Tag Archive for social media monitoring

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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Enhance Your Mystery Shopping Program in 2016

 

With a new year fast approaching, taking a good look at your current mystery shopping program is important, especially if you’ve had the same program for some time. Here are some ideas for sprucing up your program in 2016:

 

    • Is it time to raise the bar? Hopefully you’ve been watching your company’s performance over time and seen some improvement. If so, that’s great! If you’re finding that your performance scores are consistently coming in exceptionally high, it might be time to raise the bar, especially if your program is in its second or third year. When programs start, especially when a formal mystery shopping program has not been in place before, the program touches on the most basic customer service expectations to ensure that service levels are consistent. Over time, changes take place based on the mystery shopping reports, and things improve. Now it may be time to take it to the next level – incorporate some of the “higher level” performance behaviors. For example, incorporate scenarios to ensure that staff are providing correct information to customers. Pinpointing common customer questions or concerns can give companies “scenarios” for mystery shoppers to use while conducting shops.

 

    • Don’t focus solely on brick and mortar: onsite shops are vital, but don’t forget about your website or even telephone interactions – those are equally important in the customer journey and should not be overlooked. If you’re not using mystery shopping for these touch points, 2016 is a good time to start.

 

    • Social media mystery shops: social media customer service has become commonplace; because of the speed with which social media travels, ensuring that staff respond in a timely and accurate manner is important. This is an emerging tool for companies, and utilizing mystery shopping to ensure service levels are strong can be useful.

 

    • Look to additional services to supplement your mystery shopping program: mystery shopping touches on the objective aspects of service. If you’re not using the more subjective tools, such as customer feedback or social media monitoring, you may be missing a piece of the puzzle. Another emerging tool is Quality Call Monitoring. This service allows for evaluation of actual customer service calls. The calls are evaluated using a report similar to a mystery shopping program and can be extremely useful in evaluating “real life” situations.

 

Customer service expectations have grown significantly in the last two years; ensuring that you have the tools in place to monitor, measure, and evaluate your company’s performance is vital. With a new year on its way, it’s a great time to re-evaluate and enhance your company’s customer experience measurement programs.

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Is Your Mystery Shopping Program Missing Something?

 

Mystery shopping programs are designed to measure operational standards to ensure that employees follow guidelines and expectations for providing an excellent customer experience. While starting in the traditional sense of onsite evaluations, where mystery shoppers were deployed to visit restaurants, retail stores, and other businesses to evaluate the experience, the programs have expanded over time to incorporate other customer service touch points, such as telephone and website evaluations.

 

One aspect that is still overlooked, but gaining traction in the mystery shopping world, is evaluating social media. How, you ask, can social media be evaluated?

 

Simple. It’s a known fact that social media sites are quickly becoming a channel for customer inquiries, complaints, suggestions, and praise. We are well past the time of businesses simply pushing out content and customers engaging, getting deals, and entering contests. Customers expect more from a company’s social media sites, and it’s a good idea, when planning for 2015, to incorporate social media into the mystery shopping mix.

 

This can be accomplished just as a typical mystery shop is executed. Shoppers will visit a company’s social media sites and pose a question or comment to track:

 

  • Response time
  • Method of response
  • Employee knowledge

 

Direct and indirect communication can be evaluated, especially in instances when companies utilize social media monitoring programs. It is easy to identify social customer service issues through a solid monitoring program, but ensuring that the piece of communication is effectively shared with the appropriate staff, and is responded to in a timely manner, is just as important when evaluating the customer experience.

 

Ann Michaels & Associates recently published a press release highlighting this new component of mystery shopping. New services designed to incorporate social data, whether through direct mystery shopping or data integration into existing programs, were highlighted. As consumers become more demanding and expect strong service levels no matter where they choose to communicate, aligning your 2015 strategies to incorporate social media evaluations will be an important component to your program.

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