Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Listen To, Engage With And Monitor Your Customers

 Author: Suraj Arukil 
 About the Author: CEO/Founder of Nuvento ( a technology firm that specializes in Business Intelligence and Software Architecture.)
It’s raining social media everywhere. I read somewhere today that LinkedIn has surpassed Twitter in social media channel of choice among B2B marketers for content distribution." I believe, even our buying decisions are influenced by it! The social comments from our friends and like-minded individuals are a source of reliable information that we refer to before buying something.

Statistics indicate –

•90% of consumers trust peer recommendations whereas only 14% trust advertisements.1

I see three key takeaways for businesses from this growing customer trend:

1) Listen

Listening, according to me is the most vital part that helps you in understanding your customer. You can extend your market reach, fight competition and improve your business if you get more active with your social data. Just pay attention to your customers’ conversations.

For example, an insurance company can leverage social media to obtain a lot of cues about the customer needs and wants. The audiences have started using social media as an open channel to propose their opinions, the companies should pay attention to the complaints or the pain points the customers have been dealing with, or make note of the testimony that you received from the happy customer, and try to build it up as the best practice for your business as one happy customer can multiply your reach to many.

2) Engage

Image Source:phaseware.com
 I would consider this the best method to strengthen and build  customer relationships. Foster your social alliances by engaging with your customers in an interesting and fun way.  For this, we have to constantly create new avenues for customer participation on your social sites.

Taking forward the example of insurance companies, in order to engage their customers the insurance companies can provide useful and meaningful information such as family safety, retirement facts and other general topics that people care about. This engagement propels the customer to develop a feel good factor about the organisation and builds strong customer relationships.

3) Monitor
Don’t just limit your conversations to answering product queries or saying thank you to a positive comment. Instead, try to decipher the attitudes, sentiments and feelings conveyed in the conversations.

Understanding and knowing your customers’ needs and opinions helps you to serve them better by giving them the exact products and services of their choice.  Plus, good customer service is always appreciated and often recommended to friends and family.

In summary, I think actively listening, engaging with and monitoring your customers (and also your competitors’ customers) empowers you to gain a competitive advantage, learn from your customers, enhance your products and services, better target marketing efforts and market innovation, improve your ROI and leverage your business. 

Shout Analytics is one such new-age social media analytics product that enables organizations to use the power of social media to effectively understand, monitor and engage with its customers. To learn how Shout Analytics can improve your business profitability, contact us at info@shoutanalytics.com

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