Listening to customers is a fundamental characteristic of customer focused businesses. I wrote about it back in May and suggested that in this ever increasingly 'transparent' world, if you're not proactively listening to your customers online and offline you could be in serious trouble (even if you don't know it!).
Well, here's an example of a business that's doing a lot more of it than it used to. According to a great article by Ed Tittel, this time last year Dell Computers employed 10 people to 'listen' to customers by monitoring social networks, and they only monitored in one language - that was English.
Ed highlights the fact that they now employ 70 people and listen in 11 different langauages! Apparently their Social Media Ground Control and Command Center listens to customers in English, plus Japanese, Chinese, Portugese, Spanish, French, German, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, and Korean!
They also respond! Most tweets, Facebook postings or other social media messages that request or merit a Dell response get an acknowledgement or answer within 24 hours, and many are handled much more quickly than that.
Dell have consistently been a great role model when it comes to forward business thinking - they clearly still are!
Are you listening?