Robert and I have interviewed hundreds of wildly successful business leaders. In so doing, we have identified many wonderful stories and some surprising ironies. Case in point: using customer input. The truth is that every successful business leader has, during phases of rapid growth, effectively tapped into the mindset of their key customers and turned that knowledge into well-targeted, relevant and innovative products/services.
But, — and here is the irony — once companies get to a certain size, age or complexity— that customer insight, which was at the very core of the business success, isn’t actively pursued anymore. The result of being disconnected from customers isn’t too surprising: less innovation, longer sales cycles and eroding customer service. And, of course, the business consequences quickly follow including: higher customer acquisition costs, loss of ground to competitors and the loss of the most important employees.
That’s why for BusinessCast #180, we sat down with Fuse Marketing Group’s Director of Digital Strategy, Jeff Pontes. Jeff and his team help companies map out practical ways of harnessing customer input to ensure on-going product/service (and process) innovation. Jeff helps work through thorny issues such as:
- What kind of products/services lend themselves to integrating customer input
- Where in the product/service development cycle customer input should be used
- What aspect of product/service development should use customer input
Jeff also shares key insights about how to leverage social media tools to target, gather and integrate customer input.
Listen to BusinessCast #180 and you’ll get tips to help you stay connected with the true source of your on-going business success: your customers.