Measuring Customer Service: Talk of the Town Awards Sets New Standards

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In a recent interview with Customer Care News magazine, the publishers and editors at Talk of the Town News discussed the process behind the CMUS Talk of the Town Customer Satisfaction Award, noting that what sets this award apart is its simplicity — ratings calculated from online customer and business reviews.

As people turn increasingly to the Internet and social media outlets for information, data becomes readily available about businesses, showing which ones are thriving and which ones are not. The CMUS Talk of the Town Customer Satisfaction Award, sponsored by Celebration Media U.S. (CMUS) and Talk of the Town News, is based on the analysis of customer feedback posted on several no-cost, user-review websites, blogs, social networks and business-rating services.

Results from their research have proven to be welcomed news according to recent recipients of the award. “Mythos [Greek Taverna] was honored to receive a Talk of the Town award for excellence in customer service for the last two consecutive years,” says Gil Sternbach of Mythos Greek Taverna in Coral Springs, Fla. “While we have been named in several local ‘Best of’ lists, what impressed us and our patrons most is that Talk of the Town is an independent, out-of-state agency that determines award eligibility based on objective criteria that are easily verifiable by the public using the Internet. From our restaurant’s perspective, there is no question that displaying the award plaque at the restaurant and corresponding badge of approval on our website has contributed to our credibility and new business. Moreover, having now set the bar for performance in customer service for two consecutive years, our establishment and staff feel compelled to uphold the standard and achieve the same or better rating each year hereafter.”

“We at King Car Wash take special pride in our ‘customer satisfaction award’ status because it measures an intangible asset,” says Frank Trilla of King Car Wash in Westmont, Ill. “Our reputation for great customer service took years to establish, and [the]Talk of the Town Award has been a great resource to let people know we care. We just received an international award for ‘Environmental Leadership’ in Las Vegas last month. That was great, but would be meaningless without satisfied customers. Thanks for monitoring our customer feedback!”

Sam Green of Stephen Lim, DDS & Associates in New York, N.Y., says, “Talk of the Town [News] is a respected company known for rating and recognizing industry leaders. Because Talk of the Town tracks customer satisfaction from reviews and star ratings, consumers can depend on Talk of the Town award recipients to provide excellent products and services.”

According to editors and publishers, this unique model for measuring customer feedback was developed in early 2009 by Celebration Media, Inc., located in Farmington Hills, Mich. The approach takes several items into consideration, but the largest single factor to the success of the system is based on human beings gathering data and not an online program, which has trouble calculating certain factors. The research identifies companies that are getting good ratings from customers and converts that to usable data. Award recipients earning a 4-star to 5-star rating are notified and their results are posted at www.talkofthetownnews.com. Every year, new business information from public sites adds to the depth of the rating system, making the research more and more valuable.

The award is a simple idea executed by determined researchers evaluating real customers to help make a real difference, according to the company spokesperson.

In keeping with the goal of providing the latest research, trends and issues focused on helping companies improve customer service. Celebration Media publishes Customer Care News magazine, providing business owners and management with articles on the latest issues and trends in the area of customer service.

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