It would seem that the lights are on but nobody’s home, according to a CMO Council report into improving customer advocacy and experience – few marketers think their companies are listening to consumers effectively on social media sites.

The survey indicates that 47% of executives believe that customer experience will play a very important role over the next three years.

However, of the 400 executives surveyed, 56% admitted their companies have no programs to track or build positive word-of-mouth, and 59% don’t compensate any employees based on improvements in customer loyalty or satisfaction.

Only 30% pointed out that their companies have the ability to handle or resolve customer complaints.

The survey also reports that a typical business only hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers – of the 96% that don’t leave company criticism, 68% never reveal their dissatisfaction because they perceive an attitude of indifference in the owner, manager or employee.

“Clearly what marketing needs to do to cover a lot of ground weve lost in the organization is more analytics, predictive modelling, and data integration and aggregation,” Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, told Ad Age.

The message for marketers, according to the CMO Council, is that by creating a corporate culture of listening, learning and limiting hassles, companies can “improve product uptake, reduce market friction, increase customer responsiveness and identify new monetisation opportunities”.