“Social listening” is the act of monitoring the conversations of your customers, and extracting essential information to enhance your success. Positive feedback from customers will boost your business. While criticism will help you improve your products and services.

There’s no question that listening to customers is important, but how can you do so? Luckily, there are several different easy ways for you to get feedback from your customers, including:


Social Media Platforms

Often, the best way to view feedback from customers is through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These objective reviews are very valuable for your business. They are honest. They’ll also help expand your audience. Friends or followers of the person doing the posting are usually influenced in their own decision to purchase from you by their post. 88% of participants in a recent research study said they were influenced by an online review when they were making a buying decision.

Whether you see reviews that help you pinpoint what you need to do for better business. Maybe you respond directly to customers who comment on something you posted. Social media allows you to interact with your audience. It’s a way to easily connect with customers. Be sure to add social network icons on your website and link them to your business’ platforms.


Surveys and Invitations

Make it easy for customers to talk with you. Surveys are a great way to collect feedback, and the results are usually very valuable. Like other types of social listening, they serve two main purposes: determining what you’re doing right, and determining what you’re doing wrong. If the surveys are anonymous, customers can especially be encouraged to respond honestly. To provide incentive, offer a reward for taking the survey—10% off their next purchase, free shipping, etc.

It’s also important to invite people to contact you for any reason. Having a “Contact Us” section on your business’ website is a great way to do this. On top of adding social network icons, your Contact section provides an easy resource for customers and helps them see that you’re accessible and available for conversation.


Social Listening or Analysis Tools

If you’re looking for technology to help you with social listening, there are analysis providers like Hitech BPO. This tool analyzes and mines the sentiments behind online mentions and comments about your brand. It provides social listening services to all kinds of firms, large and small. Helprace integrates several tools to help you provide great customer service, including a document base and a means to collect feedback as you maintain a customer community. Tools like these can help you wrangle all the information out there and keep it in one place that’s easy to navigate, and aid you with analyzing that information.


The Human Touch

Beyond technology and social media, there is still something to be said for direct, human communication. While using automated systems is helpful, the truth is no one knows your brand or social strategy better than you do. You embody your company’s core values, and there’s no replacement for being active and involved with your customers and industry.

Become part of your customers’ space as you make sure you’re not missing out on topics or opinions. Learn the customer’s perspective, suggestions, kudos, complaints, and ideas as you interact with your target audience. Ask and respond to questions directly. It shows that there’s a real, live person behind your brand who cares. By doing this, you’ll build a true relationship with your customers.

How you respond to the customers’ opinions is your choice. The important part is, listening to them in the first place, and allowing your customers to have a part in your success.


Written by Laura Myers