Five qualitative approaches to customer listening:
- Customer advisory boards – Recruiting customers to provide ongoing feedback and participate in group sessions can generate excellent advice and improvements. Careful planning to recruit the right group of customers and structuring the sessions to focus on a few primary issues are important best practices.
- Focus groups – Focus groups can be conducted with a variety of small groups to obtain a well-rounded collection of insights. Expertise in managing the discussion is important to ensure all opinions are heard and to prevent anyone from dominating the discussion.
- Interviews – This technique is conducted one person at a time, either over the phone or in person. While it is more time consuming, it is a highly personal way to obtain terrific insights from various customers.
- Experience sessions – This complements techniques such as journey mapping. These sessions are about charting the ideal experience and leverage creativity and imagination to transform customer experiences.
- VOCE – Voice of the Customer through the Employee is all about understanding customers by asking the employees who work with them the most. Employees often are well aware of necessary improvements.