Dropbox is establishing a customer advisory board to help the organisation improve its file sharing and collaboration products for its 500 million registered users and 12 million paid customers.

The panels — which will meet four times a year, twice in North America and once each in EMEA and APAC — are an opportunity for customers to provide feedback to Dropbox’s CEO and product team.

The first meeting will take place in November and is part of a broader customer experience initiative driven by Yamini Rangan, who was appointed Dropbox’s first chief customer officer in August.

Yamini Rangan, Chief Customer Officer, Dropbox

Speaking with Which-50 during a visit to Sydney this week, Rangan explained Dropbox has always been customer-focused, but her position was created to “sharpen and deepen” the company’s understanding of its customers.

“My role is to be the champion for customers and partners and make sure their voice is being heard in the organisation,” Rangan told Which-50.

The first step in that process is listening. Rangan was in Australia meeting with Dropbox customers, partners and employees — her key constituents.

“You cannot formulate a strategy by sitting in the headquarters, you really have to listen to the voice of each of these constituents before you can formulate a strategy,” she said.

More broadly, Dropbox is setting up “listening posts” as a consistent way to gather feedback from its customers directly through multiple channels, including social, support, sales or partner conversations.

From there the company is implementing what Rangan refers to as “learning systems” to act on customer feedback. For example, Dropbox has created a monthly process where it sends the most common feedback from sales and support calls to the engineering department.

“This process has really helped with getting the engineering organisation on the same page as the sales and support organisation,” Rangan said.

According to Rangan, whose remit covers sales, marketing, customer experience, partnerships, and business strategy and operations, successful customer experience initiatives require alignment across multiple areas of the business.

“It is about bringing together a set of teams that have a singular purpose and having a consistent and persistent voice of the customer resonating within the organisation,” she said.

“A big part of what I’m focused on is creating that level of alignment within the organisation so that we can actually move these initiatives.”

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