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Why Customer Experience (CX) is a brand issue.

There’s a saying that “people buy from people they like.” They also buy products and services from businesses that are recommended. This ‘endorsement’ be it via word of mouth, case study, industry report, etc. is valued by marketing departments and sales departments alike. It says… “if you choose to buy from us you’ll be in good company.” It also implies you’ll be making the smart, right decision.

Customer Experience has a much greater impact on marketing and sales than the belief that it’s just a Customer Service thing.

And what if the ‘experience’ didn’t meet expectations? As a marketer you’ve probably come across this before; You’re working on a new marketing piece and want to include a case study as an offer. Part way through the process you find out the client is less than happy and doesn’t want their case study used in any marketing until their issues are ‘made right’.  But what if they hadn’t said anything to you and instead turned to voice their complaints on social media?

Digital and Social Media continues to have a growing impact on your marketing efforts. And as you’re already aware, you don’t have any control over what’s discussed. Since you no longer control the perception (or their experience) of your brand, what your customers think (and say) can have enormous impact on your results.

We do it almost every day… To ensure we’re not making a mistake and wasting time or money, we check out the reviews online for whatever it is we’re interested in—think of it as a ‘comfort’ check. And we do things like the following without consciously realizing how we’re influenced:

  • Is this the best software for our industry? Let’s ask a few network groups.
  • In need of a new dishwasher? Let’s check out other people’s experiences on Google.
  • Thinking about a new car? Let’s see what the car review sites have to say.
  • Want to cook something new? Let’s find an easy recipe with 4 or 5 stars.
  • We even ‘trust’ the algorithms recommending a movie based on our past viewing habits.

If the reviews fall short and don’t meet our expectations, we move on to a recommendation with better reviews—rarely looking back.

Social platforms have opened up a whole new world when it comes to getting impartial (non-branded) information. It’s amazingly easy to throw a question out there and ask others what they think and what their experience has been… then wait for someone to respond. It’s also very easy to comment and offer your opinion—whether you’re qualified or not.

Deep down we all know… not all comments, reviews, or ratings are legitimate.

Venting, complaining and criticizing a product or service seems to be a growing concern for many brands. And when a customer feels their purchase or interactions didn’t meet their expectations (subjective as that may be) they tend to let ‘anyone who’ll listen’ know about it by taking to social media.

While venting in the online world is a much greater risk to the brand than offline, Customer Experience plays an increasing and often unseen role in the entire marketing mix. How it’s handled can turn a pending disaster into a big brand win—the challenge is in first being aware there’s a problem.

As with most things, it’s the bad experiences that tend to get noticed and shared more than the ones that met, or exceeded, expectations. As a result, negative sentiment can be over inflated. That doesn’t help your brand (or your sales) if that negative or inaccurate tweet influences the decisions of potential buyers. And with an average of just 4% of posts/conversations happening on most brand-owned social accounts, how can you know what’s really being said or where you need to intervene?

That’s where Social Listening can help. Not only will you have access to the other 96% of the conversation and brand mentions, you’ll also learn things like:

  • Real-time insights, such as the ability to identify Positive, Neutral and Negative conversation sentiments as they happen—Providing the opportunity to jump into specific conversations when appropriate.
  • Which platforms are the most viable and active so your efforts and resources can be better directed. Hint: It’s not all happening on your Twitter or Facebook accounts!
  • What’s really being asked? What are potential or current customers looking for? Adapt your marketing messaging to meet today’s need.
  • When trends occur, gaining a better understanding of the issues.
  • How you compare to your competitors so you can learn from them and leverage their slip ups.

Your product or service isn’t for everyone. And that’s okay. But by listening to your audience you can change your marketing for the better:

  • Improve your messaging across all touchpoints.
  • Engage with your digital online audience where they are.
  • Improve how you go-to-market.
  • Build your brand with those who care.

In short, you’re better positioned to meet your customer’s needs. Their voice matters and, like it or not, what they say can have a big impact on the success of your brand and your future.

To learn how easy it is to implement Social Listening in your organization and how it can benefit your entire company, contact us today.