Though customer experience management (XM) programs continue to advance at an incredibly fast rate, many businesses are struggling to incorporate and optimize the evolving technologies. And as Forrester reports, this is a real detriment to those brands who fall a few steps behind.
Today’s customers are more often using feedback methods like images, speech, and video to provide very candid, human experiences with the brands they encounter. Brands that are able to connect with these consumers and “bring the real voice of the customer front and center” will come out ahead. Here are 3 ways to do that:
1. Optimize the power of social sites
Customer feedback isn’t just coming from “official” review sites like Google or Yelp—customers are also talking about you on social sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And these comments carry a lot of weight. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a filtered Instagram pic of a steaming latte with a heart etched in the milk is worth 10,000 (likes, that is).
Video comments pack even more punch. If a customer records a video detailing a negative experience with a retailer or provides footage of poor food quality at a restaurant, it can really do serious damage to a brand’s reputation. This is why it’s more important than ever to ensure your brand has an air-tight online reputation strategy that can comb the social space for these unsolicited customer comments and provide a way for you to resolve customer issues immediately.
2. Use social comments to improve the customer experience
Customers who are providing feedback on social sites appreciate interaction. That’s why they’re leaving comments on the Internet—it’s a direct touchpoint with the brand. With the right strategy, brands have an opportunity to use this mode of feedback to their advantage.
That’s why you have to incorporate social feedback into your customer experience management program. Make sure your front-line teams have access to customers’ comments on social sites. Share the most helpful videos or photos in staff meetings, so your associates can see the brand experience through the eyes of your customer.
A holistic view of the customer journey and the experience feedback you gather along the way are important to the success of your program. Incorporating customer sentiment adds another layer to help humanize the experience for your staff.
3. Respond to customers in a personal way
Not only do you want to share customer comments with your team, it’s also about engaging with the customer. Responding to customers in a personal way makes your connection bidirectional. It makes them feel heard.
If a customer posts a picture about a great experience they had with your brand, share the post. Thank them for their business. Incorporate social postings into your marketing strategy. Customers want to see you interacting with them. They want to do business with brands they have a connection with, so humanize your response.
A ratings + reviews solution with an in-platform response system—one that offers template responses and bulk responding capabilities—is a great, time-efficient way for brands to create this two-way communication with customers online. This also offers the ability for brands to realistically manage customer comments at scale, without losing that personal touch.
Most brands have a system in place for monitoring social channels, but not all solutions provide action at the location level. Having on online review strategy puts your brand in control of the conversation everywhere people are talking about you. Evaluate your strategy to make sure you are engaging with customers and resolving their issues in the most efficient way.
Create a personal connection + get ahead of customer issues
Don’t be the brand that’s falling a few steps behind and failing to properly use customer feedback from social channels—there’s too much to gain. Forrester reports that by incorporating social media and infusing additional insight into VoC data in a systematic way, brands can identify problems before they get larger and can also demonstrate the magnitude of a current challenge.
For more on how to optimize ratings + reviews to build stronger customer relationships, download our guide: 4 ways to boost business outcomes with online reputation management.
Jason Norris | General Manager, Social Solutions