Who is listening to your customer?

This is a guest post from Jeanne Bliss — customer experience expert and author of “I Love You More Than My Dog.” See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on her blog.

Often when a company talks about “listening” to customers, that notion is immediately collapsed into a “voice of the customer” (VOC) program. That is not the action I am referring to. Customer listening is a critical competency of customer experience reliability.

Customer listening requires this:

  • Taking customers off the spread sheets and survey results.
  • Advancing conversations within your organization about your customers – talk about customer experiences and know who they really are.

This means finding new and disruptive ways to engage your executives and the ranks of your company to hear your customers’ words.

The best companies (beloved and advocated by customers) proactively engage their employees and their customers.

  • Calling lost customers to understand what happened and to apologize
  • Requiring every new hire to interact with customers, such as working the frontline or in the warehouse
  • Holding monthly huddles — executives with the frontlines in a transparent “fireside” chat

These types of activities put the voice of the customer in the ear of the organization.

They create empathy and a culture of people who care not just about what they sell, but about the lives of the people who they impact. This behavior grows a different type of company. It helps you build executive engagement and the passionate direction that separates a beloved company from an “everyday” company.

Watch the Video: Being Real is about Managing the Life, Not the Spreadsheet. As you listen to customers, also pay attention to how you talk to your customers. Get rid of the jargon.

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About Jeanne Bliss

As “Chief Customer Officer” for Lands’ End, Mazda, Coldwell Banker, Allstate, and Microsoft, Jeanne got “customer” on the strategic agenda, earned 98% loyalty rates, and changed experiences across 50,000-person operations. Jeanne now runs CustomerBliss to create an actionable path for profitability and business growth -- through earning customer and employee raves. Her best-selling books are Chief Customer Officer and I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive

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