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Forrester Research Announces 2012 Voice Of The Customer Award Winners

Barclaycard US, Cisco, and The Vanguard Group are the winners of the 2012 Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR) Voice Of The Customer Awards, announced today at Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum 2012 East. The Voice Of The Customer Awards recognize organizations that excel in collecting, analyzing, and acting on feedback from their customers. More than 1,400 people attended the New York event, which provided Customer Experience Professionals with best practices, case studies, and tools for delivering a great customer experience.

“This year we opened the competition to global nominations and were impressed with the scope, scale, and quality of the voice of the customer programs we reviewed from around the world,” said Forrester Research Analyst Adele Sage. “VoC programs continue to incorporate more customer data, influence more internal stakeholders, and deliver more value to their customers and their bottom lines.”

Forty companies, representing leading brands in financial services, healthcare, retail, technology, and travel, submitted entries to this year’s Voice Of The Customer Awards. Winners were judged across five categories: clarity of approach, business value to the organization, positive impact on customer experience, innovation, and potential for other companies to repeat the practice. “The best VoC programs this year connected the dots between their VoC activities and a better customer experience and associated business results,” said Sage.

Barclaycard US. The credit card provider stood out for its VoC-fueled cultural transformation. Employees begin each day by listening to a randomly selected real customer call, a practice that has led to cross-functional dialogue and swift changes to policies. A newly created Customer Experience Hopper, consisting of 75 “customer evangelists” from across functional areas, has already implemented 25 key initiatives and plans 60 more this year. This approach has even spurred a change to the way the company creates products, including a new model in which it combined social media, financial education, and online banking to craft a crowdsourced credit card. These collective initiatives have paid off: Customer complaints are down 50%, and customer attrition has improved by 28%, adding up to more than $10 million in annual benefit.

“It’s all about making the basics great. Customers seek a simple and transparent experience with us all the time. And when we don’t deliver, they expect us to resolve and remediate the issue quickly,” said Susan Schmidt, chief operating officer for Barclaycard US. “Our fantastic showing in the Forrester Voice Of The Customer Awards tells us we’re able to surprise and delight customers. We see this as an ongoing journey, and we’ll continue to challenge ourselves to deliver for the customer.”

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