Are you listening to your customers?

A recent flight on Delta Airlines included a complimentary one-hour delay, followed by a free plane change and an upgrade for an additional hour delay. We were treated to no dinner and an extra-late arrival.

In Delta’s defense, we got treated to a free movie as we waited on the tarmac for hours. And when we finally landed, the flight attendant invited us over the PA system “to send them your comments or suggestions via www.delta.com.”

Of course it struck me during all the delays that I could probably send a message to delta.com. But would anyone pay attention? Well, congratulations to Delta because, by inviting me to their website, the attendant made me believe they are indeed listening.

Shame on you if you aren’t listening to your customers now. If you want to participate in the Web 2.0 revolution, you must start by having the proper listening channels in place. And here are a couple of listening tips:

The DIY site for Buzz Marketers is Technorati, which allows you to keep track of conversations about your brand. However, it tends to bring back everything out there on your brand in a “most recent order” fashion – so you have to manually filter through it!

If that’s too unsophisticated for you, try BuzzMetrics and Cymfony, which specialize in filtering out stray information and analyzing the data.

So where’s the Buzz? Smart Buzz Marketers are learning to use Web 2.0 and social media tools right now. And going forward, leveraging social media will become the core of brand building, lead generation, research, product launches and customer retention!

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