Most top executives don’t have the time to track the grass-roots views of their organization’s customers. C-suite professionals (aptly named because of the “C” in their acronym: CEO, CFO, CMO, CIO, and the like) are simply too busy. They expend most of their efforts shaping and executing the organization’s strategic direction, addressing big-picture challenges related to finance, mergers & acquisitions, or operational expansion, and making a myriad of other critical business decisions.
But while these strategic issues are vitally important to the successful running of any enterprise, so, too, is keeping a pulse on what customers are actually thinking. And that appears to be a big problem among many companies today. Indeed, a 2013 article from Forbes, titled “10 Reasons Why CEOs Do Not Understand Their Customers,” accurately summed up the challenge: “Most companies today are woefully – and perhaps disastrously – out of touch with the feelings of their customers and prospects.”
There’s a great way to access the “feelings of customers and prospects” – by using call recording software. With a call recording system, an organization can capture the actual voice of customers and potential customers and use those calls to keep senior-level executives connected to ultimate end-users of your company’s products and services.
Consider the following ways to share the needs and concerns of your customers with your executives:
- Senior executive meeting: Bring the voice of the customer right into the room at your next high-level meeting. Share select recorded calls and use them as a kick-off point to address key issues and problems. Consider the impact of actually hearing a customer say something like “Your products lack innovation” or “I wish I could get your XYZ service on the West Coast.”
- Offsite seminar: At your next corporate retreat, conduct a session specifically devoted to addressing customer concerns and use these recorded calls as the basis for that session.
- Corporate mandate: Require that every senior VP or C-suite professional listen to just a few customer calls per week (or per month). This will no doubt go a long way in giving them great new insight.
- Staff the call center: If you want to take a more drastic step, require that your senior staff take a customer service call every now and then. Just imagine what they would hear and discover!
By instituting even just one of these suggestions, you can help bring your top-level executives closer to the actual opinions of your customers. And consider how much more customer-focused your management meetings would be if these steps were put into place, helping your organization to make decisions based on real customer feedback, not simply statistical research or spreadsheet analysis. Recorded calls offer a great tool to help executives at every level do something vitally important: listen and learn.