May 24, 2013
By: Lea Sorrentino, Magnet 360 Marketing Coordinator
I have always been the type of consumer to be vocal about my likes and dislikes regarding my favorite stores and brands. My first customer letter, when people still wrote letters, was at the age of 6. With help from my mom, I wrote every praise and enthusiastic moment I could remember to the McDonald’s team who hosted my 6th birthday party. I remember receiving a response back to thank me for the letter, and at the bottom it was signed, “Sincerely, Ronald McDonald”. From that moment, when I was listened to and engaged with, customer loyalty was born.
As an adult I still get in contact with all my favorite (and not so favorite) companies, but I stopped putting pen to paper. I now use social media, like Twitter or Facebook to share my praises and concerns. Instead of waiting days or even weeks for a response, brands now engage in minutes. With all of this high-speed communication the thing that stands out the most is finding out that a company is not listening.
Customer loyalty has always been created when brands go out of their way to accommodate and appreciate their customers. Now that most customers talk (or tweet) over social media, it is imperative that companies are using Social Listening. There is no better way to know what people are saying about a brand than using programs like Buddy Media or Radian 6 to hear what customers are saying.
Now, imagine you have a bad experience at your favorite chain restaurant. If you are like me, you are sending a tweet out immediately to that company.
If that company is using Buddy Media’s Conversation Buddy functionality they have the opportunity to respond immediately to that customer’s concern. The “@” mention will alert the company that they are being mentioned out in the world wide web, and give them the opportunity to interact with their customer.
By engaging with the customer immediately the restaurant can defuse the situation, address the concern, possibly solve the issue, and retain that loyal customer.
Customers are out there speaking about brands, and in turn representing those brands. As a company it is not just smart to start listening to your customers, it is the best way to protect your brand, and stay connected to your core audience. Your customers are talking, and through Social Listening you can be sure they are heard.