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Your customers are constantly talking about your business. They're talking to their friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, baristas, stylists—and sometimes, they're even talking to you about it.

Are you listening?

Customer feedback is easily one of the most important elements of any successful business. Whether that feedback is positive or negative, it's absolutely invaluable information that can be used as a catalyst to make important strategic decisions. Many companies, however, are ignoring feedback when it's being delivered via social media.

Some 70% of companies ignore customer complaints on Twitter—something many experts caution against, according to Maritz Research. However, there are rare times where disregarding customer feedback is more prudent than implementing it.

So, how do you know when to listen to your customers, and when to brush off their opinions? Furthermore, why should you even recognize their criticisms in the first place?

Why should I care about what my customers think?

The first (and most obvious answer) is because your business depends on it. Without customers, you have no business. Your customers will leave in droves if they're not being heard.

Your primary reason for listening to customer feedback should be to improve customer experience. Research shows that emphasizing the customer experience affects loyalty and revenue—both of which are vital to continued success.

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image of Liz Greene

Liz Greene is a freelance writer and marketing professional from Boise, Idaho.

Twitter: @LizVGreene