Have You Asked Your Customers What They Really Think?

SmartBlog recently published a post on “product chatter” and what it really means for business brands. More casual than the formal referral or recommendation, this is the brand and product perception exchanges being swapped in everyday conversations among buyers.

Most marketers tune into buyer feedback where it’s available – soliciting endorsements from happy buyers and monitoring social media mentions – but getting the whole picture can be a difficult task, particularly when bothered buyers tend to be more vocal, and satisfied customers less so.

Blog authors Doug Pruden and Terry Vavra warn that if your business doesn’t “have a truly representative, totally objective process for capturing and analyzing your customers’ voice (i.e. product chatter circulating in all types of media), you could be fooling yourself into making less effective decisions.”

In today’s competitive HIT environment, onus is on suppliers to be just as cognizant of customer experience as hospitals are of patient experience. While the tie between consumer experience and its impact on the bottom line may be less obvious for suppliers than it is for providers, vendors do have options when it comes to mimicking healthcare’s systematic approach to monitoring buyer perception.

Customer satisfaction surveys, preferably orchestrated through unbiased third party firms that buyers may offer more candid feedback to, are well-worth a routine look. Monitoring things like Net Promoter Score and common themes in buyer feedback on an annual basis, at least, are great ways to keep buyer perception top-of-mind and may help stem the tide when problem areas start to reveal themselves.

The customer feedback publicized through sites like Hospital Compare demonstrate data’s potential to influence both customer evaluations and business decisions, like benchmarking where your organization stands and what you should be bragging about (or better addressing).

Tapping into consumer consciousness as it relates to your particular brand’s products and/or services is paramount to planning future developments, but can also play a proactive role in shaping buyer perception if and when the best of buyer sentiments is properly played up and disseminated.