Jackie Huba from Church of the Customer, cites a study that concludes that customers that feel listened to are more likely to spread positive and unsolicited word of mouth. The study was done by Communispace, a company that creates and manages online communities. Key findings:
•82% of community members said they were more likely to recommend the company's product's than before joining the community.
•54% said they were more inclined to purchase the company's products since joining the community.
Though we've done no studies to prove it, we find the same thing to be true with our PromoterZ clients. Those companies that use the service to ask for customer feedback consistently generate more referrals than those that don't.
So do your customers feel like you are listening? Asking is certainly the first step, but I have personally completed a number of customer surveys and never felt like anyone was listening.
In my mind, the critical step to show you are listening is to respond. Simply acknowledging that you have received their feedback and are considering it will let your customers know that someone really is listening--and they in turn will start talking to others....