I posted a few days ago about Customer (dis)satisfaction sensitivity, surmising that some types of companies may be more (or less) susceptible to word of mouth than others, largely depending on the competitiveness of the market and how well established they are. I also posted The new math of customer satisfaction regarding how the internet has changed the rules of how much impact a happy or mad consumer can potentially have.
Todd Hollander alerted me to a post on his Customer Satisfaction blog which outlines thoughts on these same issues. In Should your company be obsessed with customer satisfaction? he makes the case that companies need to recognize the effects these new technologies can have and really focus on making customers happy. It’s a recommended read if you’re interested in customer satisfaction. (And if you’re not, you probably won’t be in business very long).