Are you listening to your customers?

man-with-headphones.jpgI just read a great post by Sandy Renshaw over at PurpleWren about a cable company who is listening.  That’s right – a cable company.   A few days ago, Sandy blogged about her experience with her cable provider Mediacom (who, due to a dispute with Sinclair Broadcasting, had to drop the Fox channel) and the short-term solution they put into place.   She also expressed her concerns about the long-term (how to get Fox without an antenna??).  To my (and her) surprise, one of her comments was from Scott Westerman, Group VP of Mediacom, sharing his thoughts on the problem, as well as his email to keep the conversation going!  He also sent Sandy a montage of Mediacom customer voices, which you can listen to from her most recent blogpost (see first link above).

I am impressed with his response for two reasons.  One, he is clearly hooked into the blogosphere and is open to using it to communicate back to his customers.  Perhaps he has read Citizen Marketers?  Second, he has actually taken the time to listen to the actual voice of the customer.  Not aggregate results of the latest customer satisfaction survey.  Not anecdotes from his team.  He has listened to customer concerns and recorded those voices for others to hear.

How well are you listening to your customers?  Here are some ideas on how you can open your ears to hear.  I welcome other ideas as well!

  • Read actual customer comments.  Don’t rely on survey results which have been aggregated into a list of the “top issues”.  Be sure verbatim customer comments are included, both good and bad, so that you can understand your customers in their own words.
  • Go talk to your customers.  Whether it is in-person at a retail store or customer event or by going out on a few sales (and support!) calls, meeting and listening to customers face-to-face is critical to do at least once/quarter.
  • Hook up with your customer service organization.  The place where your customers go to contact you is a great place to go to listen to them.  It could be a customer service call center or a technical support department.  Go down to the call-center floor, hook-up with one of the customer service reps, and have a listen.  Don’t forget to bring your notepad!
  • Check out the blogosphere and customer forums.  Of course, I am assuming anyone reading blogs is already doing this one!

I highly encourage management at all levels to add some of these interfaces into their regular set of activities.  Put it in your planner, if you must, but just do it.  And when you are finished listening, be sure to respond.

27 Responses

  1. I’d talked to a friend in Des Moines, IA today and he told much the same story about Mediacom and added that he local Mediacom office had given away aerials over the weekend so people could watch the football games on Fox that they couldn’t watch on Mediacom. They ran out and had to get more, but they did, and had another give away. They’re working hard to make sure that their customers are taken care of… even though it’s not by them (with broadcast).

    The idea that they’re making sure they look like ‘the good guy’ is there, but who cares? The folks to got to watch the games because of what Mediacom did in spite of what Sinclair is doing… says lots of good things for Mediacom in my opinion.

  2. Pingback : Listening to Customers - simplerich - ~ an open letter to you and the www ~

  3. Thanks, Rich, for pointing out that keeping the customer in mind is the end goal, not doing something to look “like the good guy”! I definitely think Mediacom is looking out for their customers in this case.

  4. Hi Sandy,

    Thanks so much for your comment! Yes, it is the customer who matters most. I was very impressed by the Mediacom focus on customers. Have they shown you their customer focus in other ways? I would love to hear more examples!


  5. Pingback : Rockin’ Customer Feedback: SuggestionBox « Customers Rock!

  6. Therefore you can opt for real estate investing without worrying.

    Introducing an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Merced, California, amending Section 10.
    This can be the type of real-estate that needs a high investment to get into the game,
    much higher than most residential property and poses equally great risks dependant upon what you plan to do with your commercial real estate property investment.
    However, with a little ingenuity and imagination,
    you can achieve your goals without breaking the bank.
    Thus, a prospective tenant will be well served to review a proposed lease with counsel to
    ensure that tenant understands the nature and type of pass through costs it will be
    expected to absorb under the lease. Gold extracted from the Earth has only changed forms
    and the vast majority of it can be obtained to this day,
    thus we still have virtually all that we’ve ever had. Investing in and holding onto
    commercial real estate provides you a significant tax shelter through the depreciation of the building
    and improvements. Assigning existing residential leases with multiple tenants to Merced Theatre Foundation on the date of the tax credit closing;.
    Appropriating $500,000 in Neighborhood Stabilization Program
    property resale funds to account 059-1352-657. The best part of wholesaling is
    that your pay is directly proportionate to your ability to put deals together and not how
    much time or physical labor you have in a deal.

  7. Quite a few treatment centers impose as per the time required each meeting.

    However, it comes with a relatively steep price tag of $500 or more.
    Regrow Hair – Hair Regrowth – It is easy to Regrow Hair and
    even make it grow faster with Procerin if your body has not stopped Growing New Hair and follicles altogether.

