The notion of being customer focused, listening to customers and understanding their needs, and designing around this knowledge has become a common conversation in companies all over the world in the last few years. Roles like Customer Success Manager, Customer Strategy Manager and even Chief Customer Officer have sprung into existence, and many successful companies spend a lot of time not only listening to what their customers say but also understanding what they are thinking and how they use their products and services in context. This is a fundamental principle of Design Thinking.
We are listening all the time
At Sitrion we may not be big enough for a Chief Customer Officer, but that doesn’t mean we don’t take a customer-centric approach when we develop our products. In fact, keeping our customers happy is one of our key strategic goals and is in every employee’s development plan in 2015. There are a lot of places where our customers are talking about us, and we make it part of everyone’s jobs to go to those places and join the conversation. The key place for informal listening is our customer network, Engage. There, we are listening to them every single day – listening to their successes and challenges and helping them to keep pushing the boundaries of how their employees think about work and technology.
Formal listening campaigns encourage participation and value
We also do some formal campaigns each year including an annual customer survey to help us gain specific insight around how we, as a company, and individual departments are doing. It also helps us understand what our customers are thinking in terms of strategy and the future. The second place we listen is in our bi-annual Feature Priorities Campaign, where we invite our customers to tell us what features they would like to see in the next versions of our product. We run an idea campaign using our own software, and then customers vote up and down on the features they want the most. And the ones with the highest votes go to our super smart product development team to make them a reality.
Every company has unique needs
Since all companies are different, listening to customer needs and understanding what they are thinking is really important. In a fast-moving, competitive world it’s critical to be in tune with your customers and buyers and know what they want. Be ready to continually examine and incorporate their feedback. We’ve had some brilliant improvements made to our social product throughout the years, like auto-suggesting where posts should go and matching for similar ones, the ability to give kudos anywhere in your Intranet and even an enterprise ready “reddit” style question and answer center.
Are you listening to you customers?
The 2015 Sitrion Social Spring Feature Priorities Campaign kicked off yesterday! If you’re a customer, visit Engage and help us shape the future of social business by sharing your ideas.