This question prompted a skewed response from customer experience professionals at the Forrester Customer Experience Forum last week in New York.
Specifically, we were interested in knowing to what extent companies are incorporating social media as part of their efforts to listen and respond to customers. There is no doubt that social media is a hot topic and a useful way to promote the company and listen to customers. But it appears that few companies are taking full advantage of the benefits.
Here is a summary of the feedback we received:
The vast majority say they review customer insights via social media, but do not really integrate it with other customer feedback. This seems to align closely with the conversations we had with customer experience professionals at the conference who made comments such as, "I have all this great input from customers, but can’t pull it all together," or "I have a hard time really putting these insights to use," or "I can’t sort it all out to understand what it all means."
Combining unstructured/unsolicited feedback from social media with structured/solicited feedback helps companies make the most of customer insights. Leslie Pagel’s recent blog sums it up nicely. She also mentions a paper that includes a case study of how one innovative company approached the issue.