A couple of weeks back I sat in the Hoffman Hot Seat – Tom Hoffman’s regular interview series. It gave me a chance to talk about the SAP Premier Customer Network and the approach we are taking to customer oriented thinking. Please take a few moments to listen.

As I explained to Tom, the real opportunity for business leaders is to engage your customer early – especially where you are working to deliver something that is, ostensibly, for their benefit. Now, we all think that the work that we do is valuable to customers (why else would they buy it, right?), but pure, raw customer feedback can take your breath away. Not only that, it can really transform the way that you think about – and frame – your business programs and customer solutions.

It may be hard to hear at first, but once you start to truly engage with your customers – listening and then acting on the insight, you’ll soon see that results flow. And we all smile when customers smile!

Nina Nets It Out: Your customers obviously have a significant investment in your business and they can become a very powerful ally in helping you identify improvements and innovations. But you need to invite them into your business process. Once you do that, you’ll soon find that customer feedback truly does fuel actionable results.