“Silent Customers” – Who Are They and Why are They Silent?

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One of our mantras here at IT Central Station is to enable technology users to Be Heard. Most users of enterprise technology are not able to make themselves heard about what they think of the products and services they use. We have taken for granted the freedom to express online our opinions of products we use as consumers–such as hotel reviews on TripAdivsor, book reviews on Amazon, restaurant reviews on Yelp, etc. But for many enterprise technology professionals they cannot make themselves heard about the products they use on a regular basis (e.g. enterprise software, hardware, services). The need to be heard is IT Central’s Station raison d’etre and we’ve always had a hunch that this group of silent users constituted a large and silent majority.

So I was interested to read the results of a new survey by TechValidate on the types of B2B enterprise technology customers and how free they are to talk about the products they use. They found that by far, the largest group is “Silent Satisfied Customers”:

  • Silent Satisfied Customers: 90%
  • Occasional Named References: 7%
  • Frequent Named References: 2.5%
  • Super Customer Advocates: 0.5%

Silent Satisfied Customers are “customers who are happy with the product but can’t/won’t participate in named reference activities (can’t get legal approvals, don’t have time etc.).” We created IT Central Station to enable these 90% of silent users to finally be heard. They can post privately and anonymously so their company name and real identity are not revealed. (See what a review looks like.) Reviews take just a couple of minutes to write. Go ahead, write one now and be heard!

The TechValidate survey The B2B Customer Reference Funnel can be seen here.

–Russell Rothstein, Founder and CEO, IT Central Station

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