The Opportunity of Listening and Responding

A brand is no longer in charge of its own destiny. Channels controlled solely by the brand, like TV, radio and print, are the minority. New social platforms controlled by consumers are coming out day after day, and consumers are using these channels to share their positive and negative views of the brands they interact with.

This is not a new concept, but many brands are missing the opportunity and potential threat of this new relationship.

Consumers Want a Response

A study from American Express found that 50% of consumers use social media for customer service to get an actual response from a company about an issue. Nearly half do so to praise a company and share information about an experience with an audience. Users also use social media to vent frustration about a poor experience and even ask others how to get better experiences.

Consumers are seeking our help.

These quests for help shape brands’ online perceptions. They live on social networks. They pop up in organic search results, and more importantly, negative consumer experiences left unanswered mean more than just one lost customer. They could mean many, many more.

Many brands still don’t get it.

What Are We Missing?

Creating a branded social presence also creates an unspoken contract with customers that says, “We’re here to speak with you and to listen.” Too many brands focus on the ‘speaking to’ part of that contract.

The reasons for this are many. They may be spread too thin across multiple platforms and can’t deliver a deep experience on a single one. Or they haven’t made responding to consumers a priority.

A study from Satmetrix found that nearly half of companies do not respond to consumers. They don’t have a plan to respond to consumers, and many don’t have a plan to track conversations. These conversations are opportunities to not only retain customers who might be lost but also show their social connections the brand’s commitment to its customers.

Get On the Same Page

Consumers and brands are on different pages. Consumers expect help, and many brands aren’t prepared to provide it. This means the brands that do deliver will stand out, and the ones that don’t will be left behind.