I don’t believe anyone has the definitive answer on how social media is changing the way we listen to customers, but it’s clear that more tools are quickly emerging. In preparation for a presentation at our recent Walker Fall Forum, I began to consider a way to sort out the various uses, applications, and pros and cons of these tools. Without a place to start, what is one to do? Easy — do what any wise consultant would do. Draw a two-by-two chart!
After some deliberation, here is what we developed as a starting point. A brief description is below.
Content. Traditional methods (surveys, verbatim comments, customer advocacy boards, and online customer panels) are included along with emerging social media tools (private communities, public communities, social networks, blogs and micro blogs).
Control. Plotted on the horizontal axis is the degree of control customer strategists have over the feedback they receive. For instance, surveys provide a lot of control because you’re the one asking all the questions. In contrast, you hand over virtually all control in the feedback you receive from micro blogs.
Influence. The vertical axis shows the degree of influence customer insights would typically carry from each source. Customer advisory boards and surveys tend to carry a lot of weight while many are skeptical of customer insights delivered through micro blogs.
Engagement. The size of each circle represents the level of engagement of each tool. For instance, customer surveys aren’t terribly engaging – you ask questions and you get responses. However, communities and social networks are very engaging and can produce different types of customer insights.
What do you think?
Are the characteristics relevant for customer listening programs? Are the right tools listed for developing a customer relationship strategy? What is missing?