A few years ago Business Strategy Innovation published a white paper to its web site on “Broadcasting the Voice of the customer.”
Here is an excerpt:
“Before the industrial revolution, most businesses in the United States were sole proprietorships or small family run businesses. In those days, every member of the business was in direct contact with the customers and had the opportunity to passively or actively hear the voice of the customer.
The voice of the customer tells us what about our product or service that customers find valuable, and what they find annoying or useless. By focusing on what customers found valuable and removing or reducing what they found annoying, these small businesses could accumulate financial success and customer loyalty.
In today’s interconnected world, we are in the midst of a customer revolution. Today’s customer has unparalleled access to pricing and product information to enable a more informed and economic purchasing decision. Today’s customer benefits from marketing developments such as mass customization, mass personalization, and micro-segmentation. In addition, they have unrivaled access to communication channels to make their preferences known. But, who is really listening?
We live in a world of corporations and conglomerates, where most of the employee class has no direct access to the voice of the customer. The man or woman stitching up your clothing has no idea whether the stitching method worked well for you, or if you were happy with the product. They only know whether or not they made their daily quota and how much failed Quality Control. If the person stitching your clothing had access to the voice of the customer, would they do their job differently? Would they feel differently about their job?
In many of today’s companies, the job of listening to the customer falls to someone in the marketing department, possibly even someone who does nothing but focus on brand and customer research. This person usually works with product management and possibly research and development to inform product revisions and new product development. Often, very few people outside of that core team have access to the voice of the customer. But why restrict customer feedback to a select few?”
Download the complete “Broadcasting the Voice of the Customer” white paper in PDF form.