Whether you like it or not, people are talking about you. As a business, you are constantly interacting with people that will have something to say about their experience with you – positive or negative.
The beauty about this day and age is that you can listen in on those conversations. By paying attention to what people are saying, you can:
- mitigate potentially damaging critiques
- contribute to conversations and demonstrate that you care about customer experiences
- identify and address problems within your business/customer experience
- build a more loyal following
So how exactly do you listen in? Well, in all honesty, it depends on how involved you want to get. Below you’ll find a few different levels of involvement:
Low Involvement : Watch the Reviews
You can start by simply looking at what people are saying about you on review sites. For example, if you operate a restaurant, you’d definitely want to take a peek at sites like Yelp. Also try using Google to search “<your company name> reviews” and see what comes up.
Medium Involvement: Search & Tweet
People can now vent their personal frustrations at a company in just 140 characters. Twitter has a great search function that you can use to see when your name comes up. Keep in mind that with Twitter, it’s a good idea to consistently contribute to the conversation – not just give a one-off answer.
High Involvement: Create a Fan Page/Community
We’re almost all on Facebook, which means your customers are too. A fan page is a great place to encourage discussion and let customers share their stories. And if they don’t like something, you’ll hear it fast.
The amount of effort you put in to building customer relationships and communicating openly is closely related to the loyalty you receive in return. Listening to and cultivating conversations with your customers can have a direct effect on your bottom line, and all it takes the willingness to stop and hear what people have to say.
How do you connect with customers? Tell us in the comments!