Tag Archive for customer feedback and social media

3 Ways to Use Social Media To Gauge Your Customer Feedback Program

Social media easy as 1-2-3

 

Customer feedback programs can be an incredibly useful tool to help businesses maintain a strong customer experience. But, if it’s not used properly, then you’re not getting the information you need & you may not realize that.

In the past, gauging the effectiveness of a customer feedback program was more difficult; can you be sure you’re asking the right questions, getting feedback on what’s important to shoppers? It was a lot of trial & error, and looking for trends in open ended responses.

Now, social media is here, and there are some easy ways to make this more manageable.

If you are not monitoring social media, and by this I mean social media that is outside of your company run social sites, you probably should as soon as possible.

Why?

Well, for starters, you’re missing an entire conversation about your brand, products, and services. But, also important is the fact that there’s an entire segment of uncensored, unstructured feedback that is waiting out there that you can use to your benefit. You can take this data as use it as another piece of the customer feedback program and you can also use it to gauge the success of your traditional feedback survey. Are you asking the right questions? Are the scores you receive relevant and reflective of general customer satisfaction across the board? These are all questions that can be answered.
Below are three tips on how to use social media data to your advantage as it relates to your feedback program:

Use social media as a supplementary feedback channel. The more data you can get, the better. Using social media conversations is inexpensive and provides a wide range of feedback. What’s great about it is the fact that it’s people talking to other people rather than responding to a feedback survey. Why is this great? Simply put, people tend to be more open with their thoughts when talking with friends vs directly to the company. Additionally, if people are responding to a feedback survey, they are focused on providing feedback specific to the questions you’re asking. In social media, it’s more of a free range of thought, so you’re likely to get feedback about aspects of the experience that are not captured on a feedback survey.

You can monitor social media in a few different ways; one is to make use of the monitoring features in your marketing platform. These days, most have an incoming monitoring component. Another option is to make use of a social media management service – this is a more high level approach, but one that can give you deeper content collection along with a variety of analytical reports to make sense of the conversations that are happening online.

 

Compare unstructured feedback sentiment to your current program. Sentiment can be tricky in social media, as most programs are still using a basic sentiment analysis. As more and more turn to natural language processing, sentiment values will be more accurate. However, even with a basic sentiment analysis, manual analysis can be done. This is a benefit of using a social media management service – sentiment is manually set to ensure that the results are accurate.

Take a look at your positive/neutral/negative ratio of comments in social media and compare to your feedback program results. Are they similar? If not, you may want to look at what you’re asking for feedback about. If, for example, your feedback scores are high/positive while social media shows more negative commentary, take a look at why that may be happening – are you not asking the right questions (ie social conversations show dissatisfaction with a particular aspect of your ordering process yet you don’t ask questions on your feedback survey about this), or are results of your feedback program not as accurate based on who you’re sending the survey to? Or, are people being incentivized a certain way, maybe for providing good feedback, so what they’re providing in terms of feedback is more positive than it might be if they were not incentivized? If the results vary between feedback and social media, some reflection may be needed.

 

Find out if you’re asking the right questions & getting the right feedback to be successful. Similar to the point above, use social media data to find out what pains your customers; are they expressing dissatisfaction in an area that you’re not asking about in a feedback survey?

One example may be a restaurant. In monitoring social media, they may find that customers are saying the wait times in the drive thru are too long, but your feedback survey isn’t asking customers about their wait. This may be a good opportunity to incorporate a relevant question and collect some data from customers at the point of sale to see if there in fact may be a bigger issue at stake.

By looking for themes within your social monitoring program, you can find out what customers really like (and dislike) and enhance your feedback survey to capture the most relevant data possible.

 

Both traditional feedback and social media monitoring are valuable channels for customer communication and satisfaction monitoring, and using both to complement each other will not only help your brand grow and strengthen its customer experience, but it will also provide you with ways to really listen to your customers and show that you are invested in them.

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Net Promoter Score & Social Media: A Happy Couple

 

Many companies utilize Net Promoter Score to analyze their customer base. If you’re not familiar with Net Promoter Score, it’s very simple. By asking customers one simple question – How likely would you be to recommend this company to a friend or family member – and using a 10-point rating scale, customers can easily be grouped into three categories:

 

1. Promoters: these customers are typically rating this question at a 9 or 10, meaning that they are loyal fans of your brand. These customers are most likely to spread the word, refer your company, and keep coming back.

