John opened up with the question: Why is Voice of the Customer (VOC) important? Consumers have many choices, so it's really important to understand what customers want. H&R Block believe it's not just about the score, it's also about finding out what's behind the score. They wanted to find out if customers were vested in their product and if they were willing to have a conversation with them. After all, he stated, its your chance to impress them and their perspective is better than yours.
H&R Block has vested customers — 49% gave them feedback via an online Net Promoter survey. They kept it to 3 questions long and embedded it within product registration. They did allow for people to opt-in and have more dialogue with H&R Block if they were willing to do so. They created a centralized VOC database for all customer touchpoints, and they built feedback so it was easy for customers to speak to them. It was not buried somewhere in the corporate website.
They first survey had 2 million completes with 1 million verbatims. How did they analyze this? The verbatims were important to them because they needed to know what to fix and link the verbatims to the scores. Net Promoter is a good indicator of behavior, but they believe the driver for the score is really important. So they created "experience scoring."
They used an approach to analyze verbatims and roll them up into a category and then drill down to specific issues and discover the root cause. Sometimes they needed to go 1 step further so they went directly to the customer. Their employees (not a third party) contacted some 300 customers. These notes went into the central VOC database.
John noted its only valuable if the information is used (seems to be a common theme). In their case some employees didn't think VOC applied to their job so the key was to find where the data makes a difference. For instance, they quantified the reason; i.e., error or defect at IT, and told them why it's important to fix and related it back to the NPS.
They also are looking at "behavior modeling," which is interesting, to see how they can use Net Promoter Score and VOC combined to predict what people will do in the future.
The results: they are able to make better decisions as they have the data to prove it. "Net Promoter is about trying to keep our people (customers), not lose them."