Study: Customer Feedback Ignored

NEW YORK There is a major disconnect between the way most organizations collect customer feedback and then utilize it, according to a new CMO Council study.

Of the 500 marketing chiefs surveyed, only 16 percent regularly monitor online message boards for complaints and feedback. This despite the fact that 58 percent of them believe the Internet and social media have changed the level of influence and expectations of their customers.

Apparently they recognize their deficiencies. Only 33 percent of the respondents to the survey sponsored by Net Promoter and Satmetrix think their companies are very good at resolving complaints. Just 31 percent highly rate their organization’s commitment to customer listening.

Donovan Neale-May, the CMO Council’s executive director, said part of the problem is most CMOs don’t have the authority to influence customer-centric practices within their organizations. “You’ve got to own it. You have to impact customer experience, not just branding. It’s all the touch points: call services, service counter reps, warranties, returns. You can spend a lot of money creating demand, but if you have that customer disconnect, you’re wasting your marketing dollars,” he said.

Among the other findings: Some 60 percent said their companies don’t tie compensation to achieving customer satisfaction and loyalty. Just 23 percent said their companies track or measure customer feedback e-mails and only 37 percent said they gather insights from customer engagement situations.

Neale-May said marketers also still rely too heavily on surveys that tend to skew toward customers who are happy enough with the firm to respond. More than half (56 percent) said they have no programs tracking or propagating positive word of mouth among customers.