There was an article in the Boston Globe this week called “Feedback, even if it hurts” which talked about how companies like Bank Of America are allowing customers to provide feedback on their Web sites. So I decided to go take a look at Bank Of America’s customer feedback. Here’s what I found:
As you can see, 95% of people would recommend the BofA’s online banking, 85% would recommend its Bill Pay, 94% would recommend its mortgages, and 67% would recommend its mobile banking. And all of those products received more than 4 stars (in a five star rating).
That feedback was much more positive than what I expected given that banks didn’t fare so well in Forrester’s Customer Experience Index which ranked Bank Of America 91st out of 112 firms. So I looked at what consumers had to say about Bank of America on the Epinions site. It turns out that Bank of America came out with a rating of 2 out of 5 stars:
Hmmmm…. These are clearly two different sets of feedback: One positive, and one not so positive. What’s happening here?!?!?
My take: Let me start by saying that I have no reason to believe that Bank Of America is doing anything to alter the scores on their site. I think that there’s merit in what a spokesperson for Bank of America said about the difference between feedback sites:
There are many other sites that allow product ratings of our products but those sites can not guarantee those customers are even Bank of America customers. We guarantee these are truly Bank of America customers since we validate which accounts they own, which is something the other rating sites cannot promise.
It’s likely that the need for customer authentication on the Bank of America site has some influence on the types of comments that are being left. People tend to be freer with their comments when they can stay anonymous. In any case, it’s clear that companies need to look at feedback on their own sites as well as feedback from other sources.
A word of caution: Getting access to feedback is only one part of a voice of the customer (VoC) program. Companies often spend the bulk of their time/effort trying to get the feedback, and not nearly enough time figuring out what to do with it. That’s why good VoC programs are built around LIRMing, which means they have a formalized approach to Listening, Interpreting, Reacting, and Monitoring.
The bottom line: Allowing customers to post comments does not constitute listening to the voice of the customer.