As I posted yesterday in Hearing the voice of the customer- learning how to listen and respond, I reflected that sometimes it’s more difficult for larger, more complex and diverse companies to nimbly listen and respond. And it seems that as you get larger and more global, it is a challenge to continue to inject customer service into the DNA of the organization.
What’s amazing to me is how in touch many of the exec at Microsoft are with the voice of the customer, and how they keep in touch with that feedback. Some of it through direct emails sent to execs, feedback from enterprise customers and MVPs,
At the Dynamics Convergence Conference last year, the team had installed “Speak Your Mind” booths in the Convention Center to capture real customer and partner feedback on video. (Note that the team just returned from the latest latest Convergence held in Orlando.)
Similar in concept to the infamous Rogers Cable Speakers’ Corner booth (my Canuck friends will no doubt recall, and hat’s off to friends/readers at Rogers), imagine if you will a computerized video photo booth… In this case, all you had to do to leave feedback for Rogers was to step into the Speakers’ Corner, push the green button and to speak your mind. With this, people could stand on a proverbial soapbox, give live performances (as the Barenaked Ladies did early in their career, as legend has it) and espouse their personal and political views, all from the comfort of a space not much larger than a phone booth.
Well, as went the early makings of reality television, so goes Microsoft with Speak Your Mind…
Speak Your Mind – This is your opportunity to provide your feedback in the first person. Tell us about the features, the functionality, the integration, the upgrade, the Implementation—whatever is on your mind as we are ready to listen. Go ahead and Speak Your Mind.
Partners and customers that attended Convergence were invited to step into the Speak Your Mind booth, as Infoworld covered in an article last year. In the booth, they were encouraged to provide direct feedback to the Dynamics team (and sometimes feedback on other products) to “help drive changes for future product releases and service plans,” according to the info on the Dynamics site. In their coverage on the page “Speak Your Mind Videos Put to Good Use“, Norma Smith (featured at right) said in a blog post last summer that the feedback is heard, and put to good use:
“Well, I’m pleased to tell you that A LOT has happened to these 1200+ videos. Here’s the scoop. Within about four weeks after Convergence these feedback videos had been individually reviewed and posted to a keyword-searchable internal site accessible only by Microsoft team members.
“Now here’s the cool part. As of May 31st, five weeks after initial posting, MBS team members have watched over 2,000 Speak Your Mind videos. Collectively, that’s a lot of knowledge and a lot of insight getting into the hands of the folks who can influence change. The videos are being incorporated into strategy planning, product reviews, etc.
“Our Technical Support teams have taken the videos quite seriously and really gone the extra mile. I’ve heard about a few cases where a Dynamics customer has received a personal phone call from Support – wherein the Dynamics Support Engineer identified him/herself, advised them that they had heard about their product concerns from the Speak Your Mind video, and then proceeded to show them how to resolve the issue. Proactive outreach from Support. Super happy customer.”
Many managers and executives in customer service, product development, marketing and sales have heard and seen the feedback and read transcriptions of the videos to help the division improve on our products and services. It’s one way that we take customer comments to scale and make them accessible to employees in the company.