20 Companies Most Susceptible To Negative Comments Via 3rd Party Ratings Sites

In my previous two posts, I listed companies that were susceptible to negative feedback via Facebook and Twitter. Now it’s time to look at 3rd party ratings sites like TripAdviosr and Yelp.. In the report How Consumers Give Feedback, we analyzed what US consumers did after they had a very bad or a very good experience.

As a part of the analysis, we examined the difference in social media use across 141 companies. Our analysis looked at how often people that had interacted with those companies had also used social media to talk about a very bad experience in the previous 60 days. We then compared that data to the overall US average.

This chart shows the 20 companies that interact with consumers who are most likely to post a comment or rating about a very bad experience on a 3rd party site.

As you can see, Days Inn, Super 8, TD Ameritrade, United Airlines, Hyatt, Hilton, and AirTram Airways are more than the most susceptible to having a bad comment or rating show up on these sites.

The bottom line: These firms need to track third party rating sites more than their peers

20 Companies Most Susceptible To Negative Comments Via Twitter

In my previous post, I listed companies that were susceptible to negative feedback via Facebook. Now it’s time to look at Twitter. In the report How Consumers Give Feedback, we analyzed what US consumers did after they had a very bad or a very good experience.

As a part of the analysis, we examined the difference in social media use across 141 companies. Our analysis looked at how often people that had interacted with those companies had also used social media to talk about a very bad experience in the previous 60 days. We then compared that data to the overall US average.

This chart shows the 20 companies that interact with consumers who are most likely to tweet about a very bad experience.

As you can see, Days Inn, Courtyard By Marriott, Hyatt, Continental Airlines, 21st Century, and Bright House are more than three times as susceptible to having a bad experience show up on Twitter.

The bottom line: These firms need to think a bit more about Twitter than the average company

 

20 Companies Most Susceptible To Negative Comments Via Facebook

In the recent Temkin Group Insight report, How Consumers Give Feedback, we analyzed what US consumers did after they had a very bad or a very good experience. One of the areas we examined was the use of social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

As a part of the analysis, we examined the difference in social media use across 141 companies. Our analysis looked at how often people that had interacted with those companies had also used social media to talk about a very bad experience in the previous 60 days. We then compared that data to the overall US average.

This chart shows the 20 companies that interact with consumers who are most likely to post a very bad experience on Facebook.

As you can see, Days Inn, E*TRADE, and Apple are twice as susceptible to having a bad experience show up on Facebook.

The bottom line: These firms need to think a bit more about Facebook than the average company

 

Social Media Is Key Focus In NA And EU

In the recent Temkin Group report Customer Experience Accelerates In 2011, we examined the 2011 customer experience plans of large companies ($1 billion+). I decided to compare some of the data across North American and Westen European companies for for a slightly larger group of companies ($500 million+).

The data sample for the EU companies (52) is not large, so the data is indicative albeit not necessarily statistically significant.

In this post, we examine the emphasis on improving customer experience in different channels…

Social media is the top area of focus for both NA and EU companies. The biggest difference in the two groups is that EU firms are focusing more on phone agent experiences while NA firms are focusing more on in-store experiences.

The bottom line: Customer experience is a satisfying global profession

New Report: How Consumers Give Feedback

We just published a new Temkin Group report, How Consumers Give Feedback.

The report analyzes survey responses from 6,000 US consumers who were asked what they did following recent experiences that were either very good or very bad.

Here’s the executive summary:

Companies often discuss “word of mouth,” but how often and in what ways do consumers discuss their experiences? We surveyed 6,000 US consumers to find out. It turns out that the most common communication about good and bad experiences occurs between friends via email, phone, or in person. While few consumers share their experiences directly with the companies that pleased or displeased them, far fewer shared those experiences via social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and 3rd party ratings sites. Our analysis also uncovered differences by age, income, ethnicity, and educational levels. We analyzed the customer bases of more than 140 companies and discovered that Days Inn, E*Trade, and Apple were the most susceptible to negative feedback via Facebook. Days Inn, Courtyard By Marriott, and Hyatt are the most susceptible via Twitter.

Download report for $195

Here’s one of the figures that shows the data at an aggregate level across the US:

Download report for $195

The report analyzes the differences by age, income, ethnicity, and educational levels of consumers. Here are some other tidbits of information from the report:

  • Hispanic consumers used Facebook more than Caucasians and African Americans to talk about their experiences.
  • African American consumers were the least likely to tell companies about a bad experience.
  • The higher the educational level, the more likely consumers were to give feedback directly to companies.
  • Higher income consumers were more likely to share their good and bad experiences via Twitter

The bottom line: Are you soliciting, listening to, and acting upon the right feedback?

