Delighting Customers by Listening to Them

At Zebra, we take great pride in creating innovative products and solutions that meet our customers' needs. To determine what those needs are, we draw on global and regional market data, trends in technology and the extensive knowledge of our partners. Above all, we listen to our customers. After all, their opinion is ultimately what matters most. They use our products and solutions every day and know from experience what works—and what could be done better.

For example, our customers said they needed a durable, reliable printer that was small enough to fit in tight spaces but could withstand a higher duty-cycle than a desktop printer. It needed to be a printer that required little user training and with extensive print management features. From this, the new ZT200 printers were born.

While listening to our customers is vital to Zebra's product development, it is not a simple task. This is why in August, Global Marketing created the Voice of the Customer Initiative and the VOC Team. Spearheaded by Cristina De Martini, the VOC Team's goal was to create a structure to conduct and examine VOC data—to make the information measureable and actionable. Holden Associates consulted with the team to help determine what type of feedback was essential to capture and then how to put that feedback to use with product development or enhancements.

"What we've done is create tools that anyone within Zebra can use to capture VOC data from our customers," explains Cristina De Martini. "We knew a common set of tools would ensure that all the data collected could be shared throughout Zebra." By having a formalized process in place, North America or Latin America can learn from what APAC or EMEA are doing and vice versa. It also makes it easier to aggregate and present the data.

The tools created include a site on myZebra to serve as a depository for customer site visit reports, win/loss reports, market research and more. The team also created a Question Repository, a well-researched and vetted list of questions to ask customers.

 "The Question Repository is a very flexible tool designed to help give structure to VOC surveys," explains Cristina. "It's a series of questions to ask your customers that will lead to detailed answers." And since we are asking our customers the same questions, the results are more easily quantified.

Use of these brand new VOC tools is open to anyone within Zebra with a need to hear what their customers are saying. "We really encourage people from all the regions to reach out to us and give these tools a try. We can provide them with guidance and training on the tools, their choice of customers, whatever they need throughout the entire process," says Cristina. "The Voice of the Customer data is something that will benefit us all." The more the tools are used, the more likely the information will be used to help product development.

To learn more about the VOC Initiative, contact Cristina De Martini at