Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Turning Customer Pain Into Customer Gain

March 9, 2009: from Forbes Magazine -- Customer influence and expectations have never been greater than in today's 24/7, Web 2.0, cyberconnected world. Whether marketers are listening to their customers or not, positive and negative word-of-mouth spreads at warp speed across the Internet and its many channels, communities, blogs, discussion groups and trusted business and social networks. Many companies, brands and campaigns are compromised by a lack of listening and prompt responsiveness to feedback, problems and inquiries. Listening and reacting can make a measurable and significant difference to brand perceptions, customer affinity, retention and Net Promoter scores.

In the current tough economic environment, the care and handling of customers becomes even more important to business success. It is almost always more profitable to keep and grow an existing customer than to acquire a new one, but today that may be even more true. Yet financial pressures will no doubt lead many companies to make cost reductions that may negatively affect the customer experience. Those who have the ability to closely monitor experience, loyalty and satisfaction and who have developed a culture that responds quickly to customer needs and challenges will be in a much better position to weather the downturn.

Companies that develop highly tuned disciplines and processes for quickly identifying customer issues and opportunities can limit defections and increase customer loyalty and value. Those that integrate real-time listening and analysis across their extended enterprises, including channel partners, can be more adaptive, responsive and engaged with their markets.
Those that effectively leverage the Web and online environments for learning and active customer advocacy can multiply the power of go-to-market communications and limit exposure to negative word-of-mouth in an age when customer voice is more powerful and magnified by the Internet.

Full story at: http://tinyurl.com/bzn7nw

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