Posted: 30th May 2013

What is the difference between CRM and VoC?

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Today’s business world is stuffed with more acronyms and competing definitions than ever before. When it comes to the all important area of engaging with your customers, clarity is needed to ensure that your organisation benefits from the technology that best fits your ambitions.

So…what is the difference between Voice of the Customer (VoC) and CRM software?

At the highest level, CRM systems hold customer information such as contact details, purchase history, product and service segmentation. Such systems have been around in one form or another for many years now and provide a view of the customer world which can be described as inside-out.

CRM systems are designed to hold all of the internally generated information regarding the customer, typically built up over an extensive period of time. This mass of information is then used by managers to make judgements on how to shape their strategy.

In contrast, VoC (or Customer Experience Management) software systems enable global organisations to develop an outside-in view of the market.

VoC systems collect feedback from every part of the customer journey from pre-purchase evaluation, to in branch transactions, to contact centre enquiries. This means that a company can capture and analyse customer feedback in real-time, intelligently sends the right information to the right people in the business and ensure that the business not only listens to their customers but drives actions and improvements as a result.

Best of breed Voice of the Customer systems ensure that your business understands the underlying root causes of customer feedback for tactical and strategic advantage. Identifying risk by overlaying financial data and providing the opportunity to prioritise resources and respond in the short term is extremely valuable.

However, the greatest returns occur when feedback is used to change business processes and the behaviour of front line employees in customer-oriented ways.


A recent article in a leading CRM publication ( berated a CRM system’s ability to effectively capture customer feedback:

“…response rates were typically very low. Survey fatigue was rampant, mostly because surveys were not customer-friendly: They were absurdly long and structured with the company’s interests—not the customer’s—in mind. Today, those outdated methods are too slow and infrequent and don’t go nearly deep enough to keep up with modern business pressures.

That’s why companies today are turning towards more complete voice of the customer (VoC) solutions. VoC solutions take a surgical approach to feedback, making it far more current and relevant and enabling companies to target different groups of customers much more tightly, improving the quality, quantity, and accuracy of the feedback they receive.

While typical surveying methods generally yield about a 10 percent response rate, VoC solutions have been tied to response rates of greater than 50 percent.”

Global analysts Gartner recently stated that:

“A new era of customer relationships, in which customers are “the new employees” and have a voice that needs to be listened to, respected and acted upon, will be unavoidable for the vast majority of organizations over the coming decade. VoC-focused technologies will become critical investment areas for many organizations during the next five years.”

Managing the customer experience has never been more essential. It is clear why global enterprises are making a strategic prority of selecting VoC technologies to manage customer insight and achieve real competitive advantage.

Wherever you are on your Voice of the Customer journey, all of us at Maru/Syngro are ready to work to your timetable. Contact us today to start the discussion.

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