Saturday, December 31, 2005

Customer Feedback Via The Blog

Happy New Year!

Have you made those New Year resolutions yet? If not, or if you have, as part of your campaign to do better at Customer Service/Customer Experience management you might want to think about improving your Customer Feedback .

Companies and small businesses traditionally have put this on a back burner or have used it in limited ways, usually to verify their position instead of listening. The power of feedback information from the customer/client/market segment can be powerful. Surveys you say, well no I don't say. These traditional forms are so trite and blasé that most customers ignore them. Those who do participate usually pad their survey answers with what you want to hear or just out-right lie. Hmmm, isn’t this dirty laundry? So many of the surveys that are used by researchers to provide data for decision making and marketing projects are so far offline that the effectiveness of related strategic decision making or marketing projects are far from effective.

My suggestion is to try something new. Try setting up blogs for customer responses, Blogs that allow for customer specifics to be anonymous but feelings and responses real. You can use preset questions to gain a response (NO SURVEYS or advertising Please) or create one that is just open ended where customers can sound off, praise or condemn. Honest feed back is powerful and provides real insights into the market place and customer attitudes. It enhances the customer experience and adds another link for customer loyalty enhancement.

Blogs are ever increasingly becoming popular with individuals, but not yet as a feedback tool with companies. Those who have used them have found that their customers have not become desensitized to them as with surveys and other avenues of feedback gathering.

How powerful is the course of a blog? Well it certainly can change the course of a river, rivers of opinion that is. Dell Computers found this out when their customer center failed to adequately listen to a couple of customers. They blogged their feelings on the open blog network. Others with like mind also joined the swelling chorus causing Dell to loose critical points in market share.

Another example that is echoed in an article Found in the online
Slate Magazine, "Ironies of Her Downfall" about Kate Moss a Swedish model. A top Swedish clothing manufacture was persuaded by the power of Blogg to drop Moss as a Representative for their clothing line due to her publicized use of cocaine. In fact the response was so over whelming others who where going to use her in other marketing campaigns also dropped her from their projects. Viva le blog (horay for the blog).

It is important to supply as many feedback routes/alternatives as possible from the customer to you and your business so that the resulting information can provide for responsive avenues of change and effective customer experience management. OH! As an after thought don't be a traditionalist. You might actually listen to what the customers and market place are saying if your smart. If not it will cost you dearly if it hasn't already.

For more thoughts on the customer experience, customer service, and customer feedback please chek out ."The Customer Development Center".

Have an Opinion or Comment Please feel free to share. We're listening

No comments: