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Actively collecting user’s feedback

May 26, 2013

According to my experience in the defense industry it is common that the customer is DOD / Armed force HQ / Main contractor, and the users are active and reserve military personnel.

The question is how to market services to legacy systems and new fielded systems effectively to the users and satisfying the supplier’s direct customer (DOD / Armed Force HQ).

The way the Armed Forces are structured, the user is the end customer; however the needs are defined by HQ, and the personnel at HQ are experienced officers that plan to address future needs. In this situation, the user’s current issues, especially with legacy systems that are sustain only, are almost not heard.

I used to visit the users of my company’s products (airborne, naval and ground systems) periodically (as Integrated Logistics Support Director) and asked what we should do better. Usually 80% of the opportunities for improvements presented by the users were done in a very short time with no cost to the user and customer (DOD / Armed Force HQ), and the remaining 20% were discussed with the customer (Armed Force) and in most cases created new business to the company and effectively increased user’s and customer’s satisfaction with my company’s product / services. This made us the preferred supplier for future contracts for service and new developments.

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