  8. People everywhere are reporting that they are losing 10, 12,
    even 18 pounds in a week due to the addition of these products and adhering to their strict rules.
    These supplements, accompanied by some determination and discipline, will
    truly make the difference in your life that you are
    looking to gain. Crazy, unchecked, and typically unplanned
    eating occurs during evening for numerous individuals struggling to lose fat.

  9. Be seen by those searching for you online by being represented on the
    first page of major and local search engines. In addition to this tactic, a good SEO business and its professionals give individualistic attention to each and every project.
    Most of the things you think you know about search-engine optimization, or SEO, may have been true a few years ago but have changed.

  10. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology
    recently published a report that connects hypertension and obesity.
    Pour into sterile fifty percent-pint jars, seal,
    and cool. “Never feeling hungry is not a sign of being healthy,” stated Dr.

  11. It is a very strong line, but it is also very sensitive, making it a great line when fishing for
    trout. Methods for baiting a hook – Step
    5: Use them for fishing. If you are getting ready to go deep-sea fishing, there are a
    few things you might want to know about sea fishing bait.

  12. For a start, they have a short product life cycle, from product
    development to marketing. The first thing that you will
    want to look for in moving and storage companies
    in Atlanta is how their staff is trained. And, if you’ve taken taxis
    for any length of time in Bangkok, you’ll know this is pretty much the
    norm, unfortunately.

  13. Check out Movers review, it’ll assist you simply slim down the alternatives then choose
    many sensible movers. If you start practicing them immediately, you may find yourself getting on with
    your life and experiencing a heady freedom by tomorrow.
    There are tanks and a lot of men to the left,
    and you need to let the friendly tanks take care of them.

  14. If you want an email notification each time a post is left, there are options within the settings to organize this.
    If you are not producing successful social media campaigns then you are basically talking to a
    wall or to yourself. Most of the things you think you know about search-engine optimization, or SEO, may have been true a few years ago but have changed.

  15. Online stores let users narrow their search by using various shopping options,
    such as price, color, size, brand, new arrival,
    designer, and many others. At times fashionable dresses will rate you a lot of money, so
    liquorish is sure name brands for latest dresses.
    Their wearers are vivacious and playful, yet they don’t take themselves too seriously.

  16. ” “Patients can combine dual-depth resurfacing with botox and filler” for synergistic enhancements. We test as a minimum your cholesterol, your blood sugar, your kidney liver capabilities, your calcium, your protein, your metabolic panel and we also verify your complete thyroid panel including free of charge T3, T4, and TSH. You then take your BMR, and multiply it with an activity factor, to determine your TDEE: Sedentary (BMR X 1.

  17. Great weblog right here! Also your site so much up very fast!
    What host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your affiliate
    link for your host? I want my site loaded up as quickly
    as yours lol

  18. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and
    said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the
    shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  19. You now not have to invest in expensive cosmetic surgical procedures or therapies for stretch mark elimination,
    as topical stretch mark lotions can finally provide an economical approach
    of addressing the looks of stretch marks.

  20. Extracts of calendula, lavender and rosemary additionally
    assist to protect against moisture loss and penetrate deeply
    to heal scars and marks.

  21. They told me the Flat Tax would not fly as it has too
    many flaws. Quickbooks is available for both PC and MAC operating
    systems. However this exam can only be given within the United States and not
    outside of the country.

  22. In time the daughter grows old, but within her there is always a deep longing
    for her father. The thing you have to remember is that this filter is the one that allows lots of fresh air into the motor to keep it cool.
    Expert packers and movers have well trained and expert workers
    for the packing and shifting of customers belongings. You can find
    companies offering packing services and this means that you have less to worry about
    when moving. According to Schwarzenegger, Russia is
    considered to be a gold mind to foreign investors.
    The word stiletto, stilus in latin, is Italian in nature, and it means “any pointed instrument” or “stake”.
    Another important area that call center representatives should know and be
    trained about is in handling and dealing with customer complaints.
    Moving on to the hood, make sure you have your can of white
    lithium grease spray handy along with a clean piece of cloth or rag.

    Almost all packers movers Delhi based companies are insured.
    It’s much easier to raise a family if you still have some disposable
    income after you’ve paid your mortgage.

  23. As you can see the first 14 days netted 20 lbs weight loss.
    The perfect way to continuously lose weight is to try eating one fat-free meal
    a day like fish or shrimp. This is a big benefit over other weight
    loss diets because the feeling of weakness, ranging from high to very high,
    is quite often experienced by dieters practicing other weight
    loss diets.