Customer service agents together with the sales team are most likely those in a company who are in closest contact with the customers. Yet in many companies their market insight is lost. It is easy to complain that marketing doesn’t show enough interest. But to be honest: how can we expect interest if we ourselves don’t show it?
Often I may have an idea or a valuable insight while talking to a customer. But to make a business case from it I need to think it over. I need to spend time with the customer to understand which problems he is trying to solve. I need to know what he really needs and how my company might help him to reach it.
Don’t press your customer service people to close calls as fast as possible. Instead allow them time to chat with the customer. Let them ask the customer which product your company should produce to make his life easier. This way you don’t reach breakthrough innovations but it will certainly help you on the way of incremental innovation.
Without investing this time my approach to voice the customer’s needs will always be anecdotal and I leave it up to marketing to use or trash it.