In CRM, we have all heard of the 360 degree view of the customer. While reading a recent post by Gary Lemke, Over Surveyed and Under Heard, I was amazed at the statistics regarding sharing information with the customer. Only 1 in 20 organizations respond to the customer about the feedback they have given. For a customer oriented organization it is as important to share results of the feedback with the customers as it is to gather the feedback in the first place.
If you gather the feedback, but do nothing about it, in my books it says that you don't really care about the feedback and the process is just a formality.
Consider this from the point of view of the customer, they have gone through an experience with your organization (good or bad). I would go on to say that the customer has gone out of their way to provide feedback to the organization, since not all people are vocal and opinionated or active in social sites. The customer could just as easily have kept quiet and gone to your competitor with his business. Now, with this information in hand, if an organization does not work to change and ensure that the other customers do not face the same experience, well, then God help the organization. They are bound to see more customers having the same experience, some will be more vocal than others. Eventually, if not addressed, you can just imagine what the potential is here.
Granted, that as an organization, you may not want to spend money on making changes for each feedback from individual customers, but not doing anything at all about it is just saying that the feedback is rubbish. Well, is it rubbish? To be aware of the feedback and prepared when it becomes a problem is essential for an organization to adapt in a customer demand oriented economy.
Coming to the aspect of sharing the feedback internally and transparency with the customer. Organizations are typically afraid of losing customers if they bring out negative feedback into the realm of the internet. News flash people, the feedback is already out there. The real question is, what will you as an organization do about it. The best way is to accept the feedback and address it. Not only will this try to subdue the negative nature, but it puts you as an organization in control of the situation rather than just reacting to it. It helps you guide the customer conversation rather then just quietly sitting on the sidelines and waiting for collective customer experiences to build up and become an insurmountable obstacle.
In my humble opinion, a 360 view of the organization is as important for the customer as is the 360 view of the customer for an organization. At the end of the day, the relation between an organization and its customers is a two way street, you only get businesses coming up on the busy streets!