Although 92% of brands believe that having satisfied customers is key to profitability, a mere 42% solicit feedback on a continuous basis and only 6% use social media to do so despite its growing importance.
According to a survey of 810 executives at companies generating more than $100 million in revenues undertaken by enterprise feedback management software vendor MarketTools, some 39% believe that their company has increased its focus on boosting customer satisfaction this year compared with last.
While just over one in five said that they had invested more in customer-satisfaction-based products and services during 2010, a huge 56% admitted that either their firms did not have, or they were unsure whether they had, a formal voice of the customer programme in place.
Moreover, even though a further 22% indicated that they solicited customer feedback either only once a year or not at all, 93% rated themselves in the top 50% in terms of customer satisfaction compared with 43% that rated themselves in the leading 10%.
Of those organisations that did undertake customer feedback activities, however, 51% used email or online channels, 28% employed formal phone surveys and informal phone calls respectively and only 6% engaged social media – even though, according to a recent Forrester Research report, 16% of consumers have posted complaints about negative customer service experiences on social channels such as online customer review sites. The analyst company also pointed out that social media monitoring was a key characteristic of leading edge voice of the customer initiatives.
Justin Schuster, MarketTools’ vice president of enterprise products, said: "Despite the fact that social media channels represent a rich, continuous stream of customer feedback, few organisations are equipped to take advantage of this channel."
But it was crucial that they knew what their customers were saying about them online and that such unsolicited feedback was employed to both address individual concerns and help improve business processes to generate higher overall customer satisfaction, he added.