SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

July 08, 2008 12:06 ET

Customer Feedback Management Delivers Broad Range of Business Benefits

New Aberdeen Report Investigates How Companies Successfully Capture and Leverage Customer Feedback to Increase Revenues, Profits and Shareholder Value

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - July 8, 2008) - Customer feedback provides the foundation upon which successful companies are built. It delivers strategic guidance and actionable insights that enable companies to improve marketing and customer service, to deliver better customer experiences, to develop and refine their products and services over time, and to profitably grow the business.

By putting the right technologies, organizational resources, business processes, and performance metrics in place, companies can use customer feedback to not only understand the unmet wants and needs of customers at an aggregate level but to also engage them in conversation on an individual basis. From an organizational perspective, customer feedback facilitates a culture of customer centricity and progressive improvement.

Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), surveyed more than 300 companies for the new benchmark report entitled "Customer Feedback Management" which revealed that Best-in-Class organizations have well-established processes in place for maximizing the value of customer feedback. They lead Laggards in terms of both tracking and acting upon customer feedback across all departments and channels. In addition, 64% of Best-in-Class organizations, versus 44% of Laggards, currently have a process in place for disseminating insights gleaned from customer feedback to key decision makers.

The performance disparities that exist between Best-in-Class organizations and Industry Average and Laggard companies are striking. For example, Best-in-Class organizations are more than 8 times more likely than Laggards to increase customer satisfaction and more than 26 times more likely than Laggards to increase customer retention. In addition, Best-in-Class organizations are more than 19 times more likely than Laggards to increase customer-focused innovation.

"Social media proliferation, corporate transparency, marketing authenticity, customer centricity, brand disloyalty and a host of other trends are conspiring to usher in a new era," said Jeff Zabin, Research Fellow at Aberdeen. "It's an era in which companies need to actively encourage customer feedback and treat customers as strategic assets in the incessant quest to improve operations, marketing, research, product development and the overall customer experience. That means putting the right technologies, business processes, organizational resources and performance metrics in place to capture, analyze and act upon customer feedback in a holistic fashion, across all touchpoints and all stages of the customer lifecycle, on an ongoing basis."

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due, in part, to the support of the following underwriters: Clicktools, Confirmit, Empathica and Mindshare Technologies. To access a copy, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4908.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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