Return on Behavior Magazine
Home for marketing and customer service professionals

Customer Experience

September 9th, 2010

Who translates today’s voice of the customer to tomorrow’s actions?

We look at how translating today’s lessons into actions that make a positive difference for customers and organizations alike.

Bringing the customer’s point of view into company operating decisions has become a such a common business goal that we now have Voice of the Customer as an official-sounding way to describe this thinking as a strategic research discipline.  Leaders in marketing, sales, service, operations and product all strive to better understand what customers think, do and want. Their companies do everything from capturing daily events to investing in large scale research studies.

After capturing all these lessons from customers, how many leaders actually act on what they learn?

Too few leaders act on what they learn.

We asked 644 leaders to rate their organization’s performance on this statement:

“We translate what we learn from customers to future product, marketing and operations decisions.”

Among leaders who say their organizations have a common understanding of customer experience, just 30 percent said they completely agree.

That’s less than a third that say their organizations consistently act on what they learn from customers. Ouch. Think of all the customer actions observed, feedback solicited, advice given, questions asked, support given.  Think of all the dollars and time and thinking invested in what organizations learn from customers.

I see a HUGE opportunity to improve future customer experiences here.  And a lot of money laying on the floor.

The same old thinking gets you…

…you know the Albert Einstein lesson: it gets you the same old results. (Another fact for your day: Einstein’s “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”  is so often discussed that the quote generates 181,000 results on Google.)  Sometimes “common sense” seems an oxymoron.

Why do you think this rich vein of opportunity is left unattended by so many leaders?

About the Author

Linda Ireland

Linda Ireland is co-owner and partner of Aveus LLC (, a global strategy and operational change firm. Together with the Aveus team, Linda has helped leaders in Europe, the US and Asia find money in the performance chain while improving customer experiences. 

As author of Domino: How to Use Customer Experience to Tip Everything in Your Business toward Better Financial Performance, Linda delivers real-life, actionable, how-to help for leaders of any organization.

She is a frequent speaker on customer-experience topics - from developing customer experiences that improve financial performance to building top team alignment on the role of customers in daily operating strategies.  Linda also brings her experience as line executive, consultant, researcher and board member to her popular customer experience blog at  




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