Importance of Tracking Customer Feedback via Social Media

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“Companies are integrating social media into their customer service channels. Responding quickly and appropriately to negative social comments can help businesses to increase customer loyalty and retention,” – Steven Telio

Customer service has gained significant heft as a corporate mantra across many industries that operate in modern markets. Increasingly, brands and businesses are allocating more resources in terms of time and effort to track, assess, and examine multiple streams of customer feedback in an attempt to boost customer service practices. This is important because modern customers have emerged as informed entities that have gained wide exposure to a multitude of brands, products, and services. The modern customer is a vocal entity that openly embraces the idea of providing feedback to all manner of commercial organisations. In light of the above, we note that customer feedback via social media has gained traction in terms of the sheer volume of feedback offered via the said channel. Therefore, businesses are obliged to take cognizance of such feedback in the interests of operating long-term and profitable commercial operations.

Social media platforms have proliferated in recent times and have established themselves as bona fide channels of communications between brands and businesses and their customers. The interactions, including customer feedback via social media, are growing in scope and volume, thereby imparting significant momentum to customer conversations. As noted above, the modern customer is a vociferous entity that has the means and ability to register various comments through social media channels, among others. Therefore, brands and businesses must necessarily track customer feedback via social media in an attempt to redress customer grievances, acknowledge the existence of problems, and to project a customer-friendly face at all times.

The above actions assume significance because a continuing interaction on social media enables brands to harvest rich rewards in terms of gaining real time information about the performance of a product or service. The incidence of negative feedback can be acted upon by a commercial entity in an attempt to safeguard business revenues and brand reputation. Further, customer feedback via social media should be monitored keenly so that any emerging disputes between a brand and its consumers can be arrested and suitably resolved. We could say that a constant vigil on social media handles helps brands to initiate damage control mechanisms in a bid to preserve and consolidate brand equity.

The monitoring and tracking of customer feedback via social media can help brands and businesses to adopt a pro-active approach to customer service. For instance, a retail store can choose to actively manage negative fallout by addressing the root causes of customer complaints regarding a product or service. We must bear in mind that social media is an open forum and any customer complaints would most likely be viewed by large numbers of customers and business prospects. Therefore, a brand or business should remain especially vigilant to feedback from dissatisfied or irate customers. A prompt response to such feedback should help brands to project a customer-friendly image and prevent the situation from inflicting damage to the brand or business enterprise.

Businesses that operate social media handles should make it a point to acknowledge a customer complaint in the shortest possible timeframe. Subsequently, the brand or business must list the actions initiated in response to a customer complaint or feedback. We note that social media handles represent a very public backdrop for such conversations; therefore, brands must demonstrate their unflinching commitment to the customer by listing the nature of action initiated in response to a customer complaint – one of the positive strategies that should be encouraged when a business responds to customer feedback via social media. We could state that such feedback offers brands and businesses an opportunity to strengthen their brand image and to provide an unassailable value proposition to their customers.

Commercial organizations can and should use the dense information layers generated by modern customers to suit their purposes. Therefore, businesses and enterprises should be advised to leverage the information gleaned from customer feedback via social media to formulate intelligent product development strategies. For instance, a perfume manufacturer can commission a survey of all social media comments and responses following the launch of a new perfume or fragrance product. The comments on social media can be analysed to decipher the mood of the consumer and the essential public response to the new product. This data can be routed to product development teams and to senior management personnel in an attempt to impart new direction in the development of future products. We could state that this procedure enables the perfume manufacturer to stay in tune with customer preferences, while reinforcing a brand reputation that hinges on listening to customers and consumers. That said, we could infer that the said business can save or re-direct significant resources that would otherwise be allocated to market research and in deciphering current trends and preferences among consumers.

The operating principles of social media indicate that a business can lawfully monitor the social media handles of competing enterprises in an effort to sample the general flavour of customer feedback. This strategy is important because customer feedback gained by competing businesses can forewarn enterprises about potential issues that can beset any brand or business. For instance, a sports goods manufacturer should survey social traffic and customer feedback via social media in an attempt to address and ameliorate customer concerns that have been registered on the handles of its competitors. This survey should be an on-going exercise and can reveal product deficiencies and flaws in customer service faced by rival businesses. In response, the said manufacturer can create appropriate mechanisms to pre-empt similar complaints that may arise in the future. We must note that such actions essentially reflect the abundant caution, which brands must bring to bear on their corporate reputations. These actions also enable brands and businesses to carve a niche identity in competitive markets.

Brand influencers may be encouraged to post positive reviews electronically as part of concerted efforts to boost positive customer feedback via social media. A brand influencer carries considerable heft in modern marketing strategies and this technique should be leveraged to the maximum. We note that this approach hinges on the fact that a happy customer is very likely to post positive comments and this can help a brand to attract new customers and to boost sales graphs of certain products and services. For instance, a pet foods brand can choose to upload images of happy and healthy pets accompanied by testimonials of satisfied pet owners. The image and the graphic should be designed to convey a powerful message of customer satisfaction, thereby attracting other pet owners to pay for the products purveyed by the said brand. This strategy can also help a new business to establish its commercial moorings and to broadcast its products and services to legions of new customers.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the benefits that accrue to brands when they track customer feedback via social media. Commercial organizations should constantly explore and build on the many opportunities afforded by social media platforms. When properly leveraged, these opportunities can yield rich dividends that can propel the corporate destinies of commercial brands and empower them to capture new markets.

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