"Are you listening [to your customers]?" asks Todd Defren in a post at the PR Squared blog. "Great. But are you also empowered to act effectively on [their] behalf?" In other words, any company worth its salt can listen to its customers—what you do with the information is what sets the great ones apart.

Defren says there are two ways you can "listen" to your customers:

  • Many savvy brands use active listening to monitor social media and respond when appropriate. Defren on active listening: "Quick! Somebody said something about us! Say something back!"
  • The next step is actionable listening. "The difference here," he notes, "is that the folks doing the listening/responding are empowered to effect change within their organization, on customers' behalf."

Defren has firsthand experience with two companies that employed actionable listening to resolve a problem. In the first instance, he used Twitter to vent about a problem he had with his phone service; a Comcast representative saw the tweet, made immediate contact and fixed the problem. A complaint about a "blue screen of death" during a webinar, meanwhile, prompted a message from Dell asking if the problem were with one of their computers, and if so, offering assistance help. That's customer service that goes the extra mile.

The Po!nt: "To successfully engage in actionable listening," says Defren, "the corporation must make an investment not only in monitoring tools but in providing infrastructure changes that back-up the lip-service with speedy and effective results."

Source: PR Squared. Click here for the complete post.

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