Ombudsman

I think every company should employ someone whose job is to advocate on behalf of the company's customer/consumer.  Ombudsman isn't the right word, but it's in the spirit of what I'm suggesting.  [from Dictionary.com:  A person who investigates and attempts to resolve complaints and problems, as between employees and an employer or between students and a university.]

This person should report directly to the C-suite [or maybe the board of directors makes more sense, assuming they are a truly independent board].  This person should be under contract for a fixed period of time [to avoid de-sensitivity].  The contract should contain a clause protecting them from termination based on the vigor with which they advocate on behalf of the consumer.  This person should examine everything and everything from the customer/consumer point-of-view including [but not limited to]: product design, usability, marketing communications, customer care, etc.

The challenge is turning the recommendations into action.  It would take an organization of considerable humility, flexibility and foresight to put the proper processes in place to genuinely empower this individual.

Would love to hear about any companies that are already doing this.