Don’t just oil the squeaky wheel

When we present customer insights based on direct observation, interviews and sentiment data, we are often met with a surprised reaction. “They’re not our customers!”. “You must have spoken to the wrong people!”.

For example, we recently came across a bunch of unrelenting advocates for a treasured public resource. Our client, however, was convinced that most of their customers were fee avoiders, troublemakers and complainers.

The squeaky wheel effect

We have realised the cause of this disconnect, which I will call the ‘squeaky wheel’ effect. Our clients only get to deal directly with certain types of customers, whilst the majority proceed (or suffer) in silence. It is natural that their ‘reality’ is founded on this view.

This is why it is important to listen to the voice of your customers on a continuous basis. This is the only way to get a true, balanced view and to spot opportunities as they arise.

Build Customer Advocacy

Back to our example, we uncovered fantastic opportunities to encourage and create value from that base of advocacy, which our client was unaware of. Now they are aware, but there is still a need to re-calibrate to this new reality. This will only happen sustainably once their Voice of Customer program is embedded and their view is broadened beyond the squeaky wheels.