Customer Experience feedback via Blogs


Lately, I’ve noticed people documenting their customer experiences via blogs. BL Ochman’s experience with Dell’s customer service department, for example. Most companies treat their customers as well as they have to. Never delighting, but always trying to be the same or a little better than their competitors (it costs money to treat customers well). That’s not really how I do my work, but it’s what I’ve observed. As a blogger, I proceed through my day thinking “should I blog this…would anyone care?” What generally comes to mind are the questions people ask me, the trends I notice and outlying experiences…by that I mean very bad or very good, with other people/companies, etc. I’m probably not that different in that regard from many of the other bloggers out there.

Bloggers from any of the companies discussed in the customer experience feedback would likely link back to the comments (well, the positive ones anyway) and/or try to help address any negative feedback (brave, huh?). But many of these companies don’t have bloggers. Since blogging is about sharing experiences, opinions and information, I wonder if we’ll see customer experience feedback centralized in some way. It could be the bloggers version of Consumer Reports.

Oh, and by the way, I had dinner at PF Chang’s in Bellevue last week and the service was simply outstanding (I’m not a regular there…I was pleasantly surprised). Honestly some of the best service I’ve had (it was like the server was reading my mind). I’m a variable tipper…I tip big for that kind of service ; ) My friend Ann laughs at me because I write notes on the credit card slip: “service was excellent”…is that so weird?

Comments (8)

  1. John Bailey says:

    I always thought of Epinions (http://www.epinions.com) as a quasi-blog. The reviews are more comprehensive then Amazon and they cover more things – cars, vacation sports, cell phones, colleges, etc. The community of users decides which reviews should be shown (keeps out the ones with only one or two lines) and a rating system of the review itself helps users find the most helpful postings.

    Here are the reviews for P.F. Changs: http://www.epinions.com/P_F_Chang_s_China_Bistro/display_~reviews

    Your point is taken though – I’m not sure how many companies rountinely turn to review sites like Epinions to identify promblematic trends.

  2. Andy says:

    I love PF Chang’s! Haven’t been in a few years though. the food was great, the service was excellent. the portions seemed a bit small to me though.

  3. GaryP says:

    I can’t speak to other companies, or even to other groups at Maytag, where I work, but if you mention online something about Maytag or any of the products my group develops and sells, I’m very likely going to catch it in my news aggregator. I’ve got thirty or so searches set up on PubSub, Technorati, Bloglines, Feedster, Google News, and Yahoo News for words and phrases relevant to my products.

    I think it is smart for companies to monitor that sort of thing with the intention of routing this feedback where it is needed within the company and for taking care of customers whose needs aren’t being met by normal channels.

  4. mike w says:

    Great idea on writing the feedback on the card slip. I think I would do it on my copy and the restaurant’s. So I can keep a reference of who was good and when, and the owner or admin of the restaurant can see that at the restaurant that as well. And I bet if it is one employee who has received comments vs another who never does going for a better job there, I would give the nod to the one with the feedback. That is so much easier than filling out overly complex comment cards. No? Do any restaurants have blogs?

  5. Heather says:

    Gary-that’s the way to do it.

    Mike-they should haver blogs. But I don’t know any that do.

  6. Its interesting that you would write about this because I just finished a contract in the WDMD where I spent the year tracking, quantifying, reporting and occasionaly escalating supportability issues reported by customers on newsgroups, message boards, articles and blogs.