Tool of the Month: Voice of the Customer
Recently I had the pleasure of visiting with employees at the Carrier Dome, home of my alma mater Syracuse University’s football team. I was asked by Scott Sidwell, SU’s assistant athletic director, to join him in addressing the Dome’s game-day crew of more than 100 staffers.
Wearing my communicator hat, I shared some ideas for them to consider when interacting with customers throughout the day. Then I spoke as a fan; I told them what a phenomenal environment the Carrier Dome staff has cultivated this year. This is one of the best, most energetic vibes I’ve felt at Syracuse since the Dome opened its doors in 1980.
Of course, it got me thinking about how leaders should do what they can to integrate the voice of the customer into their team interactions. One way to do this is to carve out five or 10 minutes of your weekly team huddle or staff meeting and have a customer – internal or external – share their thoughts on how things are going from their perspective. Hearing customer feedback first-hand is powerful stuff and can go a long way toward engaging your team.
But what if you can’t work voice of the customer into your weekly tag-up meetings? Here are three ideas for making sure the customer’s input doesn’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of your week.
- Record it. Do you have a pocket audio recorder or mini video camera? Don’t laugh. These tools are becoming more common in the workplace as new media takes hold. If you’re meeting with a customer, capture the feedback on tape and play it back for the team when you’re back at the office.
- Blog it. Take a few minutes to recap your customer’s input in a post on your blog. Don’t have a blog? Then send out an email with the feedback and any corrective actions required because of it. If the customer gives kudos to a specific staff member make sure to highlight that as well.
- Forward it. If the feedback comes in a voicemail message or an email, if appropriate, forward the message to your team and append it with your comments.
Listening to the voice of the customer is another tool in your 2-way communications toolkit and if you haven’t yet, now’s a good time to put it to use.