Are customers using crowdsourcing to find your products?

are customers finding your products and services through crowdsourcing?It’s time to get a new TV so I went to my local electronics store see the choices.  I wanted to compare the options and then select which model, brand and type would best suit my needs.  I found a store salesperson that walked me through the choices and we focused on several models that would be ‘perfect’ for me.  We talked for about 15 minutes and I was left to make my decision.  It was only a minute before another customer came up to me and told me the exact opposite of what the salesperson had said.  The customer told me the model the salesperson recommended was about to be discontinued because of a quick bulb burnout, surmising that the salesperson ‘was probably just trying to move excess product’.

Delaying my purchase so I could do more research, I located a whole slew of communities and customer comments talking about the bulb problems with warnings to future customers that ‘they’d be disappointed’.  I also found suggestions of like brands and models that had better bulb life.  I was able to post my own question and get several rapid responses.

CTA-11-steps-to-social-media-success-for-contact-centersI’d say that my TV purchasing experience was influenced by crowdsourcing, both online and off.  I was able to get a straight answer from those using the products themselves instead of only relying on a salesperson that had a stock pile of about-to-be-discontinued TVs.  In the store, a helpful customer steered me in the right direction and online I found confirmation with literally hundreds of customers in the ‘crowd’ confirming the issue with the bulb.

How is crowdsourcing affecting your business?  To what extent are your customers using crowdsourcing to select your product or service?

Here are a few of the consumer comments from the crowd sourcing TV research:

“From my experience ‘brand xyz’ sells the best quality HDTVs.  I really wouldn’t bother with anything less.”

“View the TVs at a brick and mortar store but don’t feel constrained to buy from there if you’re getting a lot of ‘helpful’ advice from a salesperson looking to make a commission.  If you want the best bang for your buck you should look at ‘xyz brand’ and save yourself a whole lot of headache.”

“I eventually bought ‘xyz’ TV after the bulb burned out in my last DLP TV.  If you can’t afford it right now I’d save your money until you can get it because it really is the best unit on the market.”

“I regret buying the ‘xyz’ TV.  They told me in the store that it would work fine in the room where I wanted to put it – it’s very bright during the day.  I am very disappointed that I can barely see the picture in the day light, well, we can’t see it very well.  We definitely needed to get ‘abc’ instead.”

Happy Wednesday!

Dr. Jodie Monger

About Dr. Jodie Monger

Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics and a pioneer in customer satisfaction research for the contact center industry. Before creating CRMetrics, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality.

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