Published: May 19, 2014 | Comments
Customers are begging for attention over social platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Yelp; they would be beyond thrilled to know that one of their comments or reviews affected real operational change in your brand. If there is one undeniable fact for businesses in the 21st Century it is that we are in the age of the customer. The customer is in charge. And, in fact, 2014 is the year of the customer according to CEOs of service-oriented companies.
Our recent study sifted through 100,000s of online reviews, enabling us to analyze businesses across all industries, and one thing is certain: consumer opinion has the power to make or break your brand. So leverage this insight to your competitive advantage. Listen to and engage with these online authors to find out how you can improve your customer experience.
Customer service is the number one factor cited in brand trustworthiness. Some 45 percent, nearly half, of those commenting online were talking about service-related issues, both good and bad – ahead of other categories like pricing and value, product and store or facilities-related comments. Use social media to improve your customer service and create a drastic impact on your customer’s experience.
For example, perhaps you had a great online review noting your location as the best in town. Display that feedback proudly in house. Maybe an individual reported a negative experience with a sales clerk on Twitter. Send that individual a personalized apology and encourage them to come again.
Seventy-nine percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 44 percent say that online reviews are the most influential factor when they’re deciding to make a purchase.
Do you know what is being said about your brand’s customer service? How do they feel about your sales staff’s performance? Take a listen into that social chatter and you will find that your customers are dying to talk to you.
The first step is listening, but the best brands are taking the next step and engaging. By increasing online engagement by just one percent, your brand can tap into the 11 to 25-percent increase in online sentiment. This shift will have a dramatic impact on your bottom line because, as we found in our survey, 90 percent of customers said that a positive online review impacted their purchasing decision.
You can prepare for a whole slew of social scenarios, but the foundation to your approach should be to listen to and engage with the customer on platforms that they will see and use.
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