At Walker, we help companies create a culture of customer-focus. So, it should come as no surprise that we too are customer-focused.
Like most customer-focused organizations, Walker has a variety of programs that help us gather, analyze, and use customer insights to prioritize initiatives and mobilize our resources.
One of our customer programs is called FOCUS. It stands for Focusing On Customer Understanding and Success. We are in the midst of preparing for FOCUS and were recently reminded of one key essential element, which is alignment. To ensure this program is aligned with our business objectives, we asked several Walker executives to complete this sentence:
"If I could learn one thing from our customers, I would want to learn ________________________________________________________"
The input we received fell into one of three buckets:
- Ideas we anticipated: There were several suggestions that we had already anticipated and captured in the design.
- Ideas we hadn't anticipated: There were some suggestions that resulted in modifications to the design. Some of which related to analytical approaches for doing deep dives.
- Ideas we aren't going to include: All of the feedback we received was valuable, but there were a handful of suggestions that fell outside of the program scope. For these, we followed up with the executive and explained how we could get this information outside of FOCUS.
Seeking executive input during the planning stages is a best practice for aligning customer survey research to the business objectives, but don't be surprised if there are some items that you have to reject to ensure the integrity of the program stays in tact.