Customer service can be argued as one of the most important responsibilities of marketing. It can either be a company's best friend or it's worst enemy. People talk about their experience with products through hundreds of platforms and companies need to be listening and responding to the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Listen During The Sales Cycle
Why stop listening after the sale is closed? Listening is the most important part of retaining a customer for the long-haul. Failing to effectively listen and communicate what they need can create a disconnect between the customer base, brand, and company. Companies should invest in technologies that will make them better listeners and create better experiences for their customers. Josh Catone stated, "One of the most useful ways that startups are employing social media is for customer service."
Benefits of Listening
Listening can: create new products, uncover business opportunities, find product problems, ideas for content, blog topics. Listening is the catalyst for determining what direction a business should take. Listening is the easiest way to create a customer experience that makes customers return again and again.
In today’s world, companies can’t afford to do just what it takes to satisfy their customers. They will see fast enough if a company doesn’t genuinely care, and will jump ship. Companies have tools like HootSuite and Radian6 that enable them to better understand how they can serve their customers.
Your Community is Your Direction
User generated content should be the core part of a content strategy. Respond to what people are saying and provide them what they’re asking for. I have a friend who is starting his own photography business and is starting by simply listening to what pictures people need and want. He’s creating his product and answering their problem both by listening. This skill was taught to us in grammar school, but doesn’t come easy. Most people aren’t great listeners, and I try to practice better listening everyday. As you become a better listener, you learn to better respond to what you hear.
Your Marketing Strategy: Listening & Responding
Every company’s social media plan should revolve around listening, responding and optimizing their content and messages. Get down to human basics and don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Listening and responding will create customer and brand advocates that are very faithful. In return, providing you with the best form of marketing, word-of-mouth.