Companies can enhance their customer retention strategies by combining the solicited feedback from their customer survey programs, complaint management systems, and sponsored communities with the unsolicited feedback that is available through social media.
Doing this can create the following outcomes:
1. Appropriate resource allocation. By relying solely on one type of information the complete picture might not be visible. However, if both solicited and social media discussions are viewed together it will accentuate areas of the business that impact both forms of feedback.
2. Engage in the right conversations. One objective for the social media strategist is to be active in the conversations that customers are having about the products, services, and brand. However, this can be a challenge since customers have a lot of different conversations.
By combining solicited feedback with social media discussions, social media strategists can gain a clear view of the topics that create customer loyalty and understand how these areas are being discussed via social media. With this information, they can prioritize and engage in the conversations that will strengthen their relationships with customers.
3. Measure the ROI. Social media strategists continue to be challenged with demonstrating the ROI of their initiatives. Essentially companies want to know how their efforts are improving brand awareness or increasing customer retention. Through the solicited feedback, companies can identify if their social media strategy is paying off.
For example, one company found that customers who engage via social media are more loyal than customers who don't engage with them via social media. With this, they are able to segment and explore aspects of the customer relationship that are similar and different for customers who engage in social media versus those who don't. This can uncover approaches to increase the number of customers that engage online and build customer loyalty.
Customer focused leadership has evolved tremendously over the past decade. Social media is one form of customer listening that isn't going away and it is time that we start integrating it into our voice of the customer programs.