Customers today—and by “customers,” I mean current customers, as well as future customers—have choices. They will come back to do business with you only if you are responsive to them in fulfilling their needs. Getting feedback from your customers and turning the feedback into action that satisfies and delivers value to them is essential for your business success. Without doing this, you will typically be playing catch-up to your competitors and will spend time simply stomping fires to help customers get what they are looking for. Done right, putting the voice of the customer (VOC) in the business decision-making loop can provide a huge opportunity for an organization to be proactive, on target, and responsive to customers, ultimately improving loyalty, retention, and new customer acquisition. For example, Netflix had a brilliant idea and can be truly acknowledged as the pioneer that changed how entertainment is distributed. It saw major success, but down the road, a lack of understanding and respect for the customer, in the form of an almost haughty price increase in 2011, boomeranged badly on the company. From then on, it has been a slide downhill. Short-term profitability is certainly great, but you need the continued enthusiasm and patronage from customers for the profitability to last.

Technology has changed the way businesses work today—the long tail of the Internet means competition has increased multiple-fold as customers are shopping far ...

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