One of my very first posts on The Pert Group blog was about the importance of listening to your consumers. While that post pointed out that failing to listen could leave you in your competitors’ dust, let’s talk about another key reason to listen: because they expect you to.
How do I know this? I am a consumer and I expect you to listen. Never have I intentionally tweeted a complaint or concern about a company without expecting a reply back. And not only that, but if I have not received a response within a timeframe that I’ve deemed as acceptable, I will probably tweet about that, too. Now, I don’t want you to think that The Pert Group is full of divas. I tell you, though, I’m not alone.
Power to the People
In a recent American Express study, half of US Internet users used social media for customer service seeking an actual response from the company. Almost half (46%) took to social media sites to vent their frustrations about a poor experience.
How do you know whether or not your consumers expect you to engage with them through social media?
Well, that’s easy – you ask, and you…wait for it…listen.
Perhaps the best way to find out how your consumers like to be communicated with is through market research. Whether it’s a qualitative online bulletin board, a series of focus groups, or a quantitative online survey, the best way to find out from your target is to ask. Just like the idea that every social media platform isn’t for every company, employing someone to monitor all social media accounts may not be for everyone either. Where do your consumers expect to find you? On which platforms? What type of information do they expect to see? Do they expect you to engage in dialogue with them?
The People Have Spoken
So what happens when you’re consumers tell you that they do, in fact, expect you to be their Facebook friend and respond to their messages? Well, you listen.
For some companies, gone are the days where simply having a Facebook or Twitter account sufficed. Even if a company is updating its Facebook and Twitter with coupons, announcements, or other promotions, what’s the use of having an account if you aren’t listening?
Here’s an alarming statistic: only 2 in 5 brands have any social media tracking in place, and over half (55%) ignore customers who provide feedback in social media.
With so many social media tracking and monitoring systems in place, I find it amazing that many are not capitalizing on this opportunity to connect with customers. I cannot think of a better way to make unhappy customers unhappier than to ignore them (and then let them tweet about how angry they are).
One of the many reasons that I love what I do here at The Pert Group is that I connect with your consumers. I bring you their voice. I give you clarity on what they want from you. Are you ready to listen? Let’s talk!
Have you asked your consumers how they’d like to communicate with you? How closely have you been listening?