The various media, including the social form, insist that the customer is king; exaggeration or not, it is true that understanding their customers is of greater importance to companies than ever before. The newest way to understand customers is to capture all the comments they make about a company, analyze them and produce reports containing information such as likes and dislikes, hot issues, trends and sentiment analyses – many people today call this collection the voice of the customer (VOC). It can help companies with a range of tasks: refining customer-facing strategies, improving products and services, streamlining front- and back-office business processes, focusing training and supporting front-line operational decisions such as how to handle customer interactions.
In many cases, VOC requires new technologies to support these activities. Customer feedback can now be gathered in more ways than ever, everything from traditional paper-based surveys, IVR and web-based surveys, to agent-initiated one-on-one telephone surveys, speech analytics on recorded calls, social media analytics, short surveys on smartphones and analysis of free-form text gathered through media. Tello has just launched a new service that sits between surveying and social media. The service allows consumers to text comments about any company or download a smartphone app with which to send comments. Both methods are in line with current-day consumer behavior, as more and more people use texting or mobile apps as their primary methods of communication.
Businesses that are registered uses of Tello receive a text message or email when someone sends feedback to Tello. They can respond as they feel appropriate, including providing an instant reply acknowledging positive feedback or addressing problems – for example, resolving a customer’s issue before the persons leave the store or office from which the feedback was sent. In either instance a customer is likely to feel more positive about the experience. Tello also provides registered companies with analysis of comments and dashboards that tie customer feedback to individual company employees, allowing the organization to address personnel issues.
I plan to track how well this new service catches on, both with consumers and organizations wanting to understand them better. It could be another piece of the puzzle in collecting customer feedback, and it will be interesting to see how it relates to the insights gathered through my research into how organizations are collecting and analyzing customer feedback. It would be great if you would provide your views by engaging with us on our customer feedback research Or you may simply collaborate with me directly on social media.
Richard Snow – VP & Research Director