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Listening Beyond Social

During my father’s workday, he’d walk around and talk to customers. They knew who he was, and they took their concerns to him directly. So he’d hear such complaints as, “I think your women’s clothing department stinks,” or, “The dishwasher never worked right.” He’d also hear praise (“I love this store.”). Back in those days, that’s how companies gauged how they were doing–through direct, in-person feedback from their customers.

It’s much more difficult to get that kind of feedback from customers today. If you’re shopping online, you’re not going to run into the store manager while scrolling down a catalog page. Even customers in a brick-and-mortar store are unlikely to recognize and flag down the store manager. Meanwhile, those same customers connect with other consumers through mobile phones or social networks to ramble, vent, or praise.

Read the full article from Angus Reid on