Voice of the Customer

Think an informal, ad hoc committee can’t make a big impact on productivity?

Think again. Two years ago Sonora, California-based software firm Front Porch assembled such a committee, called Team Customer.

The idea was to give all of their 73 employees access to a customer conversation. Management betted that doing this, while trusting line workers to take immediate action on a customer’s issue—as opposed to sending it up the chain of command—would increase their satisfaction, leading to more repeat business and referrals. It was a fruitful wager; everyone now better understands what Front Porch calls VOC, or “voice of the customer,” and by extension they link in a more fundamental way their daily work to the success of the firm.

That’s a recipe for stronger retention.

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