Archive for October, 2011

A new study has been released by Market Tools, a company specializing in Enterprise Feedback Management met with over 330 companies with revenues over $10 Million. 23 % of companies did customer service and support on Facebook but only 12% on Twitter. 5% didn’t think customer satisfaction was either extremely or very important. Read the full article to learn more.

If you ever needed a case study on why customer satisfaction is important and what havoc lack of customer satisfaction can have on a company, look no further than the recent situation with Netflix. It lost 800,000 subscribers in the United States in one quarter and over 25% of its stock price.

Top 12 consumer frustrations

Monday, October 24th, 2011

According to Reuters, a Consumer Reports survey of over 1000 consumers in March, 2011, with the question “As a consumer, what frustrates you the most ?” yielded 12 top rated results Seven of the top frustrations, including the top one, dealt with customers calling organizations support desks, while the remaining five frustrations, including the second most common complaint mentioned, dealt with customers visiting a store or having a service provided at the consumer’s site. Eight of the 12 (2/3 of the factors frustrating consumers) relate to customer service.

A Voice of the Customer programs can make a difference in an organization but only if management is willing to listen and take action. At my organization, we had a forward thinking President who brought in bonus payment for all employees..even salaried ones. Half the bonus was for business related results (revenue and profit) and half came from a customer satisfaction rating. There were some very interesting outcomes of this action.

Many people think customer satisfaction is only about customer service and support. In fact, what we found at IBM, was that customers could be dissatisfied with many different aspects of our business, from the product features being offered, to the way we advertise and promote out products. With the advent of social media and the new ways of engaging with customers has its own set of issues. Two studies show consumers will disengage when companies do not provide what they expect from them on social media.

In an earlier post titled Netflix responds to customer social media outrage, Netflix addressed customer dissatisfaction with it’s a newly announced business model (and price increase) and the CEO produced a video explaining his actions. I ended my post with the idea that time will dictate if Netflix’s customers will accept their new business model. The results are in: Customer feedback has reversed Netflix decision to split its business in two in just a few weeks.

The untimely death of Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple, has brought out many tributes and I would like to add mine. Steve Jobs ability to innovate new products, new user interfaces and new categories of products (combining the phone with portable music and PC type applications) has left its mark on the world. Jobs didn’t just incrementally improve products, he took major leaps. In the area of customer service, I believe Apple came up with a new innovative approach. While telephone support is the first line of support for most users with a concern or a question, if a technician needs to work on the machine to diagnose and fix the problem, Apple came up with a winning formula.

Trust is one of the many factors that relate to customer satisfaction. When a customer does business with your organization, they have trusted you enough to do business with you. But trust can be broken in many ways, covered by The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey. Three key behaviors from this book that customer satisfaction professionals need to promote in their organizations are transparency, clarify expectations and right wrongs. A story of a major caught in a ‘real and apparent conflict of interest’ is an example of these principles.

References are a powerful selling tool for most businesses. Testimonials provide social proof that others like your organization’s products or services. They increase the ‘trust’ factor of your business. It makes selling more effective and less costly. What are techniques you can use to gather testimonials from your satisfied customers. Here are several interesting, non standard techniques.

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