Everyone knows that if you want to be a good friend, you shouldn’t do all the talking all the time. You have to employ active listening skills that show you care about the other person, too, and have her or his best interest at heart.
This is a key social skill in the real world. And as it turns out, having excellent social skills in the digital world isn’t much different.
When you interact with consumers and clients on social media, you want to maintain strong, professional relationships. That requires listening on your part. Not everything you do should always be about your goals. You have to take account the the wants and needs of the customers, too.
Jim Bush, the executive vice president at American Express, underscores the importance of social listening in the following quote:
“There are many who subscribe to the convention that service is a business cost, but our data demonstrates that superior service is an investment that can help drive business growth. Investing in quality talent, and ensuring they have the skills, training and tools that enable them to empathize and actively listen to customers, are central to providing consistently excellent service experiences.”
When you listen, you’re providing better service for your customer. Social media is a major part of customer service now and will undoubtedly be so in the future, so it’s vital to grasp this principle now.
Any organization looking for improvements in its efficiencies and customer satisfaction should use listening on social media to get them there. Here are a few tactics to make this work.
- Target Your Listening
“Brands cannot talk to everyone in every social channel, so narrowly define whom you want to listen to and communicate with,” the article states. “Are you targeting Millennials entering the workforce, dads with young children, or senior executives nearing retirement? What are they doing in social media, and where are they doing it? What are consumers saying about your brand, products, services, and competitors?”
You’ll find your listening is far more effective if you focus on individual groups, in turn, rather than trying to gather all information at once. You’ll never know what’s irrelevant to your brand if you don’t categorize the intel.
- Identify Problems You Can Solve
The primary reason consumers purchase products is to solve a problem. That’s what leads them to the majority of your products.
If you’re listening to what customers share on social media, you’ll identify the problems that need solving. For example, consider Apple’s most recent iPhone, from which the company removed the headphone jack.
Though it’s true that part of this move was an attempt to beat the curve toward more bluetooth-enabled devices, the primary reason was to make it waterproof. Through surfing customer feedback, Apple discovered that one of the biggest problems their customers had was a phone that wasn’t fully waterproof, so Apple made the necessary adjustments.
- Monitor Brand Mentions
People talk about brands all the time on social media. They say the good and bad without reserve. Some of the most useful feedback you can get will come through social mentions.
To gather this feedback, you don’t have to comb through social channels for hours. You can use tools such as Mention, which search millions of digital sources in multiple languages to give you data regarding your brand.
It will even alert you in real time when people make a comment so you can address their feedback right away.
Conclusion: Apply What You’ve Learned
You’ll learn a lot from social listening, but it won’t do you much good if you don’t apply it directly. If someone makes a comment about something your product lacks, make a note of it.
If multiple people express similar concerns, and it makes sense to change it, do it. Businesses can revolutionize their platforms simply by listening.
Image Credit: CC by Steve Jurvetson