The Customer Speaks, but Are You Listening?
Thursday, 23 January, 2020
In space no one can hear you scream. In most companies, no one can hear the customer scream. A customer, whose voice is not heard, becomes an ex-customer and lost customers are the biggest form of waste in any company.
There is a chronic lack of customer care in the localization industry. This problem can be looked at in isolation e.g. “your customers are talking to you, but you’re not listening” or it can be seen in the wider context of company culture and how it relates to how we treat our customers. Looked at in this wider context, we can see the benefits of using customer feedback as input to continual improvement, devolving decision making to process practitioners, and even as input to company strategy. However, most companies look at customer care in isolation, almost as an after-thought.
Why do many executives have no idea about what their customers think of their company? And why does a lost customer nearly always come as a surprise? LSPs are continually trying to differentiate themselves by searching for a technology USP – AI, MT, data-driven decision making, the best language platform. These ambitions, though worthy of investment, are expensive, have a long road-map, and are not immediately obvious to the customer. Listening to what your customers say, using the voice of the customer as input to continual improvement and requiring your whole organisation to get involved in the process will deliver results more quickly and for less money. Your USP will be “we are different because of the way we treat you”.
During his career, Paul Doherty has set up two language service companies: The Language Technology Centre, which became a $25M business merged into Xerox Language Services, and Multilingual Technology Ltd, which he sold to Berlitz during the .com era. Since then, Paul has been Managing Director of UK, German, Polish and Slovakian companies for Berlitz, Bowne and Lionbridge. He has led European sales for Lionbridge and SDL and has worked as a strategic consultant to Moravia. Paul is a Director at Strategy Management Consultants Ltd, helping companies to implement transformative change. https://strategy-management-consultants.co.uk/
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