Are you ready to listen, yet? As we enter 2016, our social media strategies had better include social listening. Otherwise known as brand monitoring, brands have been finding added value in social media by paying attention to what their enthusiasts have to say.
Whether seeking validation for our future marketing campaigns or looking to improve product delivery, brand monitoring has been benefiting brands across the web for some time now. Business 2 Community recently broke down ten ways social listening can benefit your business. As brands improve the customer experience, we need to improve our customer service strategies, as well. How else can we improve customer service without getting to know our customers intimately?
In early 2015, a telecommunications company (name withheld) lost many customers who were no longer locked into a two-year agreement, thanks to horrible customer service techniques. Not only did their service fall short of expectation, but they faced multiple overcharge and device failure – gaining the brand a bad reputation.
In many cases, refunds were in order for customers spending hours of talk time with customer service, repeating their nightmare to representatives, while pleading to be heard. They often received no follow-ups and were therefore never refunded.
As one of the top three service providers in the United States, they began losing the favor of a loyal fan base. On top of this, potential customers wanted no part of what the brand had to offer. We saw botched marketing campaigns. ROIs suffered.
Social media can be a son of a gun when it comes to marketing to the masses. Every campaign initiated via social media was flooded with negative feedback. Social commenting and storytelling put the brand into overtime and urged them to hire a cloud contact center that could fix their painful dilemma.
Per one negative comment, a minimum of two positive comments must be made to dissuade public opinion. In fact, a “no comment” is better than a negative comment. Negative commenting can bring irreparable damage to a brand via word of mouth experiences.
The brand didn’t listen to begin with. Social media led to further damage. But, when it was adopted as a tool, this brand found the power of social media to be beneficial in repairing their image. It totally turned around the experience for millions of customers, who have since been returning to the network and bringing friends and family with them.
Once the brand began listening, they publicly showed concern with the customer experience – earning back brand trust, bit by bit. They also learned what can be done to improve their brand and what the customer needs.
They learned that towers weren’t feeding devices the way that they should be; and customers were paying for services that they weren’t receiving. They learned that existing contracts with television providers were causing damage to service potential. This led to expedited contracts in fulfilling service plans. They were going to continue losing customers and owe for unfulfilled servicing of their plans.
Because of social media, they were able to identify common issues amongst a network of users. They also learned that their outsourced call centers weren’t living up to the expectations that they once had.
They avoided a PR catastrophe by simply listening. They were protected against competitors, who could easily capitalize off of their weaknesses. With a website that showed nothing but ways a customer would benefit from service, the full picture was gained through social media access. Competitors monitoring this brand could have easily intercepted customers by enacting social listening strategies and jumping into the conversation.
Listening and intercepting the conversation halted “bad mouthing” to friends and family, further allowing the brand to dissuade the conversation. They now control that conversation. This has allowed them to gain new customers. Positive experiences continue the flow of incoming sales leads for the brand and has been the turning point in major decision-making.
Since this experience, this company has become extremely social savvy. They have been showing appreciation for their consumer bases, making them feel special through social sharing of user-generated content and by joining in the fun with memes that their customers can appreciate.
They have been able to leverage key advocates and supporters, influencing new audiences for the better. With new product and service lines, plans have been maximized to better meet customer needs and provide consumers with the exact product that fits their lifestyles… especially those niche lifestyles… all of which lead to brand tenure and continued loyalty.
Social listening is very important and needs to be implemented immediately. If you’re not engaging in some form of brand monitoring in 2016, you will most likely fall behind.