Monday, November 24, 2008

Listening to customers

At a recent seminar the CEO of a company that hosts a popular consumer feedback site talked about the unwillingness of most companies to listen to and speak with their customers . He jokingly offered a prize to anyone who could speak with the CEO of Vodafone in 24 hours . 

The tenacity with most which organizations stonewall efforts of customers to speak with a senior person (anyone one more senior than the team leader at the call centre ) of the company is amazing . At some point the call centre folks seem to have figured that declining to give information will enrage the customer . So now , they say " sorry we don't know who is in charge of customer service " . Some will go even so far as to feign ignorance of who is the CEO of the company . 

On one hand companies try vigorously to resist engaging in communication with customers. And the same organization will spend megabucks to engage the services of market research companies like Gallup to get customer feedback . Case in point - the world's local bank . Maybe organizations feel like listening only when they pay for the service ?

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