Pay Attention!: How to Listen, Respond and Profit from Customer Feedback

By Ann Thomas and Jill Applegate
Published by John Wiley & Sons ISBN: 9780470563557
Copyright (c) 2010 by Ann Thomas

From the Book JacketYour customers are talking about you. Are you listening? Whether they use social networks, online tools, or a myriad of other media, your customers are reviewing you, rating you, and ranting about you to friends, peers, and perfect strangers. Disappoint your customers with poor service and they won't take it quietly. Give them a great experience and they will become powerful and loyal advocates, pointing others your way. Customer interaction today is a whole new ballgame; are you prepared to play and win? Pay Attention! enables you to successfully navigate today's customer feedback landscape and turn that feedback into your competitive edge. By outlining the complete Pay Attention system, this up-to-the-minute guide gives you a practical, step-by-step toolbox you can use immediately to achieve topnotch customer interactions. The fundamental customer-business relationship is changing. Companies that understand and adapt to the new rules will beat the competition and gain market share. Pay Attention! offers a proven system you can use to revitalize the way you approach your customers and customer service, while gaining major business insights in the process. The next level of customer interaction, acquisition, and retention awaits you; all you need is to Pay Attention!

Brief Excerpt

The Power of Online Megaphones

Long gone are the days when customers made their voices heard only through 800 numbers, email messages, or face-to-face interactions, or by telling neighbors over the back fence how horrible--or surprisingly wonderful--was the service they received at the dry cleaner, local restaurant, bank, or website. Now they more commonly speak through the virtual megaphones known as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites, as well as by posting reviews of businesses they frequent on sites like Yelp or CitySearch. Many more make their voices heard through discussion boards and dedicated product review areas on company websites. Although accurate user numbers are hard to come by, it's safe to say many millions of people are using these tools on a daily basis. "An entire generation is growing up that will never dial a 1-800 number to reach customer care," says Amanda Mooney, a digital media strategist with Edelman Digital, a division of Edelman Public Relations. But it isn't just teenagers or twenty-somethings using social media. According to a 2009 study from Pew Internet and the American Life Project, the median age of Facebook users is now 33, up from 26 in May 2008; the median age of Twitter users is 31 and LinkedIn users is 39. Businesses of all sizes also have become regular users of social networks to market products, keep tabs on consumer opinions and engage customers on the turf where they feel most comfortable.

When today's customers are upset by customer service experiences, the first place many turn to vent their frustrations is the Web. A 2008 study by TARP Worldwide Inc., an Arlington, Virginia-based customer service research firm, found, for example, that twelve percent of dissatisfied online customers told their "buddy lists" about the experience--lists that average more than sixty persons. On average, four times more people on the Web hear about negative experiences than positive ones, according to TARP research.

 About the Authors

Ann Thomas is coauthor of 101 Activities for Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service, and the senior consultant and lead facilitator with Performance Research Associates (PRA) since 1999. Her work focuses on improving service quality, diversity awareness, generational differences, sales, performance management, and professional development. Ann brings nearly thirty years' experience in consulting and training to each of her clients, including Marriott ExecuStay, Accenture, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and many others. Ann is also a member of the faculty for the American Management Association and is a regular presenter for Progressive Business Conferences. Jill Applegate is project manager and client coordinator with Performance Research Associates. She served as right hand to the late Ron Zemke for nearly fifteen years and takes seriously the responsibility of wowing customers. Jill works closely with PRA clients to ensure that their efforts hit the mark. She is also a coauthor of 101 Activities for Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service.


By Adam

April 13, 2011