8 Customer Experience Trends For 2011

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It’s the time of year when prognosticators drag out their crystal balls and divine about next year. Well, I’m not too different. But instead of a crystal ball, I’ll tap into the 8 customer experience megatrends that I outlined earlier this year. They remain the key trends that I think we’ll see in 2011.

Here are the 8 megatrends along with my thoughts about how they’ll play out in 2011:

1. Customer Insight Propagation. Most decisions in companies are made without any real customer insight. Companies will increasingly recognize that they need to integrate a deeper understanding of their customers throughout their company. That’s why Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs represent one of the most popular customer experience efforts. A new cadre of vendors are making it easier to collect, analyze, and share customer information broadly across just about any organization.

2011: I’ve written a lot about VoC programs this year. Companies are beginning to figure out how to better use the insights and an emerging set of vendors have deployed customer insight and action (CIA) Platforms that can help considerably. But there’s still a long way to go. In the research report The State Of Voice Of The Customer Programs, we found that only 1% of large companies are “Transformers,” which is the highest level of maturity. In 2011,  I expect to see many companies move up on the VoC maturity scale as this continues to be an increasing area of focus next year. Don’t be surprised to see CRM players like Oracle and SAP acquire some of the CIA vendors.

2. Unstructured Data Appreciation. Deep feelings that customers have about a company often get truncated into a 5-point, 7-point, or even 11-point multiple choice scales; making it difficult to understand “why” things are happening. New text analytics applications can quickly process thousands of pieces of unstructured data and discern what’s making customers happy or what’s making them upset; pushing a dramatic rise in companies analyzing rich unstructured data like comments on surveys, call center verbatims, or social media discussions.

2011: As I said in a blog post earlier this year, it’s time for text analytics. I’m working with many companies on strategies for getting deeper customer insights and just about all of them involve a component of text analytics. In 2011, I expect there to be twice as many text analytics pilots as in 2010 and a lot of companies touting success stories at conferences. I expect IBM to make a big push in this area next year with SPSS and I would not be surprised to see Big Blue acquire either Clarabridge or Attensity.

3. Customer Service Rejuvenation As companies do touchpoint analyses and customer journey maps, they often find that customer service is a key “moment of truth” for customers. Unfortunately, the cost-cutting in this area over the last several years has created many poor experiences. Companies are recognizing that poor customer service is creating a very negative perception of their brand and will increasingly make investments to improve these experiences.

2011: During customer service week in October, I discussed how companies sometimes seem to care more about saving $1.50 in transaction costs than they care about $60 worth of business. But, I am seeing some changes. I’ve actually been working with a number of contact centers that are transforming the service they deliver. In 2011, I expect to see more contact centers drop average handle time (AHT) as a core metric and revamp quality measures based on customer feedback.

4. Loyalty Intensification. Over the last several years, many executives have realized that shareholder value is not an objective; it’s actually the outcome of building stronger customer loyalty. As companies starts using measures like Net Promoter Scores (NPS) to track loyalty, more firms will elevate these metrics to their executive dashboard; pushing companies to think and act more strategically about loyalty.

2011: Many companies are developing loyalty metrics and infusing them into their management dashboards. We found that 45% of companies tie compensation to some customer feedback metrics, but don’t push too hard, too early with compensation.  We also found that only 25% of respondents think their senior executives are willing to trade-off short-term financial results for longer-term loyalty. In 2011, it will become much more common for companies to balance loyalty metrics with financial ones. And many companies will evolve beyond fixing problems that cause dissatisfaction and start designing experiences that inspire advocates.

5. Interaction iPod-ization. QWERTY keyboards help make PCs so universal. But a keyboard-based QWERTY device is not the ideal interface for the next generation of digital devices. Fortunately, Apple’s iPod (and iPhones, iPads) are doing the same thing that QWERTY did over 100 years ago, teaching myriads of people how to interact with a touch-screen. As a result, a new wave of touch-pad based applications will emerge.

2011: Add Nooks, Android, and Windows Phone to the list of devices that will be teaching people how to touch, drag, shake, pinch, and tap to get what they need. In 2011, Mainstream PCs with a keyboard and mouse will seem even more like relics’ as people increasingly transition to iPad (and iPad-like) devices.  I also expect to see more voice interfaces emerge.

6. Social Media Assimilation. Social media is a hot topic. But Social Media is not really a new thing for companies; it represents just another interaction channel with customers. Companies will increasingly fold Social Media activities into the core activities of the company; especially within customer service.

