SNCR Launches New Study, “Exploring the Link Between Customer Care & Brand Reputation in the Age of Social Media”

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Palo Alto, Calif. – February 25, 2008 – The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR, http://www.sncr.org), a global, nonprofit think tank focused on the latest developments in media and communications, today announced the launch of a new research study sponsored by Nuance Communications, one of the Society’s corporate members. The study, titled “Exploring the Link Between Customer Care and Brand Reputation in the Age of Social Media,” is being led by a team of SNCR Fellows working in conjunction with TWI Surveys, Inc.

The research team includes Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, John Cass, Susan Getgood, Paul Gillin, Francois Gossieaux and Brian Solis. Through surveys and case studies, the Fellows will investigate how brand reputation and brand loyalty are affected by the quality of customer care at a time when customers can share their customer service experiences via social media and new communications platforms.

The SNCR invites all consumers to participate in the survey. A brief questionnaire is available at http://www.twisurveys.com/SNCR2008/. All participants who complete the survey will receive a copy of the executive summary of the study’s findings and a special discount to attend the Society’s annual conference, New Communications Forum, where the findings will be shared in a special presentation.

This in-depth research study will examine the effects of this new phenomenon and the links between customer satisfaction, brand reputation and consumer loyalty. It will analyze how consumers and companies are addressing these changes, and will offer recommendations on best practices for maximizing the knowledge gained and relationships between the customer and the care professional, including how to break down silos within the organization to work most effectively in this new world of communications; how to avoid a customer care fiasco and ultimately how to improve the customer care and the brand experience overall.

“Our mission is to help organizations better support, communicate with and understand their customers during customer care interactions,” said Lynda Kate Smith, vice president, Care Business, Nuance Enterprise Division. “As consumers increasingly use social media to share opinions on their care experience, the care operation is playing a more strategic role in creating public impressions of a brand, a company and its product offerings. This research will help us better ascertain what compels consumers to post their experiences – positive or negative – publicly; who reads these postings and which outlets are most commonly used to share opinions.”

“Social media and new communications tools and technologies provide new vehicles that empower consumers to share their customer care experiences more widely than has ever before been possible,” stated Jen McClure, executive director, Society for New Communications Research. “We are delighted to be exploring this important trend with Nuance, a pioneer in helping to shape the customer care experience.”

The initial research findings will be shared at the Society for New Communications Research’s annual conference, New Communications Forum, which will be held April 22-25, 2008 in Sonoma County, CA. (http://www.newcommforum.com). The final results will be highlighted in the Society’s Journal of New Communications Research and published in a full report later this year.

About Nuance Care Solutions

Nuance Care Solutions help companies better support, communicate with and understand their customers. It does this through a set of Interaction Solutions including Inbound Messaging, Outbound Messaging, Analytics and Productivity. These solutions help drive an improved customer experience, better business performance, and increased employee productivity. For more information, please visit http://www.nuance.com/care.

About Nuance Communications

Nuance is a leading provider of speech and imaging solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with information and how they create, share and use documents. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications and professional services. For more information, please visit www.nuance.com.

About the Society for New Communications Research

The Society for New Communications Research is a global nonprofit 501(c)(3) think tank dedicated to the advanced study of new communications tools, technologies and emerging modes of communication, and their effect on traditional media, professional communications, business, culture and society. The Society’s Fellows include more than 40 futurists, scholars, business leaders, professional communicators, members of the media and technologists from around the globe. For more information about the Society for New Communications Research, visit http://www.sncr.org or call +1 (650) 331-0083.

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