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The ability to capture the voice of your consumer today is quite abundant and that’s a fantastic thing. No wonder having a virtual receptionist you can rely on is essential in addressing your consumers. Like at most businesses, Brand Thunder continuously looks at how it can improve its product. We’re thankful for the various channels available that allow our users to voice their own thoughts on where we should focus. Collectively, we build a better product faster.

It’s also not too surprising that what half the audience thinks is great, puts off the other half. I think that’s where a blend of looking at your business metrics and listening to your consumer helps paint the more complete picture of what you should be delivering. We want to implement a good customer service system like the ones from Salesforce.
A recent example for Brand Thunder can be found in the New Tab search box we include with our interactive browser themes. To look at the performance of the tab search box shows active usage and win for our users, however, listening to complaints in our uninstall survey suggests a contingent dissatisfied with the placement. We added a simple check box to allow users to remove the feature. Win-win.

I’ve captured the placements and tools we find most useful to hear what our customers have to say. Would love to know your thoughts if there are some obvious ones we’ve missed.


In the web applications business, you realize that when you get a lot of people trying your product, you get a lot of people leaving it. That’s a great pool of people to help you understand likes and dislikes. We tapped into it by looking through the WordPress Plugins in search of a survey tool we could use on our Uninstall page. We felt Surveys fit our need best and the developer offered good information on his site.

Get Satisfaction

Get Satisfaction has been our support tool for a long time. The site has been growing its capability and adjusting its pricing structure to be more available to small businesses. It’s a great place to talk directly with your consumers and address their immediate needs. We’ve been able to help users find the tweak they need to a product for features that aren’t available or haven’t rolled out yet. It’s been a great community tool.


Just as much commentary is going to happen outside your channels as it will in them. I’m a big fan of TweetAlarm. It’s proven much more reliable than other Twitter alert services I’ve used. It might help that its mostly good news that its been sending.

Google Alerts

For all the printed word of the web, you’ll need to tap into Google Alerts. It’s a great tool for tracking articles, commentary or re-posting of stories about your company.

Real-time Search

If you’re in a category that’s hot, or something is breaking in your industry the real-time search tools that are available are a huge help, and your options are growing. You can use a comprehensive discovery tool like Bing which has integrated Twitter search, has Foursquare up and coming for its maps and a host of other features. You can also use specialty search engines like Collecta which does an amazing job of scouring blogs, comments, photos and other content as it gets posted.

These are some of the tools we like and depend on. If you have some we shouldn’t miss, please share.

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