Listen or Die

How to Tie Compensation to Your VoC Program

Yes, you should tie compensation to your VoC program (it's the best way to get people to actually use it!), but be strategic about HOW you tie compensation, WHO you tie it to, and WHEN you start.

889 - banner opt
Sean McDade, PhD

Sean McDade, PhD

Founder & CEO, PeopleMetrics

Yes, you should tie compensation to your Voice of Customer (VoC) program (it’s the best way to get your people to actually use it!)

But be strategic about how you do it... and when.

Monetary bonus programs

There are many creative ways to tie VoC to compensation, but one of the most common ways is do it through a bonus program.

Your bonus program could be based on people achieving a particular NPS level or customer satisfaction score.

Another approach is to base bonuses on having a certain number of completed surveys per month/quarter/year or having a low percentage of surveys returned with customer issues.

No matter the goal or threshold, if employees reach that target, they are eligible to receive a bonus; if not, they don’t. It’s simple, it’s straightforward, and it’s motivating.

Setting effective bonuses

There are many factors to consider when establishing an effective bonus program.

For example, are you setting the right goals to encourage the right behavior? Perhaps employees should focus on something other than NPS? And what about your basic survey health? Are you collecting enough customer feedback to define your goals effectively?

B2C companies with thousands or millions of customers, for instance, should make sure that their benchmark goals are based on robust customer feedback. For example, a single hotel can easily serve at least 100 guests a night—that’s 700 a week and more than 2,800 a month. With over 33,000 customers a year, you should always have at least 10% or 3,000-plus responses on hand in a given year to make sure that the bonus plan is based on enough volume to deliver accurate results.

Including (and excluding) the right people

Bonus programs do not need to include every employee either — in fact, bonuses are typically reserved only for the people who are accountable for the customer experience. This could be a general manager of a hotel, as well as the manager who oversees an entire region; it could be the head of the contact center or the head of field services.

These people can choose to set up a bonus system for their team, but they do so as a separate program. There are usually too many employees for the customer experience leader to manage all individual bonuses tied to VoC.


Don't forget non-monetary rewards

Other incentives do not necessarily involve monetary compensation but can be big motivators.
Awards and public recognition go far, especially when they’re attached to an experience such as a trip or a night out. These incentives are typically connected to programs that are focused on recognition alerts rather than NPS or overall customer satisfaction.
This is an amazing way to motivate and incentivize the front line!


It’s not a question of if you should tie compensation to your VoC program (you should!), but be strategic about how you tie compensation, who you tie it to, and when you start.

○ ○ ○

About the Author

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting divisio. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

Latest Articles

How to Get Started with Customer Experience Research Now

How to Get Started with Customer Experience Research Now

Customer experience research ensures your CX program stays up-to-date with your customers’ needs. Learn how to start a customer research pr...

The Melior Group Joins PeopleMetrics!

The Melior Group Joins PeopleMetrics!

I am thrilled to announce that PeopleMetrics has acquired The Melior Group. The Melior Group provides market research services, both qualit...

Improving Customer Experience in Banking: 7 Promising Trends

Improving Customer Experience in Banking: 7 Promising Trends

Creating experience in banking is constantly evolving. Stay up to date with competitors by exploring these seven promising CX trends in the...