Lessons Learned in CLG Audits: VoC Best Practices



This blog follows up our "How to Build a VoC Strategy from the Ground Up" with best practices based off of the patterns and insights we have seen in customer-led growth work with our clients. Find out how these patterns affect your growth and what to do about it.

By Sarah Threet, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing 

In Brittany’s blog “How to Build a VoC Strategy from the Ground Up, you learned how to define a Voice of the Customer (VoC ) strategy and what you need to start building one in your own organization. In this blog, we will talk about: 

  • Patterns we’ve seen auditing existing customer-led growth (CLG) initiatives 
  • How those patterns impact your growth 
  • Best practices to address those patterns in your VoC strategy.  


Patterns in Customer-Led Growth Strategy Audits 

We work with a variety of B2B companies, and despite their differences, many share similar pains when it comes to implementing customer-led growth initiatives. As you learned in the previous blog, to grow a company focused on the customer means to act on customer feedback at every customer journey touchpoint at scale – that requires excellent orchestration 

Here are some common challenges we’ve noticed when auditing client CLG initiatives: 

Unstandardized and Siloed Data Impacts Visibility and Decision-Making 

  • Reliance on manual intervention: Without a structured process, companies lean on manual intervention, which results in the customers having fragmented experiences. These inconsistencies make it challenging to derive meaningful insights from customer experiences. 
  • Data hygiene: Many companies lack a system for standardizing their data inputs, making it difficult to match data and therefore difficult to envision a clear customer journey and make educated assumptions about new paths to test. In customer-led growth, qualitative data is especially important, and it also requires a standardized way of inputting customer sentiment.  
  • Siloed information and limited visibility: When information is siloed in different teams and on different platforms, it is challenging to know what information is most accurate. Without a standardized system across all teams, there’s limited visibility across customer touchpoints, hindering a comprehensive understanding of customer sentiments. 

Lacking Tiered Approach Impacts Customer Representativeness  

  • Engagement inefficiencies: Many companies have existing strategies that fall short of reaching a significant percentage of the marketable database, impacting the representativeness of customer sentiments. When the feedback is not representative, the data may skew towards the opinions of a vocal minority, leading to biased insights that do not address the needs/opinions of the broader base. 
  • Tiering challenges: A lack of a tiered approach hinders the differentiation of customers, preventing targeted engagement with strong advocates, referenceable customers, and those willing to share stories anonymously. Without segmenting customers, all feedback is treated equally, which can dilute the specific insights from different customer types. 

Training Gaps and Underutilized Resources Impact Communicated Value 

  • Training gaps: Effective use of customer success tools is essential for Sales and Customer Success (CS) teams to engage with customers meaningfully and to leverage data and insights from VoC programs. Ineffective use of these tools can reduce the impact of customer interactions, potentially leading to lower customer satisfaction and retention. 
  • Understanding of value: Limited understanding of the value of existing VoC programs paired with bandwidth restraints hinder sales from full integration of impactful tools & resources. If Sales and CS teams do not understand the value of VoC, they are less likely to integrate these insights into their strategies and day-to-day activities, impacting alignment and growth. 
  • Trust in strategy: Trust is crucial for the successful implementation of any strategy. If Sales and CS teams do not trust the VoC process, they are less likely to engage with it and use the insights it provides. Without trust and involvement, teams may not engage fully with VoC programs, leading to a lack of actionable insights and missed opportunities for customer engagement. 
  • Content utilization: Providing relevant customer stories and case studies is crucial for engaging with prospects and customers. Without these, teams may struggle to illustrate value and build trust with potential customers. 

Do any of these feel familiar to you in your organization?  

In addressing some of these common bottlenecks, these are some best practices we recommend in implementing your VoC strategy that will maximize customer satisfaction, improve user sentiment, and get the most out of your marketing efforts… 


Best Practices 

1. Define buyer values and your North Star KPI 

  • Single source of truth: Implement a centralized feedback platform to capture customer feedback across all touchpoints. 
  • Standardize manual data entry: Develop data entry templates for entering customer data into the system, enforcing consistent formats and fields.  
  • Automate feedback: Utilize automated tools and triggers to gather feedback/reviews/surveys at key touchpoints, such as after a purchase.  
  • Define and track a North Star KPI: Implement a system for tracking KPI progress in real-time or at regular intervals. Define a North Star metric (like NPS) for a comprehensive view of overall customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

2. Empower employees for customer experience 

  • Strategic training and workshops: Host hands-on workshops and training sessions for Sales and CS teams separately and together to build confidence in utilizing customer success tools. 
  • Cultivate trust and involvement: Conduct integrated education sessions to improve understanding of the value of existing VoC programs across all departments.   
  • Build Voice of the Employee (VoE) feedback mechanisms: Implement a VoE survey to gather insights from Sales and CS teams on training program effectiveness. Provide transparency in data collection and analysis to foster open dialogue and address concerns. 

3. Align cross-functional teams 

  • Tiered customer journey approach: Categorize customers into different tiers based on their maturity, engagement level, advocacy, and willingness to share feedback.  
  • Segmented engagement strategies: Develop segmented engagement strategies tailored to different customer segments based on their journey stage, preferences, and behavior.  
  • Integrated data analysis: Develop customized dashboards and reports that provide actionable insights to marketing, sales, product, and customer success teams, enabling informed decision-making and targeted action planning. 

4. Synthesize customer data for content 

  • Develop user-friendly content tools: Invest in user-friendly content management tools or reorganize existing platforms to facilitate easy access to relevant stories and resources for sales and CS teams.  
  • Content gap analysis: Assess existing content against customer data insights to identify gaps and opportunities for customer-focused content creation. Determine opportunities to create more content for specific content types, use cases, industries, persona, etc.   


Building a robust VoC strategy is integral to driving customer-led growth and ensuring your organization remains aligned with customer needs. The common challenges we’ve explored can greatly impede the effectiveness of your CLG initiatives. By addressing these issues through best practices, you will not only maximize customer satisfaction but also create a more agile and responsive organization capable of driving sustained growth through customer-led initiatives. 

If you have questions about how to audit your customer-led growth initiatives or how to implement our recommended best practices into your planning-execution process, please reach out to our strategy experts