Forrester Announces 2011 VoC Award Winners

Forrester Research honored Adobe Systems, Fidelity Investments, and JetBlue Airways with its Voice of the Customer (VoC) Awards for 2011 at its annual Customer Experience Forum in New York this week. The honors are awarded to organizations that "excel in collecting, analyzing, and acting on feedback from their customers."

"Customer experience is personal," said Harley Manning, vice president and research director at Forrester, during the forum's opening keynote. "It comes down to the pilot who holds a plane, a customer care representative who makes a problem just go away, or a barista who anticipates a customer’s order."

More than 40 leaders in the financial services, healthcare, retail, technology, and travel industries submitted entries to this year's awards. "This year's nominees set a new bar for the scope, scale, and quality of voice of the customer programs," said Andrew McInnes, an analyst at Forrest, at the forum. "Compared to previous participants, they incorporate more customer data, influence more internal stakeholders, and deliver more value to their customers and their bottom lines."

Nominees were judged on clarity of approach, business value to the organization, positive impact on customer experience, innovation, and potential for other companies to repeat the practice. "The things you have to ask yourselves are, 'What is that personal experience that you want your customers to have? How do you make that happen consistently day in and day out?'" Manning said.

Adobe System was recognized for its commitment to executive engagement through it s customer immersion program that requires executives to "step into customers’ shoes for a day, attempt relevant customer scenarios, discuss opportunities for improvement with frontline employees, and engage with actual customers."

"Adobe's VoC programs have driven significant experiential gains by providing our senior leaders with first-hand knowledge of the customers' point of view—what works, what doesn't, and how we can evolve our practices and products to better meet customers' needs," said Lambert Walsh, vice presidents of customer success at Adobe Systems, in a statement. "This award represents the commitment of teams across Adobe to deepen our customer listening practices and to truly engage with our customers to act on their feedback and learn from their ideas."

Forrester honored Fidelity for its commitment to soliciting feedback from customers about there experiences and actively using it to enhance service. "At Fidelity, the voice of the customer is central to our commitment to providing the best customer experience in the financial services industry," said Parrish Arturi, senior vice president of customer experience at Fidelity, in a statement.

JetBlue's  VoC team and Net Promoter score made it a standout in an otherwise bleak airline industry. "By focusing on customer service, we have pioneered a new standard for air travel, one that brings humanity back to the skies," said Dave Barger, president and CEO of JetBlue, in a statement. "It is our mission to earn our customers' business by offering friendly service and a comfortable airport and in-flight experience, but we're only as good as our last baggage delivered to the carousel. Our dedication to engage our customers and maintain a high service standard based on their feedback will never end."

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