The word “listen” originates from Germanic word “hlysnan” which means “pay attention to”.
If you log on to “images.google.com” and search for “social media” you are about to receive images which shows people talking. Human beings have always been entitled to an opinion if not food and shelter . With internet touching 6.5 Billion lives on this earth, social media is the platform to express your opinion. Its not only people but enterprises made by people named as “brands” who are adding to this “jab jab jab” everyday.
Its pity on thee oh mankind that a great word – “listening” seems to be misunderstood and/or forgotten forever.
But it’s never late to adopt listening as a business strategy taking in to consideration that there are so many benefits.
- Listening helps to understand your customers : Today the business world has shifted from a “profit”-centric model to “customer” centric model. They are putting every effort possible to understand their customers and build products which make their life better. A very good example being Gillete where its market researchers watched consumers doing their daily shave. The result being a new better product that addresses their needs and still dominates the segment.Listening on any media helps brands create buyer personas based on which they can design specific products & marketing campaigns. There are numerous instances where brands have listened to their customers . During the Fall of 2010, Gap scraped their new logo due to outcry by its customers. Kishore Biyani pioneer of Indian retail industry often visits various Big Baazar & Pantaloon stores to interact with customers.
- Listening helps to benefit from product/solution reviews :
With existence of social media platforms, the internet today has become a giant personal diary of all ( or mostly) Earthians. Not only on internet if given a chance, we express our views, opinions & emotions on any any media/platform.
Because, we love to make a point.
With such reviews, brands can determine customer sentiment associated with such products/services. A good review is like adding a feather to your crown, while negative reviews may seem bad- but it brings immense business benefits. The backlash of negative reviews helps you to think and ponder upon to innovate.
Reviews are a mirror of customer satisfaction which measured accurately predicts sales, loyalty & recommendations.
- Listening helps in boosting customer experience : Every moment a customer spends with your brand on any media or touch point is crucial for the enterprise. But eventually it is not possible to control all the variables of customer experience. Mistakes, mishaps & miscommunications does happen.
Listening helps in finding out the loop holes as consumers complain about it.
Me & my team at TheSocialPeople were responsible for digital & social media coverage for TiECon 2013 at TiEChennai. On the event hashtag #TiEcon2013 we received a complaint that the volume of the live webcast feed was quite low making it difficult for the folks watching it on the website. Immediately it was rectified with an apology.The result: Online viewers started to spread positive word of mouth of the event and at the end of the event more than 500 were watching it live.
- Listening helps in stealing a customer from your competitor :When a customer posts a negative review about your competitor it provides an immense opportunity to get that customer and spreads positive word of mouth about your brand.
Jay Rooney, a disgruntled AT&T customer, tweeted:
T-Mobile jumped into the conversation:
Lousy AT&T tried to scare
But T-Mobile fired back :
AT&T then played the emotional card :
Welcome, T Mobile CEO John Legere :
Customer gained, successfully
— Jay Rooney (@RamblingRooney) November 27, 2013