How Toll Group implemented a successful VoC program and transformed its business

Humility and courage are key to implementing a successful voice of customer (VoC) transformation program, as is a willingness to be open to the fact you might have been wrong about what they want, sometimes for years.

Toll group has spent the last three years implementing a comprehensive VoC customer approach. And hundreds of interviews and hours later, the program has transformed Toll’s business model, while also having some unexpected brand and engagement benefits.

Christina Wilson, global head of marketing, customer centricity and insights at Toll Group, was brought on board three years ago and realised there was very little language within the business around customers. Like many businesses, it was internally focused and financially-driven.

Wilson very quickly understood she needed to understand the global business from a customer perspective.

“As the largest logistics provider in Australia, we serve every industry, and many of the top 100 ASX companies. In 2015, I was struggling to see any evidence of measures or insights helping leaders make decisions from a customer’s perspective,” Wilson told CMO.

What followed was the swift implementation of a VoC program which saw Wilson personally interview 150 global stakeholders over 160 hours in the first five months.

“I soon found out it was the depth of the relationship that really mattered to customers. And what was really powerful was that I told our customers I wanted to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly, and it was amazing how open they were with me,” she said.

It was a concerted effort by Toll group, including the leadership, to understand what was important to their customers, what Toll did well, and what it needed to improve.
Like all companies who implement a genuine VoC campaign, Toll realised what mattered to customers was not what the organisation had assumed.

“With this deep listening, we learnt that our customer cared less about the rational capabilities and assets and capabilities that we were so proud to market, like trucks and sheds and fleets and infrastructure,” Wilson said. “That capability was already assumed; they did, however, highlight the experiential factors and our front-line team members that made all the difference for them. At every level of the organisation, people called out and were the differentiator for our customers.”



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