NO WAY – Are you REALLY listening to customers?


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Call me an idiot!

Given all the talk about VOC (voice of the customer) initiatives and the importance of the new media, I was completely blindsided by the findings of a new study by MarketTools. It suggests that 94% of companies do not yet use social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to gather customer feedback.

So let me get this straight, a burgeoning number of customers are on social media channels and businesses have yet to go there to collect customer input?

WOW…what a great opportunity!!!!

The study found that the most common ways companies gather customer feedback are email/online surveys (51%), formal phone surveys (28%), and informal phone calls (28%).

While companies may not be asking for customer input on social media channels, customers are not shy about using those channels to share unsatisfactory customer service experiences. MediaPost communications notes, “Forrester found that 16% of customers have vented about negative customer service interactions through social channels, such as online customer reviews, Facebook status updates, or blog posts. Forrester also cites ‘integrating social media monitoring’ as one of the major trends that characterize leading-edge voice of the customer (VOC) programs.

The MarketTools study also demonstrated a disconnect in the way companies think and the way they act in regards to customer satisfaction. “Although 92% of respondents believe that satisfied customers are very important or extremely important to their company’s bottom line, only 42% solicit customer feedback on a continuous basis, and 22% solicit feedback only once a year or not at all.”

Some additional highlights from the survey include:

  • 39% of executives surveyed said that their companies increased focus on customer satisfaction in 2010 versus 2009, with 21% stating that they invested more in customer satisfaction-related products and services in 2010 versus 2009
  • Despite the importance given to customer satisfaction, 14% of executives surveyed said their companies don’t solicit customer feedback at all
  • 46% of the executives surveyed rate their company’s performance on customer satisfaction in the top 10% when compared to their peer companies, and 93% rate themselves in the top 50% of peer companies
  • Still, 56% of all respondents said their companies do not have, or are not sure if their companies have, a formal voice of the customer (VOC) program
  • Nearly one out of every four executives said that they seldom or never use customer feedback to change a business process

So what are you waiting for?  Join the 6% who are really using social media to capture VOC and elevate the customer experience in the process!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Michelli, Ph.D.
Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., an organizational consultant and the chief experience officer of The Michelli Experience, authored The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and the best-selling The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary.



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