Your Customer can tell you what you need to know. Are you listening?

In our first blog we talked about why listening to the Voice of the Customer is so important and gave you a quick overview of what the customer can potentially communicate to help you improve your business’ efficiency and productivity.

In this second blog you’ll learn about the first and most obvious way the customer communicates with an organization: stated needs. These are needs that the customer is able to articulate and which can be captured using the tools we’re going to talk about below.

Some of the means by which organizations can capture stated needs are already in regular use by marketing and customer experience teams. None are obligated to use all of them, but using a broad selection of them can ensure a business is able to get the broadest cross section of articulated needs from its customers. 

Surveys and Direct Elicitation 

Surveys are a popular method for … Read more...

What is the Voice of the Customer?

Businesses are constantly speaking to their customer base using a strategic blend of marketing channels and public relations to optimize engagement. It’s an easy way to control their message, create customer loyalty, drive customer retention and leverage a consistent brand image. But how much listening do they do?

Listening to the customer is incredibly important and failing to engage with actionable, data driven intelligence can result in customer dissatisfaction and a deterioration of the customer relationship. This skill is especially important in the early stages of product and service development. Ensuring satisfaction from the beginning of the customer journey can help reduce the likelihood of waste and rework later.

The Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a process to help organizations drive continuous improvement and innovation through insight gained from customer feedback data. This can be a massive undertaking, so without a clearly defined methodology for understanding the customer experience … Read more...

Did You Know That Customer Complaints Can Be a Good Thing for Your Business?

Surely, it’s a bad thing when a business receives customer complaints. If the customer isn’t happy, then there must have been a poor interaction and we need to do everything we can to make the customer happy as quickly as possible, right?

Well, not so fast. While it’s true that no one likes to hear about customers being unhappy, it’s also true that customer complaints are very valuable learning opportunities. When customers tell you why they’re unhappy and what you need to do to make things right, they’re giving you important information about how to fix your processes and design your products to improve and enhance the overall experience for all your customers. With the broad availability of technology making consumers increasingly knowledgeable about what they want, enhanced customer experience and satisfaction is set to become the best way in which businesses can differentiate themselves from their competition.

However, collecting, … Read more...

Quality Management Tools for Enabling Customer Relationships

In February 2002, the United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, uttered the following infamous phrase:

“There are known-knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known-unknows, that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown-unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek’s clever rejoinder fills in the obvious missing element and demonstrates the secret wisdom of Rumsfeld’s analysis:

“…What he forgot to add was the crucial fourth term: the ‘unknown knowns,’ the things that we don’t know that we know.”

When it comes to knowing what customers want, we could learn a lot from Rumsfeld and Žižek. Sometimes customers know what they want and how to articulate it; sometimes they know what they want but not how to articulate it. Even more difficult to understand is when customers don’t … Read more...