Understanding the Voice of the Customer (VOC) is a critical ongoing step in developing a successful product or service.  There are many techniques to effectively process and incorporate customer feedback.  Historically, this has been allocated to a sales or business development role – which in turn would “occasionally” share this information with the technical or marketing team.  There are a few challenges with this type of system:  1) it can be slow to get feedback, 2) the feedback is not always accurate since it gets interpreted by many individuals, 3) the feedback can depend on the established relationship or level of comfort between the sales rep and the customer.

Regardless of your industry, you should ensure you have the proper channels in place to allow customers to conveniently voice their opinions.  Invite them to share their experience or usage of your products/services.  Whether through a corporate blog, online survey, webinar, or e-newsletter, there are many options to encourage feedback.  Consider offering a reward for feedback.  Perhaps a discount for feedback which leads to an enhanced feature.  The odds are, if one customer experiences an issue, they’re probably not alone.  This leads to quick conflict resolution.

As always, your comments and experiences on customer interaction and VOC are welcome!