Social listening is a tool that every brand should employ. It can help your company gain insights into conversations around your brand, leading to superior customer service and a competitive advantage. Knowing what your customers are saying about your brand is crucial for providing service that sets your brand apart from the competition. By keeping track of what customers are saying about your brand and responding promptly, you can avoid dissatisfaction that could lead to loss — better known as ‘customer churn.’

Customer churn happens when dissatisfied shoppers leave your brand for another. By paying attention to your customer’s needs and expectations, you can avoid the number one reason for their defection. The interactions between salespeople and customer service representatives can make or break your brand, but paying attention to what your competitors' customers are saying about their brand, can offer a substantial competitive advantage. 

Develop a Plan

Social listening is all about paying attention to what customers are saying about your brand, promptly responding, and using that information to make improvements. But before paying for social listening tools, it’s important to develop a plan which considers your customer persona. When you know who your target audience is and what social platforms they use, you can tailor your strategy to suit their needs. 

Is it your goal to know your brand’s reputation? Or discover trends before they peak? Perhaps you want to know what is being said about the competition. Maybe you want to track keywords that customers are using about your brand. All of these insights can help you grow your audience. But by honing in on one at a time, you can avoid the deluge of data that often leads to confusion and instead do a deep dive into your customer’s needs. 

Find Out What Others Are Saying  

Understanding why your customers are happy or dissatisfied with your product or service by tracking comments, mentions, and reviews can deliver valuable information. Any conversations on social media can help you take action. When your brand is mentioned across multiple channels, you can use Google Alerts to track and receive notifications. 

Review trackers is another one of many software companies that allow you to collect, analyze, and respond to customer reviews. Having a one-stop shop to store and access information from multiple platforms can help your business keep track of what is being said about your brand.   

Respond Promptly

When a customer has an issue with your product or service, don’t wait to respond. A prompt, sincere, and targeted response is what is expected. If a negative review reveals a broken product, a quick apology with an appropriate resolution is sure to leave your interaction on a positive note. 

Avoid using chatbots and be sure to engage everyone with a genuine desire to rectify the situation. Hubspot offers a review response template to get you started. Equally important, responding to a positive comment or review is a perfect opportunity to increase brand loyalty. Be sure to offer a thank you with a discount code, if appropriate. 

Gain A Competitive Edge

Take notice of how the competition interacts with their audience. This information provides insights that can lead to product innovation, improvement, and help avoid mistakes that your competition may make. If your company receives an alert that the other leading hair salon is offering online check-in and receiving five star reviews as a result, your company would be wise to adopt the practice.   

Evaluate how quickly they respond to negative feedback and adjust your response time accordingly. Have you noticed their posts receive more engagement than yours? By examining Google Reviews and Yelp, your brand can avoid making the same mistakes your competitors are making. 

Social listening is a powerful tool that can provide insights into your customer base and allow you to gain a competitive advantage. It offers your brand a chance to understand what your audience is saying on multiple channels so that you can take action and respond to both positive and negative comments. 

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