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Social Listening – The New Measure of Customer Satisfaction

At a time when 42% of users who follow brands on Twitter use Twitter for their customer service, there is no doubt that social networks are now a preferred channel not only to contact a brand but also to share a good or… less good customer experience.

In these conditions, “listening” to social networks, being on standby – using a monitoring and datamining system – is no longer an option for brands. Social listening deemed to be close to the expression without filters of customers, which would offer the opportunity to take a direct and real-time pulse of the consumer. But saying goodbye surveys and other tools to measure customer satisfaction is not that easy!

Born between 1980 and the year 2000, Facebook, Twitter, but also Instagram, Pinterest, here are their privileged fields when they want to share their experiences! Thus, the activity of listening to consumers, not only through social networks, but also from forums or micro-blogging , offers brands perspectives beyond the permanent watch for the management, both reactive and proactive, their customer relationship on social networks.

By gathering information from populations that are not necessarily inclined to respond to satisfaction surveys, but who do not hesitate to express themselves on social networks, brands enrich their insights for the measurement of customer satisfaction. However, in 2016, Brandwatch estimated the share of brands implementing a social listening device to just fewer than 15%.

Social listening – the true voice of the customer?

The spontaneous nature of social networks would make it possible to hear the consumer’s voice on topics that interest him, and with his own words. We would be there as close to the customer feeling, without filter. Thus, whether it is to identify the product or competition references, anticipate the requests or even detect commercial opportunities, but also analyze customer satisfaction, some companies have not been slow to create their own social room.

The preferred metrics for capturing and leveraging the customer’s voice are multiple: number of keyword hits, post and comment scans, issuer profile, and number of likes or (re) tweets, secondary keywords etc. The synthesis work is then carried out by data scientists who will translate the raw data into trends, feelings, reactions…and recommendations.

However, you should understand how the uses are constantly changing with. For example, the blog post turned professional, even lucrative and therefore less “spontaneous” or the formatting by social platforms to the Like the retweet more “automatic” since the creation by Twitter of the RT function and, therefore, less significant of the genuine interests of users.

Social listening is the result of several moving tectonic plates of the web, and listening solutions do not allow too little to identify precise signals, they are tools that are primarily designed to emerge general trends.

Social listening – signal or simple noise?

There are so many potential weaknesses of social listening, plus the difficulty to collect representative and detailed information, given the limitations imposed by law and by the social networks themselves on personal data. In practice, the analysis of individual accounts remains tedious, and much user activity remains at the discretion of the platforms.

The consequence is: despite its ability to emerge consumer insights unpublished, social listening cannot replace the tools for measuring customer satisfaction. The challenge, therefore, is to successfully combine the two approaches. This is the point of view defended by the majority of professionals.

If listening to social networks provides an instant voice close to the emotional register of customers, able to provide lessons on the interactions between brand and consumer (advertising campaign, call for customer service, etc.), studies conducted with representative samples of customers, allow them to cover a broad spectrum of customer perception offering a more complete vision.

But as consumers are increasingly inclined to publicly share their experiences, this content, called user generated content, becomes an influential factor in buying decisions, and offers great opportunities for brands that will rely on social listening to seize new business opportunities.

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