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

13 Sep 2017 10:06 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

Social media easy as 1-2-3

 By: Marianne Hynd, VP of Ann Michaels & Associates, Ltd. 

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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