There’s no denying it, the arrival of social media has made a big splash! Brands are being encouraged to adopt social media monitoring strategies in order to find out what their customers really want and what they think about.
But with all the fuss around the new hyper-visible, hyper-vocal (and possibly even hyped-up!) socially-charged networks, there’s a real risk of brands turning their attention away from less flashy, but more valuable sources of customer insight
Get your house in order first
However much individuals are interacting with a brand on social media, you can be sure a great many more will be trying to do so through traditional channels. For most large businesses, this means through the front lines of your brand: the web, the contact centre, the high street branch and the retail outlet.
Customers have been providing feedback through these traditional channels for years. But the actionable insight is often buried under the sheer weight of feedback that is collected. You may have spotted a certain irony there!
There’s no smoke without fire
Social media may well be dismantling barriers between brands and their customers. But the process should start long before your customers complain or vent on a social network. By concentrating on all possible feedback channels, covering all customers from the most fervent tweeters to complete technophobes, businesses will have more rounded and complete datasets from which to work and will be able to generate more actionable, representative insights.
New technology is making it easier and easier to extract value from the mountains of customer data generated and, as the simplicity and accessibility of such tools increases, we should finally see businesses listening to all their customers, not just those that make the most noise. And ultimately, that’s something which will benefit us all.