Have you ever took the time to reach out to a brand or company online to report a customer service issue or an issue with the product or service?
Have you ever been disappointed when the brand or company simply didn't respond to your request? The request that you took time to make?
Let's face it – we're all busy and life gets in the way of social media sometimes. But it is also [some of] our jobs to be responsible for responding to each and every (reasonable & real) request on our brands' social media networks. For many of my marketing friends, they immediately go to the social media source to report a problem they've experienced with the brand. When they don't get an answer or a response, it is time to start thinking about switching brands. In a world of more marketers and more brands, this is a dangerous risk for companies to be taking.
Then, there's the other side of the coin: some people mention brands online, but they won't tag the brand so the company isn't alerted that someone complained about them. This can be just a disastrous as not responding. There are so many lost opportunities when you aren't alerted when your brand is mentioned or aren't tracking that data.
Ways that you can improve social listening
- Set up alerts for your brand keywords – Don't just rely on social media networks to tell you when someone has mentioned you; make sure to set up a Google Alert for relevant terms (company name, company nickname, company products, etc.) or track keywords usingHootsuite .
- Set expectations as to when you'll be available to respond to requests – Sometimes, people get frustrated when you don't respond in a timely manner. A lot of the time, people might think that brands are always available for social media responses. That is not always true. @VistaPrintHelp does a good job of setting these expectations. They give times and days that they will be available to respond to requests:
- Offer a Plan B – If you don't have 24 hour social media support, then have a link available with the contact information that people can use to reach out to your company at any time. I would recommend have an email (or form), phone, or chat system.
- Take the problem offline – While listening in, if you encounter an angry customer, then try to take the customer offline. Offer you phone number or an email that you can be reached, then start the discussion of how to help. Once the problem was resolved, you can publicly post how you solved the problem and ask the customer if they are satisfied. Being available and being aware of what is being said about your brand is key. It'll lead to happier customers (even if they're unhappy temporarily), and larger revenues.