There are two broad schools of thought – "Listening to you customers is the most important activity you can do" and the proverbial Henry Ford quote – "If I asked my customers what they want, they simply would have said a
I came across a couple of very thought provoking ideas and discussions:
TED Conference – Malcolm Gladwell talks about Howard Moskovitz – how he changed the way Consumer Packaged Goods companies did segmentation and cluster analysis:
The final analysis from my standpoint is – Asking customers what they want vs. analyzing their needs. Obviously the latter is actually what you really want to do. In our own businesses, we come across many clients every day that want "feature x" – We also have to think hard about _why_ they need feature X – that is the larger question.
President and CEO – Survey Analytics
As head of privately held Survey Analytics, Vivek is responsible for all aspects of strategy and direction.