The social landscape was, unsurprisingly, seen as a marketing platform for years. This was until the evolution of customer experience from just a concept to an organization-wide priority and the digital transformation of the modern-day customer.
As a consequence, social media evolved into something more holistic. Today, the image that your business has on social platforms goes way beyond what you are selling. What matters, even more, is the communities you represent, the type of experiences you deliver, the culture that you nurture within your organization and how far you go to ensure that your employees are engaged.
It has come to a point where succeeding on the social arena means succeeding as a business. Isn’t that true given how the social world has grown into a wider and more public conversation medium between brand and customer, as well as between customers of all ranks – prospects, one-time customers, repeat customers and so on.
Social listening is, therefore, an important strategy that brands need to consider if they’re to stay up to speed with these discussions and clutter-filled conversations.
But does social listening contribute to delivering a great customer experience? Can it help your brand in proactively meeting customer needs?
Yes, it does! And here are 5 ways in which Social Listening can take your CX goals to the next level.
1. Engage with a large audience (larger than you could ever imagine!)
Facebook has over 1.94 billion monthly active users, Instagram has nearly 500 million monthly active users and there are over 300 million monthly active users on Twitter. What does this mean for your brand?
Well, it’s not surprising to see that you can reach a wider audience on social than anywhere else. No platform gives you this opportunity to engage with such a large audience who are already or might be, interested in your business – neither your retail store nor your website.
So, with a proper social listening software, you can effortlessly listen to those who are talking about your brand, your product or service and also about your competitors on social platforms. Furthermore, Nielsen has found that 33% of customers even prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the telephone.
When that is the case, listening can be a definite first step to understanding what the customer wants. It’s necessary to stay in-sync with the latest customer expectations else you run the risk of losing out to competition. And social listening is the ideal way to stay ahead in this race!
2. You get the ‘real’ criticism on social
Have you wondered why customers are sometimes too nice while filling feedback forms? One of the reasons is that they don’t have the time (hey, you might be asking too many questions!) nor the patience to explicitly express what they think.
But social media is a different space altogether. It’s a common sight to find customers vividly post about their poor experience with brands and while it might come off as a bit too harsh, it’s straight from the heart and that is the type of feedback that helps your business learn from its mistakes and grow.
How can social listening be of value here? It helps your brand filter out negative comments and get tangible insights from these comments. Let’s say a majority of your audience is criticizing the lack of information on your website. An intelligent social listening software will filter out these comments and deliver an actionable insight like “Working on availability of information on website can help boost website experience”
Such feedback will further enable your brand to understand customer emotions better and also fix issues that sometimes didn’t pop up while analysing other electronic and paper feedback forms.
3. It’s where real-time customer service happens
The need for businesses to go real time would have been written in stone by now – It’s been repeated that often. Well, there isn’t any better place you can hope to achieve this than on social platforms.
You’d have come across the incident where Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, made sure to respond back to a valuable feedback on Twitter. If you haven’t yet, check out the story here. Customers want to be heard and they treat social media as a platform to engage with your brand and get instant remedies for their issues.
In fact, a survey from Edison Research found that two out of every three people who engage with a company on social media, expect a response the same day. According to another study, engaging to customer service requests on Social Media can result in 20-40% increase in revenue per customer.
A social listening platform, therefore, isn’t restricted to just collecting plain consumer information. They alert you to whenever a customer posts a query/issue related to a specific keyword so that your business is in a position to resolve them in real time and win customer trust and confidence bit by bit.
4. Make marketing personalized. Let social content drive engagement!
With a lot of brands going global, their customer bases have become more diverse. Which means the needs and expectations of one customer needn’t be the same as those of another. How would the same marketing content stir the curiosity of different groups of customers? It won’t!
Personalization is, therefore, the key to unlocking great experiences and social. HBR reports that personalization can deliver five to eight times return on investment for marketing spend. And content is your greatest weapon on social platforms when it comes to driving personalization. In fact, according to Rapt Media, 63% of customers said they’d think more positively of a brand if it gave them content that was more valuable, interesting or relevant.
Social listening tools can help you identify the way your target personas converse, the words they use, its tonality and also unravel their specific needs and expectations from your brand. The insights you gather here can in turn be leveraged to run personalized marketing campaigns!
Moreover, a powerful and dynamic social listening platform can help you segregate your social audience into different categories which also helps in creating relevant content and offers for specific customer groups.
5. Staying proactive
Exceeding customer expectations can be a sure shot way to deliver customer delight. But unless your brand is well equipped with the necessary information and insights, going past expectations isn’t a cakewalk.
To be consistent at this, your organization will have to stay proactive in the marketspace. Not just being aware of what’s happening in your vertical but also in related spaces and keep up with it regularly.
By constantly monitoring what your customers, as well as other prospects, are talking about and engaging with them regularly, you can come up with a proactive and futuristic customer experience strategy for the long run. And social listening can help you monitor rapidly changing customer needs, anticipate trends and most importantly, deliver actionable insights on how to go about executing these changes.
Social listening is one of the most reliable means to make sense of the myriad conversations and comments on social platforms. Not just that, it provides a platform to learn more about your customers, their changing preferences, and expectations, and connect with them on a personal level no matter how far they are. Social media is already a huge repository of information. Now, converting that information into insights that can build customer experience is the advantage you have with social listening.