Sure, there's plenty of chatter online these days, but there's also some great information being shared face to face and at events. Here are a handful of thoughts on customer strategy gathered from the road:"Most service sucks because companies are product focused and don't realize they're in the service business."
-- Robert Stephens, founder, Geek Squad
"The role of the voice of the customer program is to act as the switch that infuses the customer's voice into business decisions."
-- Bruce Temkin, managing partner, Temkin Group
"Customers have so much power now. On one hand there's viral madness; on the other they're reaching the office of the CEO. Companies have to figure out how to use social media, too. Where does it fit into the mix?"
-- Mariann McDonagh, CMO, inContact
"Clear alignment between customer and business needs, that's where the gold is. 'Crickets' happen when you think you're smarter than the customer."
-- Neff Hudson, assistant vice president, member experience management, USAA
"Companies need to do basic customer experience management right or their wasting money doing loyalty and retention programs."
-- Alpay Akdemir, manager, Peppers & Rogers Group
What is the one thing customers want when they call customer service? Their goal is to get to 'yes.'"
-- Emily Yellen, author, Your Call Is Not That Important to Us
"When it comes to customer service, you have to be sure you're doing the right things right."
-- Barb Bleiler, manager of provider management, WPS Health Insurance
"More companies are giving marketers a seat at the revenue table. They're shifting marketing to a revenue driver instead of just a branding and cost center. Marketers need to become comfortable with that."
-- Phil Fernandez, president, Marketo
"Our voice of the customer program wouldn't work without engaged employees who can see the value of using data to improve the customer experience."
-- Paul Hodgins, head of customer experience, Virgin Media
"Don't just focus on what's wrong and what needs to change to improve the customer experience. To get buy-in and commitment from employees, start by celebrating what works; celebrate their successes. Then they'll be more open to change."
-- Kym Cadle, director of customer care, Otis Spunkmeyer
"Companies need to be more responsive to customers. They need to rethink their mix of customer interaction tools to engage customers effectively across channels."
-- Brad Wilson, general manager, Microsoft Dynamics CRM
"Social media is all about people and the stories they tell."
-- Monty Lutz, senior vice president and group head, Edelman Digital Los Angeles, Edelman