resistance from others as a result of feedback is holding you back then you have to question your real motives and ambitions.
Your Voice of the Customer programme will throw up a whole load of rich assessments. Before looking to industrialise the collation and interpretation of feedback, share a sample of customer verbatims with people at all levels in the business and, from this, craft a vision of the future in a clear and simple manner.
Test this with all employees (not just your peers or executive team). The message should ring true for everyone.