The in-store experience: "Ma'am, thank you for your purchase. If you'd fill out this customer-satisfaction survey, I'd appreciate it." "No problem," I said. It was short and I was happy with the service. "And if you give our store all 5s (the highest rating), I'd be happy to give you a discount coupon for your next visit." I see, you reward customers who really like you but don't do anything to lure back partly satisfied customers?
Well, you get the picture. While some of the customer-satisfaction results that companies tout may be truthful and thoughtfully gathered, these particular companies weren't exactly giving me the impression that they do so. The good news is that I happen to know from some of the reporting that InformationWeek has done on these companies (both are national companies with sizeable IT budgets) that there are serious efforts under way to improve customer relationships through the use of IT. It's the human element that needs a bit of optimizing in these cases.
In these cost-cutting times, it's also good to see that building better customer relationships remains a top priority for many business-technology managers, according to InformationWeek's Priorities studies. Some of that comes from new investments in technology, some from overhauling business processes, and some from real-time business strategies. In coming weeks, we'll bring you examples of these strategies-and the technologies behind them. Stay tuned.