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Lindsay Ouellette Lindsay Ouellette
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Five reasons to listen to your online customers

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Today's digital world provides a variety of forums for people to express their opinions. Along with online review sites like Yelp, your customers are talking with their friends about you on social media. If you're not listening to these conversations, you should be. They could help you to better serve your customers in the future.

Here are five reasons why you should listen to your customers online:

Relationship building opportunities. Customer service is all about your relationship with your customers. So is social media. Pay attention to conversations on social media and answer questions your customers have. Also, engage your followers with relevant content to further strengthen your relationship with them.

Ask for and receive feedback. If you really want to know what your customers want, ask them! Be sure to track this data using a spreadsheet or other method. That way, you can use this data to inform your future marketing and customer service strategies.

Increase sales and gain new customers. If information about your product or service is worth sharing, your customers will do so, most likely with their friends on social media. Create content that is engaging and sharable.

Avoid and handle a crisis. Negative reviews can be damaging to your business' reputation. To avoid any kind of crisis, monitor your social media and customer service reviews. Then, handle these issues as they arise as quickly as possible, before online conversations may get out of control.

Get ahead of your competitors. Almost everyone is on social media these days, including your competitors. Along with listening to conversations about your business, listen to what people are saying about your competitors. You can leverage these conversations to your advantage by sharing how you meet needs that your competitors cannot or do not based on actual customer feedback.

Social media and online reviews provide your customers a forum to express their opinions. The best way to inform your marketing and customer service in our connected world is to listen to your customers.

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