Who Should You Listen to When the Going Gets Tough?

Guest post by Annette Franz Gleneicki:

Is your organization in the midst of turmoil? Are you wading through major changes?

If you answered “Yes”, then I have two more questions for you:

  1. Before these changes, were you collecting feedback from your customers?
  2. Are you still listening to the voice of the customer?

When I speak to clients who are in the middle of transitional times, they question whether they should continue collecting feedback from customers.  One of their main concerns is what customers will say about the organization.

Well, hot diggity!

Isn’t that why we gather feedback and listen to the voice of the customer? And, no, it’s not so that we can keep score!

Quite honestly, customer feedback is most critical during times of change. Don’t drop the ball now. Keep listening. Keep the conversation going.  Why? Most importantly, it lets the customers know that they are still at the center of your business, that your focus hasn’t changed.

Doing that affords your business a lot, it allows it to:

  • Listen to customers’ concerns
  • Gauge the impact on the marketplace
  • Use the feedback as a “binding agent” to bring the organization together for a common goal
  • Remind employees of the reason for being in business

And that drives a host of benefits:

  • Reduced churn and saved customers
  • New features and product enhancements
  • Subsequent messaging to the marketplace about the change (through the eyes of customers)
  • Recommendations or referrals (hopefully!) from existing customers

Of course, collecting the feedback is one thing, acting on it is completely different. You must act on the feedback. Use it to guide your customers through turbulent times.

And finally, don’t forget about your employees. While this post refers specifically to the voice of the customer, listening to employees during times of change is just as important, if not more so. Just like customers, listening to, and acting on, employee feedback reassures them that the company is focused on their best interests, their success.

And their success = your success.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. ~ Charles Darwin

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Voice of the customer

Annette Franz Gleneicki writes about the employee experience, the customer experience and how they relate at http://cxjourney.blogspot.com/.

Image by Kevin Lawver

Comments

  1. Hi, really enjoyed this post. I couldn’t agree more that listening to your customers is critical during times of change, but the really big thing for me anyway is what you say at the end. If you are going through big changes you really must listen to your employees. It isn’t enough just to “keep your ear to the ground” you need to set up a formal mechanisme, survey, focus groups, doesn’t matter what so long as you do it

    Tom

    • Tom, thanks for reading and for your comment. Your point is right on… companies tend to forget about listening to employees or simply just pay them lip service. They are key to a successful transition, no doubt.

      Annette :-)

  2. I prefer the term “customer instructions.” It reminds us who is number one.

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