Chapter 8. The Customer Focus: Harnessing Customer Knowledge through Meaningful Interactions

In this chapter you will:

Learn about the importance of constant contact with customers for continuous knowledge creation on all organizational levels.

Gain tools that enable you to glean important knowledge from your customers and make them partners in the process of innovation.

Imagine an organization that conducts customer satisfaction surveys and bases its view of them on the statistical analysis of the surveys. Sound familiar? Now imagine a change in tactic. Imagine the organization invites its customers to an interactive meeting. The customers arrive, spend a few hours, eat a snack, and share their knowledge with the organization coordinating the event.

There's quite a difference between the two scenarios because the interactive meeting is much more personal and immediate. Why spend time, effort, and money on a survey when so many customers are willing to tell you what they think for free?

It is a simple fact that people seem to enjoy being asked what they think, feel, and expect. All you have to do is invite your customers to a conversation, ask some questions, and, most importantly, listen. Then you will discover how valuable direct communication is in creating your future with them. By helping the organizations that supply them with the products and services they need, they are also helping themselves. It's a mutually beneficial situation where both sides win. In this chapter, we discuss ...

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