2011: I created a term called “Social Schizophrenia” which describes companies that provide levels of service in social media that differ significantly from service levels in other channels. That still describes a lot of companies. In 2011, focus on social media will continue to grow but I expect much more mature approaches as the tools and processes are evolving.

7. Digital/Physical Integration. Consumers increasingly go online with their cell phones while they are doing activities like walking through a mall or eating at a restaurant. At the same time, iPhones have introduced consumers to the notion of task-specific application downloads. In this environment, companies can no longer think about online as a separate and distinct channel. They will start designing more experiences that blend together online and offline interactions.

2011: Mobile applications will increasingly take advantage of location-awareness to provide services and capabilities that are specific to the store, restaurant, hotel, ball park, intersection, or wherever you are. In 2011, we’ll also see more adoption of recognition-based services like Shop Savvy that can scan barcodes and Google Goggles that recognizes landmarks, text — pretty much anything you can take a picture of with your phone. Given the capabilities, I think we’ll see a bunch of integrated digital/physical offerings in the second half of the year.

8. Cultural Renovation. Companies are increasingly recognizing that “unengaged employees can’t create engaged customers” which is one of my “6 Laws Of Customer Experience.” That’s why many firms are starting to focus on the culture of their firms; trying to align employees with the vision, mission, and brand of the company. Cultural change takes several years to take hold; so significant changes won’t show up in companies immediately. But when change happens, it will very difficult for competitors to replicate.

2011: It’s great to see many executives ask for help building a customer-centric culture. I often compare customer experience to quality, which is captured in my manifesto: Great Customer Experience Is Free. I also like usurping this quote from the quality movement: “Great customer experience is the result of a carefully constructed cultural environment. It has to be the fabric of the organization, not part of the fabric.” We gauge customer-centric culture with Temkin Group’s Four Customer Experience Core Competencies. Our assessment of 144 large firms showed that only 3% are customer-centric. In 2011, I expect many companies to put in place the foundations for improving their customer-centricity while a few will revert back to their old ways; this stuff is not easy.

The bottom line: Hopefully you’re ready for 2011!

8 Symptoms Of Social Schizophrenia

A few months ago, I tweeted about one of my posts post called XFINITY Is (Unfortunately) More Of The Same. Immediately afterwards, a nice woman from Comcast replied to my tweet and tried to change my opinion. This type of social media outreach is not unusual for Comcast, which has made a name for itself over the last few years with an active presence on Twitter.

Comcast, however, continues to receive less-than-stellar (I’m being nice) feedback on its customer service. The company managed to come in 125th and 126th out of 133 companies in Forrester’s 2010 Customer Experience Index and ended up in 3rd place on MSN Money’s 2010 Customer Service Hall Of Shame.

So Comcast reaches out to strangers on Twitter, but doesn’t service customers very well when they contact Comcast. Something seems out of whack.

My take: Unfortunately, this type of behavior is becoming more common as the wave of social media excitement continues to crest. In order to better understand this disorder, I’ve given it a name — “Social Schizophrenia” — which I defined as:

Providing levels of service in social media that differ significantly from service levels in other channels

Does your company suffer from this ailment? Answer the eight questions below to diagnose the symptoms. A single “yes” may indicate that your company has Social Schizophrenia.

  1. Does your company have poor customer service ratings and aggressive goals for social media?
  2. Does your company treat people with “influential” social media voices better than it treats other people, even good customers?
  3. Has your company invested more in social media outreach than it has invested in improving its traditional service organization?
  4. It is “cooler” in your company to be part of the social media team than it is to be a part of the customer service organization?
  5. Are employees reaching out in social media more empowered to solve customer problems than other customer service agents?
  6. Does your company’s social media team have more headcount than its voice of the customer team?
  7. Does your company have separate organizations handling social media complaints than it does handling complaints that flow through other channels?
  8. Is more than 20% of your company’s customer experience strategy focussed on social media?

Does this mean that companies should stay away from social media? No. But social media efforts can’t be used to mask poor service. If your company delivers poor or inconsistent experiences to customers, then fixing those problems should be the primary focus of your efforts. Eliminate poor experiences from happening; don’t chase down social media complaints after the fact.

If customers do run into problems, companies should take action when they complain directly to the company — embracing the five elements of my C.A.R.E.S. model for service recovery: communication, accountability, responsiveness, empathy, and solution. Once this is in place, companies can add social media outreach to the customers that fall through the cracks.

The bottom line: Use social media to augment, not avoid, the delivery of great service

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