 

2. Passives: customers in this group often give ratings of 7 or 8 when asked this question. They may be customers who return on a regular basis, but they’re not tried and true customers. Something is keeping them from becoming true fans and can be swayed to do business with your competition.

 

3. Detractors: these are worrisome customers, as they will typically rate this question with a 6 or below. They have been dissatisfied in some way and their negative word of mouth may hurt your business.

 

We’ve seen this type of question asked of customers in feedback programs, as well as on mystery shopping reports. However, many marketers are starting to realize that this data can also be gleaned from social media research.

 

Incorporating data collected in social media can be helpful in measuring and monitoring your Net Promoter Score. Most programs offer a sentiment rating for each piece of conversation collected. While sentiment is not always 100% accurate when done automatically, manual investigation can be a valuable time expenditure.

 

Social media conversations are unstructured, and people tend to be more honest when sharing thoughts and feedback with friends and family than they might be on a customer feedback survey. This is a great opportunity to find honest feedback and incorporate it into your Net Promoter Score. To improve your numbers, there are some things you can do using social media:

 

1. Seek out those who are in the passive group and find out what might turn them into Promoters. Are there customer service issues or policies that need to be changed? Are your product offerings lacking in some way? By finding these customers online, you can learn more about their likes and dislikes and turn them into superfans.

 

2. Do some competitive intelligence. By researching what customers are saying about your competition, you’ll get insight into what customers want and need from you. In the same vein, research your passive customers using social media as well – what sites do they frequent? Do they talk about your competitors? If so, what do they like more about your competitors? Take time to analyze the information and you may find the key to turning the passives into promoters.

 

3. Compare your Net Promoter Score from traditional methods to that of your social media sentiment.  Often times results from customer feedback surveys will be from the two polar opposites – super fans and those who are extremely dissatisfied. Incorporating social media data and gauging sentiment will let you know if your Net Promoter Score is an accurate representation of your customer base.

 

It’s not foolproof and not a be-all-end-all indicator of customer satisfaction, but being aware of your Net Promoter Score is important. Using social media conversations to complement your NPS collection methodology can increase your odds of accuracy and help you gain the insight needed to ensure that your customers keep returning and spread the word about your business.

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Customer Feedback Programs: The Social Media Advantage

 

Customer feedback programs are effective tools to learn how your customers perceive your business and provide you with feedback for improvements, but it doesn’t come without limitations; response rate is important, and making sure you’re not only receiving the “extremes” (highly positive or negative feedback only) also plays a factor in the success of your program.

 

One discussion across the industry is whether or not social media will become a new form, or completely replace, customer feedback programs in the future. Let’s face it – people are more likely to voice their opinions on blogs, forums, and other sites than provide that feedback directly to the company. There is also a feeling of anonymity online that allows people to be more honest in these forums.

 

By not keeping tabs on social media surrounding your company, brands may be missing out on potential opportunity. For example, if you’re not monitoring online conversations, you may miss the post of a dissatisfied customer. By not knowing this information and not being able to respond in some way, it can be a lost chance to re-engage that customer and get them to return in the future.
Social media monitoring tools are more sophisticated than they were even a year ago. This development provides analytical data that can be incorporated into the more traditional customer feedback data. Why is this important? First, it gives deeper information on what makes customers tick, and secondly, if can alert a company to potential challenges with their current feedback system. For example, if feedback is coming back at a 95% satisfaction rate, yet online conversations lend to a lower rate, it may be that you are only collecting feedback (or making it inviting enough) from the completely satisfied customers. Is there something you can be doing differently to encourage all customers, regardless of their experience, to share their thoughts?

 

It could be a case of asking the wrong questions. If the questions on a feedback survey are too general, or only focus on one aspect of your business, you may be missing out on valuable feedback. Take, for example, a restaurant’s customer feedback survey. If it asks general questions about the service a customer received and the overall experience, that’s all well and good. However, if social conversations are suggesting that customers are dissatisfied with the food quality or portion size, it may be time to take those issues to your customers in your formal feedback program. If you’re not asking the right questions, you may not be getting full information and miss the opportunity for customer loyalty and retention.

 

With all of the talk about companies monitoring what people are saying online, taking further steps by analyzing the information coming in, and engaging with customers, I can see how this might complement, but not fully replace, customer feedback programs.

 

For now, companies can think of social media as yet another tool at their disposal to learn more about their customers and see their business from the customer’s perception. It’ll be interesting to watch social media evolve over the next few years; its evolution over the last two years has been quite remarkable alone!

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