Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hello, Mr. Watson, Can You Hear Me?

On November 12, 2011, the Customer Contact Association released an advisory (Social Media Revolution Rewrites Customer Service Rules) that made the following observations:

  • Companies must review which channels they use to monitor customer feedback as there is a mismatch between customers’ preferred channels and the ones companies monitor most frequently.More than 70% of the online population now regularly uses Facebook and Twitter.
  • Forty-six percent of consumers believe that social media can hold brands and companies accountable.
  • Businesses must reinvent their customer service models to respond to a growing breed of ‘connected customers’ who use social media to comment on service.
  • Businesses need new multi-channel strategies to tackle ‘disconnect’ with customers.
  • Forty-four percent of consumers believe companies do not care what they think.

While the data is helpful, I don't think anyone is surprised by the outcome - especially in the post-Occupy Wall Street world.  What is most useful is the conclusion that companies (banks included) are not listening in the right places.  Traditionally banks have used paper surveys, face-to-face interaction and other old school methods to obtain customer feedback.  Today, while these methods still apply, there is more and more feedback being provided through social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.).  As such, it is important that banks "listen" to all applicable channels - not just those they are traditionally programmed to monitor.  At a minimum, banks should make use of Google Alerts and to listen to the feedback/comments being placed out on the Internet.  Of course, larger organizations may opt for more robust (and expensive) solutions such as Radian6 and others.

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