Ninety-Four Percent of Companies Not Yet Using Social Media for Customer Feedback, According to New MarketTools Study

Despite the Growing Presence of Social Media for Customer Conversations, Few Organizations Mine the Social Media Channel to Improve Customer Satisfaction

PR Newswire — December 15, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — A new study released today by MarketTools, Inc., the leader in software and services for enterprise feedback management (EFM) and market research, revealed that 94 percent of companies do not yet use social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to gather customer feedback, despite consumers’ growing engagement with these mediums. The study, part of the MarketTools Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) Marketplace Report, found that the most common ways companies gather customer feedback are: email/online surveys (51 percent), formal phone surveys (28 percent), and informal phone calls (28 percent).

“Despite the fact that social media channels represent a rich, continuous stream of customer feedback, few organizations are equipped to take advantage of this channel,” said Justin Schuster, vice president of enterprise products for MarketTools, Inc. “Although traditional methods of gathering customer feedback including online surveys and phone surveys are core to most voice of the customer initiatives, organizations that use enterprise feedback management solutions to incorporate feedback gathered through social media channels are able to uncover richer insights to help them improve customer satisfaction.”

A growing number of consumers are turning to social media channels to share unsatisfactory customer service experiences. In a recent research report, analyst firm Forrester found that 16% of customers have vented about negative customer service interactions through social channels, such as online customer reviews, Facebook status updates, or blog posts. Forrester also cites “integrating social media monitoring” as one of the major trends that characterize leading-edge voice of the customer (VOC) programs.

“Companies need to know what their customers are saying about them online, and they need to use this unsolicited feedback to not only address the concerns of the individual customer, but to uncover insights to help improve business processes that lead to higher overall customer satisfaction,” added Schuster.

The MarketTools study also revealed a disparity in the way companies think and the way they act in regards to customer satisfaction. Although 92 percent of respondents believe that satisfied customers are very important or extremely important to their company’s bottom line, fewer than half (42 percent) solicit customer feedback on a continuous basis, and more than one-fifth (22 percent) solicit feedback only once a year or not at all.

Some additional highlights from the survey include:

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