An Easy Missed Opportunity To Listen

Alan Belniakbusiness, Marketing3 Comments

We’ve had an Acura MDX since 2007.  It’s our family truckster.  My wife wasn’t really hip to station wagons or minivans, so we went SUV.  And I like technology, so this was a good fit for us.  Soon after having it, I noticed some things lacking in the user-experience department of the navigation system and the audio department, and general on-board controls.  I didn’t think much of it.



A week or so ago, something happened, and I got flustered.  One setting wasn’t acting as I would expect, and it irked me.  So (in a very nice way), I found Acura on twitter and tweeted simply, “Hi, @Acura_Insider– do you conduct focus groups? I’d love to provide feedback on the UX/UI for the audio experience in the MDX“.



@abelniak tweet 1 to @Acura_Insider





A day later, they got back to me.  I was (initially) excited, because I think it’s great when brands are responsive on twitter and get the social channels and get the fact that customers are reaching out to them on and through these channels.  This is what they sent me: “@abelniak hello! Acura does conduct focus groups via 3rd party orgs. If you’re an owner you’re likely 2 b selected at random. Tnx!”


@Acura_Insider tweet 1 to @abelniak





Let me get this straight…  You’ve got a customer here (me) who is WILLING to provide feedback (and not inane bitching and moaning – if I wanted to do that, I’d just blabber over and over again on Twitter – that’s not at all constructive), and the response from a large public brand (if you’re keeping score at home, Acura is a child brand of their parent, Honda) was that, possibly and randomly, through a third party, I might get selected, and for a focus group….


What about a way to just provide some feedback about what I think works and what could use improvement?  I’m not looking for a freebie or an upgrade.  I’m not looking for 15 minutes of fame.  Just one product guy looking to talk to (or email, etc.) another.


@abelniak tweet 2 to @Acura_Insider




(To be fair and literal, in my original tweet I did specifically ask about focus groups.  The end of the tweet did, however, reference that I want to provide feedback – I was hoping this would be taken in a broader sense)


I’m shocked (see image above – I tweeted that back out on August 3 – a full five days ago) that the public response is “awesome that you have feedback!  We might listen!” And said so with a smile.  It’s dismaying that it’s challenging to actually give feedback to someone/a company about a brand I like.  Maybe a competing brand will listen, see what I think could be improved, and go off and do that.  That’s free market research, right?


Acura, if you’re listening, I’m still willing to arrange something through email or telephone to share my feedback.


Update: Acura has seen my post or saw my tweet, and has sent me both a public and direct message: @abelniak Acura greatly values its customers & their feedback. If u’d like 2 provide info outside of a focus group, I’ll DM a # 2 call. Tnx  So, kudos to them for listening.  I will follow up, per their suggestion.

@Acura_Insider tweet 2 to @abelniak






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