What do the cloud, social media, and lean innovation have in common? Each are impacting voice of the customer programs and changing the way we measure, manage, and deliver an exceptional and differentiated customer experience.
Cloud computing: The cloud changes the way customers buy products. Customers move from product ownership to product subscription. In doing this, the switching barriers are lessened for the customer and the company is rewarded with recurring revenue. Cloud-based companies need to adapt their voice of the customer program to focus on predicting customer renewals.
Social media: Customers don't need to wait for a company to conduct a customer survey research program to share their thoughts and feelings. With social media, customers have channels to share their feedback with the company, not to mention their closest friends, fans, and followers. Companies are reacting to this trend by monitoring the discussion and engaging in the conversation on public and private social media forums. This has resulted in a voice of the customer platform that companies are still trying to understand.
Lean innovation: Have you ever thought that product development happens in a bubble with engineers, scientists, and innovators isolated in a building and left to their own devices? This paradigm is shifting and the voice of the customer is becoming more important throughout the product development cycle. In this article, Ravi Aron, senior fellow from Wharton's Mack Center for Technological Innovation implies, "[Lean] begins its journey when an organization attempts to hear the voice of the customer." As the innovation process looks to adopt lean principles to reduce time and costs, one essential ingredient is the customer perspective, putting the customer perspective in greater demand.
In a world where the only constant is change, our voice of the customer programs must be adaptable to support our ever changing customer retention strategies.