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Archive for April, 2008

 Survey: Web Generates Consumer Feedback

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Read te entire article at

April 24, 2008

-By Eric Newman, Brandweek

NEW YORK Forget focus groups. Consumers are giving it straight to brands, and each other, via online social media in big numbers, according to a recent study by the Society for New Communications Research, Palo Alto, Calif.

“Exploring the Link Between Customer Care and Brand Reputation in the Age of Social Media” surveyed more than 300 active Internet users during February and March.

The study found that 74 percent of respondents choose companies or brands based on customer service experiences shared by other Web users on the Internet. Eighty-one percent of those polled said they believe blogs, online rating systems and discussion forums give consumers “a greater voice” in customer service. However, only 33 percent of respondents felt that companies take customers’ opinions seriously.

“This study indicates that there is a growing group of highly desirable consumers using social media to research companies,” said Ganim Nora Barnes, a senior fellow at SNCR, in a statement. This demo includes adults 25-55 with a college education, making over $100,000 a year. “These most savvy and sought-after consumers will not support companies with poor customer care reputations, and they will talk about all of this openly with others via multiple online vehicles. This research should serve as a wake-up call to companies: listen, respond, and improve.”

The study also found what marketers might find somewhat counterintuitive. While search engines were deemed the most valuable online tools for researching customer experience with a given brand, 39 percent of respondents rated blogging services like Twitter and Pownce as being of “no value” to such research. Similarly, 27 percent found YouTube useless, and 22 percent said the same of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.

Of those industries judged to be doing the best job in using social media to respond to customer service issues, technology, retail and travel companies took top honors. Dell and Amazon were noted most often as those companies doing the best job handling customer care problems via social media.

Utilities, healthcare and insurance firms fared the worst.

 Ten Ways to be a Better at Leveraging Customer Relationships

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Written by Martin Haworth from his website:

  1. Be Open
    Start hearing what your customers are saying. Truly listen and realise you can benefit if you hear properly.
  2. Create Conversations
    Get out there with your customers. Ask questions, value their input and build great relationships for the future.
  3. Get Past Criticism
    It’s not about you, or your people. The negatives you get are fixable – and sometimes need a deeper consideration of what they mean. So be honest about causes (hint – it will be something to do with you!)
  4. Savour Feedback
    It is a gift for you – relish it! You may wish to let off a little whoop of delight every time you get feedback. It truly is a cause for celebration.
  5. Get Your Team Onboard
    And share your enthusiasm too. Get your people realising that they are not in the wrong – yet they can be a lot more in the right. Be happy about this!
  6. Keep in Touch
    When you have these open and honest conversations with your customers, remember to take contact details and get back to them with outcomes – they will love it! And become an ongoing advocate for you.
  7. See Opportunity
    In days where prices are squeezed,; product distribution is widespread; and services are being shipped overseas, this level of positive, constructive customer relationships is about all you’ve got – it can become your USP.
  8. Share Widely
    Let all of your people know the successes you are having. This creates an upward spiral of involvement – everyone will want their ‘customers’ to be the useful ones!
  9. Keep Smiling
    Hey – have fun with this – respect your customers and be prepared to get involved with them – share a different sort of relationship from the usual adversarial. Smile together:-).
  10. Give Back
    Treat your customers kindly. Encourage feedback and reward them with gifts – be different! They and what’s more you will love it!

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