After the disastrous release of Windows 8 — or many would say, the release of the disastrous WIndows 8 — Microsoft is taking unprecedented steps to get valuable customer feedback and use it to make its new Windows 10 operating system a success.
Turning Experts into Insiders
In a blog post titled Announcing Windows 10, Terry Myerson also announced that Microsoft has embarked on a serious customer feedback program in the run-up to the the operating system release in late 2015.
As a first step, Myerson says that Microsoft spoke to dozens of enterprise customers over the past year and listened to how they use Windows and their thoughts on what they need.
The next step of the feedback program is what Microsoft is calling its Windows Insider Program, in which they are giving PC experts and IT Pros access to a technical preview of Windows 10 and inviting them to share feedback. Early in 2015, they’ll extend the Insider program to customers as well.
Tapping the Brainpower and Passions of Customers
Microsoft’s vast market share, and the centrality of Windows to how most of us work and play today, makes Windows a product about which customers are passionate and have strong opinions. By instituting a strong program to gather customer feedback, Microsoft is tapping the brainpower and passion of thousands of people to improve its products; establishing the groundwork to turn critics into evangelists; and lowering its risks in the high-stakes introduction of its next OS.
Let Feedback Drive Your Success
While your business might not rival Microsoft in size, how customers experience your product has as much impact on your success as it has on the success of a new Windows version. Microsoft came to feedback the hard way, after failing big by “knowing” what customers wanted better than the actual customers.
You probably don’t need a dedicated, multi-year program to gather customer feedback. But be sure to keep your finger on the pulse of how your customers experience and think about encounters with your products, processes and services. Let feedback open a window into how you can delight your customers!