The voice of our customers — Is it a customer-centric approach?

Are a customer-centric approach and the voice of our customers relevantly together?

Our customer’re so cute, but sometimes…
Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

I remember a one-time interview, my interviewer asked me “Do I hate the customers?”. I was a bit surprised and answered: “hmm… I love them, of course, so I choose the product management to join and together provide a special product to the market also our customers. But truly some time they are overload and make our stuff messing up…” — “What, that means you hate them, you need to always love them and have a sprint to dedicate to the customer, always…”

The voice of customer is a part of product management!

I didn’t know I failed the interview because of the question above or not. But I feel good when I looked back at the interview. Think a bit about our parents, we all love them so much, a lot right! But sometimes they didn’t understand us, make us awkward in front of our friends, sometimes make us angry too 😊. But after all, no perfect man in this world, they have pros also have cons, so need to find the pros to love them more, understand the cons to ignore them, then we love them more like the love with our customers.

Problem Space: Hear the customer’s problem

Photo by kyle smith on Unsplash

Perk up the ear, by all channels, listen to the customer’s problem.

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” by Steve Jobs

Once upon a time, business appears when we have a solution to exchange, then sell for those in need (the customers). So obviously, find the need first and always yearning to seek an underneath is a point the whole organization focuses on.

When you provide a solution to the market, you receive a million complaints from customers. THAT’S GOOD. Because your solution is a need for those because they are using it to solve their problem and no words to say, it exists a big problem from million people you can solve, just you’re doing the solution not good enough.

How if you don’t receive any feedback even bad or good. That means your solution is useless, the customers don’t need it, the market doesn’t accept it. Sometimes leave is an option. Be strong and move the next solution or product!

Study and apply how to use “The feedback loop” in your team to do this. But first, remember, hear your customer find the problem!

Solution Space: Ignore the customer’s solution

Your customers are the least qualified people when it comes to a solution.
Listen to your customers when it comes to problems but don’t listen to customers when it comes to building solutions.

Remember, your organization is here to build the solution from scratch!

If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.” - Henry Ford

Your job is not to come up with all the best ideas, but to make sure you’re implementing the best one for your customers. It depends on your company resources like budget, capability’s employes, your time to decide the best one to implement.

Sometimes you look around your competition when a competitor launches a new feature, do you want to get one like them fast as fast possible? Stop here for a minute, don’t be faithful to be a slower horse, you can view like it’s a user test that we can learn from. But don’t watch the competition: It’s too easy to simply follow the competition into building something shiny, even though it might not be the best solution.

Instead of doing what’s always been done because that’s what the customers are demanding, take the time to ask what is possible in order to build a customer experience that they don’t even know they want yet.

The Hypothesis-Design-Test-Learn loop: going through this framework should enable teams to rapidly iterative product development (taking a page out of the Lean Startup)

The Hypothesis-Design-Test-Learn loop

The Hypothesis-Design-Test-Learn loop is The feedback loop but was expanded more steps. If you can remember just one, my recommendation is “the feedback loop” then you can expand more by your skill and experience!

So we all admit you, the product management team is here to focus on the solution, don’t take all the customer's feedback here to create a solution, please!

How to collect the voice of the customer?

We don’t need to call them to hear their voice…

We have known about qualitative data and quantitative data during the business process. It’s a part of Customer-centric culture that improves the experience of customers.

2 types of data we need continuous collect

From (User Research team) and (Data team), we need to update types of these data every day. In user research, quantitative data tells you what users did, and qualitative data helps you learn why they did it.

Quantitative (‘quant’) research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data that can be transformed into useable statistics. It is used to quantify attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and other defined variables, and generalize results from a larger sample population. Quantitative research uses measurable data to formulate facts and uncover patterns in research.

Quantitative data collection methods are much more structured;

They include various forms of :

  • surveys — online surveys, paper surveys, mobile surveys and kiosk surveys,
  • face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews, longitudinal studies,
  • website interceptors,
  • online polls, and systematic observations.

Qualitative (‘qual’) research is often used for exploring. It helps researchers gain an understanding of

  • underlying reasons,
  • opinions,
  • and motivations.

It provides insights into the problem or helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for potential quantitative research.

Qualitative data collection methods vary using

  • unstructured or
  • semi-structured techniques.

Common methods include focus groups, individual interviews, observation or immersion, and diary studies. The sample size is typically small, and respondents are selected to fulfill a given quota.

Qualitative & quantitative data aren’t separate. They often blur, and you can represent the same data set in both ways.

Take an example

If you were to measure user behavior on a website, you might learn that 25% of people clicked on this button, then this button, and so on. That’s good to know, and you can run split tests (otherwise known as ‘A/B’ or ‘multivariate’ testing) to try out different versions of your implementation to see if you can change people’s behaviors for the better.

However, this data doesn’t tell you why people did what they did.

Qualitative research generally focuses more on the human angle — what are people thinking and feeling? What’s their rationale for doing something? What’s their attitude or perception of something? You can get much richer/deeper information with qualitative data, because you can actually understand the intent behind the action, and not just see the result of it.

So, let’s go back to our example — if you wanted to improve that website journey of someone clicking this button, then that button, and so on, then perhaps you’d observe your quantitative data to see what people are doing, and then you would run some qualitative research to try and learn why they are doing it.

In your research, consider using both qualitative and quantitative methods together to be better equipped to solve the problem at hand. [1]

Customer-centric approach (or mindset) IS the voice of the customers

Building the product with the feedback loop within your team is the customer-centric!

Peter Drucker — one of “the Most Influential Business Writers/Management Gurus“ with Bill Gates, Jack Welch and Phillip Kotler by The Financial Times surveyed on November 18, 2005

We can find a lot of definitions of customer centricity like:

“Customer-centric is an approach to doing business that focuses on creating a positive experience for the customer by maximizing service and/or product offerings and building relationships.”

“Customer-centricity involves ensuring that customer satisfaction is a priority in every decision that your business makes.”

“Customer-centricity is placing the customers at the heart of your company or business.”

Every organization or person can have a definition for themself, it’s all right but I want to make it as easiest as it can:

Keep your voice of your customer (from data and user research) around everyone in your organization even you make a decision based on it or not, you must gradually know it!

Customer-centricity should be a part of your organization’s culture! Love and hate customers should like love and hate your family. You are happy when you make them happy, ignore when you hate them but take it to improve the value delivered to the customer.

Don’t only create customer, now is the century to keep them. Don’t know how to do it? Think about how you keep in touch with your family, with your best friend 😃.

In the bottom

Customer-centric is here!

[1] — This is content from a guide Benjamin Humphrey — Founder of Dovetail, who wrote called The difference between qualitative & quantitative research on



Lifetime Learner. In my blog, I try to write things simpler and about foundations.

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Lifetime Learner. In my blog, I try to write things simpler and about foundations.