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CMO's Don't Get Customer Service
Jan 28, 2009

In a recently published survey from the CMO Council results shows that Chief Marketing Officers of companies pay little attention to the customer feedback coming their way. At a time when more and more  branding experts and retailers are focusing their attention and planning processes on  engaging  their customers, clients and consumers  with even greater intensity , these findings are astounding.  Karl Greenberg of Media Post News reported on these survey results.  Read Article  In a world of complete customer access, social media, and buzz marketing it clearly isn't the case of not getting feedback, but rather, as the findings show, the information is being ignored or made little use of.  Here are the highlights:

  • Only 23% of respondents said they track or measure customer feedback
  • Only 17% use that feedback to identify customer advocates
  • Only 33% think they are good at resolving complaints
  • Only 31%  highly rate their companies commitment to customer service listening
  • Only 37% said they gather feedback from customer engagement situations
  • Only 16% monitor on-line message boards

Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, says "the results are troubling because the "customer custodian" function "is one of the most critical--in fact, the most critical role a CMO can play in an organization: to own every facet of listening, learning, interacting, engaging, and optimizing the relationship with the customer, and understanding where the attrition, pain and aggravation is, and doing this in real time. It is mind boggling to me that the level of attention to this is not what it should be, and fragmented in terms of who owns it."

These survey results were produced while 58%  of the CMO's believe "the Internet and social media changed the level of influence and expectations of their customers ." Not being compensated for customer satisfaction, no sense of ownership and lack of authority to influence customer-centric decisions that influence the customer relationship are some  reasons cited to support their responses. ( Silo thinking).  In customer centered organizations doesn't everyone own the customer relationship?

In today's very troubling economic times, when customers and clients are fleeing their traditional relationships for alternatives, to read survey results like this, come from marketing leaders in companies, is horrific.  With the enormous information about customer relationships at their finger tips, to do little or nothing with it, is in my opinion corporate malpractice. 

Today's times call for proactive behavior, More than most behavior traits, proactive behavior makes an almost immediate impact and generates visible results.  When customers observe proactive behavior,  they know it.  When they experience it, they feel it.  When someone is proactive on their behalf,  they are gratified.  Clearly, this is an important trait in the pursuit of Service Excellence and in today's environment perhaps never more important.  To sit idly by and do  little or nothing is a disgrace.


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