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Listening to customers often confirms what you already believe (no harm in that!), but you might also be amazed at what you didn’t know. As fast as companies change and contacts turn over, it’s nearly impossible to have all the answers, and your assumptions just might be your undoing.
Some are just plain more important to your success. Make sure you’re talking to the right people in the right places because who you listen to matters. A lot.
Truly listening to the voice of the customer requires letting them speak. To you and your people. Not to us. Not to a website. To you.
Big data is about seeing patterns and spotting trends in the masses of information organizations now have at their disposal and then using the insights to make decisions. Clients have told us that we help them see the “close data” – the needs, preferences, challenges and opportunities facing individual customers. Big data helps you observe the forest; we think seeing the trees is pretty important too.
There are some wonderful tools that capture, quantify, analyze and report customer data. But having the best systems and the most insightful data doesn’t win the game. It’s doing something with the information that’s the ultimate accomplishment. If your data doesn’t inspire action, why bother?
One thing we’ve learned: A customer’s definition of value is elusive. Scores don’t fully capture it. They’re a blunt instrument. The complete picture is revealed in the stories customers tell about you. Value shows itself in the unmeasurable moments: When your people showed commitment and put the customer first. When a customer took a risk and put the trust in your team to perform. Capture the unmeasurable moments or live and die by the score.
Business relationships matter. Customers want to be heard. How you listen makes an impression, and some conversations are just better when they’re face to face. Why gather feedback the same old way others do when you can make it an experience that sends a strong message to your customer? That they matter. That they’re important.