How Successful Companies Listen to the Voice of the Customer

January 31, 2012 at 12:29 pm 9 comments


Listening to the voice of customers is vital for every organization. Every interaction that the business has with a customer enables a way to build loyalty or lose it. Customers’ voices allow organizations to keep track of the large number of interactions that transpire between customers and their company. This will permit them to learn effective ways of making their customers happy and keep them coming back. Customers who see results using their interactions with businesses will become loyal to the company. This will promote positive experiences that they may share with others through conversations. The faster a reply comes from a company, the more likely that the business will maintain a good relationship featuring its customers.

For example, a company was about to lose a $15 million per year major customer who was not happy with the new product line intended to replace a line that sold $3 million per year through the customer. The sales reps met with the buyer and brought the wants and needs information back to the factory to produce new prototypes. After multiple attempts to get acceptable prototypes made and delivered to the customer, only to have them rejected by the buyer, we invited him and his team to our factory where we met as a single product development team. After several days, we developed a unique line of product that we agreed to manufacture as a proprietary product for this customer. We also made a few minor changes to the original product line and the customer agreed to keep it, in addition to the propriety product, on their showroom floor. After selling both product lines for 6 months, our sales to this customer were tracking $22 million for the year, an increase of approximately 46%.

Question: Is your company missing revenue opportunities not listening the Voice of the Customer?

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Entry filed under: Customer Loyalty, Dan Trojacek, Eco-Friendly, Empoyee Satisfaction, Environmently Friendly, Furniture Manufacturing, Green Manufacturing, Labor Costs, Leadership, Lean Six Sigma, Manufacturing Costs, Material Costs, P&L, Production initiatives, Profitability, Raw Materials, Sales Revenue, Supply Chain. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. susansaldibar  |  February 2, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Dan, one of the toughest things for so many businesses to do is to actively create a two-way relationship with their customer. They get in a bad habit of pushing occasional information to the customer, but avoiding the two way interchange. As time goes on, the customer becomes more of a faceless “entity” and communications become rote and contrived. I think managers would be amazed at how quickly they can get back into a real relationship with customers. Great article, Dan. Customer relationships like the one outlined in this article, hit effectively on so many levels, it’s a shame businesses tend to spend more time marketing to them than WITH them.

    Reply
  • 2. Ram Ayyanaar  |  February 2, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Good or bad …. keeping the communication lines open. is a big factor

    Reply
  • 3. Simon Phillips  |  February 3, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Let’s not forget about our internal customer. Often overlooked and can cause immeasurable revenue losses!!!

    Reply
  • 4. Marc Elsbeek  |  February 3, 2012 at 8:13 am

    It shows again how important a regular customer feedback is! And not just asking for but also translating the gathered intel so that it can be understood by the organization.

    Reply
  • 5. Steven Boe  |  February 3, 2012 at 9:37 am

    A clean line of communication between the client, sales, service and manufacturing is clearly demonstrated with excellent results for all parties it appears.

    Reply
  • 6. Joseph E. Miller  |  February 3, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Communications is a loop, break it anywhere and you’re going to have problems and problems inevitably lead to revenue loss.

    Reply
  • 7. EBN - Laurie Sullivan - Design to Sell  |  February 6, 2012 at 8:52 am

    […] even love a company's products and services starts with listening to the customer, as Dan Trojacek tells us in his blog. His strategy aligns manufacturing with sales objectives. Email ThisPrintComment COMMENTS […]

    Reply
  • 8. Jean Stewart  |  February 7, 2012 at 8:54 am

    As someone who has lived in the post-acute healthcare service space, I’ve heard colleagues state, “we provide the best service in the area.” When I follow up by asking how “we” know that, I’m astonished by the almost-universal lack of data, and the seeming disinterest in truly asking the end-user customer. Without seeking the input of all parties, from external customers, to each area or department that contributes something to the customer experience then companies are working with partial information and likely to have a less than optimal result. The companies that enthusiastically seek this feedback, embrace the results, both good and bad and freely communicate and discuss these findings with all colleagues will have better financial results, more engaged colleagues and will very likely be the entity that does “provide the best service in the area.”

    Reply
  • 9. Phil Sinclair-Harry  |  February 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I see many companies developing strategic and tactical business plans without listening to “the voice of their customers” and then wonder why their strategic/tactical plans fall short of their goals. At the end of the day it is the throughput to your customers that generate the fuel (cash) the keeps your company alive. If your do not know how listen to your customers or what to do with your customers feedback then make it your number one priority … now!

    Reply

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