Voice of the Customer Goes Mobile

Instead of sending out a survey or two we have virtually instantaneous customer feedback courtesy of mobile devices. It’s unsolicited. It’s loud. It’s uncensored. And you should take notice.

Advances in mobile technology mean that experiences are shared 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — whether you’re ready to listen or not.

What makes this shift so important to your brand? Consumers you may never have considered part of your target audience are listening — and expanding the sphere of influence that your brand enjoys. When you listen to these conversations, you have the ability to use that information to impact your bottom line, and strengthen brand loyalty. How’s that for a win-win?

About that Sphere of Influence:

Consider this scenario — A woman dines at a local restaurant, and has an unbelievably horrible experience. She’s beyond irritated. While still at the restaurant, she picks up her mobile phone, logs onto social media/networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Urbanspoon, etc. She vocalizes her disgust. Oh, she potentially has thousands of followers on Twitter, hundreds of friends on Facebook, and an endless audience on both Yelp and Urbanspoon. Within seconds of posting her experience, her comments are spread even further when her immediate network spreads her experience to their immediate networks. It spreads like a virus.

Are you paying close enough attention to notice that conversations about your brand (both positive and/or negative) are taking place every day? Your company’s reputation could easily be boosted or blemished within the blink of an eye — experience sharing via mobile devices is a new form of word-of-mouth marketing … but on steroids.

Statistics That Matter

In a recent study conducted by Alterian, only 30% of marketers surveyed say they have a strong understanding of social media conversations happening around their brands, while 31% report having little or no understanding about said conversations. Really?

So, you know people are talking about you in the social web, now what?

Sit Back & Listen to the Chatter. Diving into a platform like Twitter and Twitter’s searches is relatively painless but can unearth a great amount of insight into how consumers feel about your brand. There’s no harm in being a voyeur out in the social sphere when it comes to your brand’s name and image.

Reach Out & Interact. The thing about the social web — it’s still social. You interact just as you would if you were face-to-face with your audience. Just because you have a mobile phone separating you and your consumer, doesn’t mean you can’t interact. Ask questions. See what they loved, and what they didn’t feel so hot about when it comes to your product or service offering. Don’t be afraid to catapult yourself into a conversation — just do it gracefully.

Do NOT Ignore. For goodness sake, ignoring should never be an option. Turning a blind eye on conversations about your brand does nothing but position your company as arrogant, un-relatable and genuinely unconcerned. You wouldn’t turn your back on a pot of water boiling over on the stove would you? Didn’t think so.

Solicit Input. Your company is there to provide a product or service to the public, correct? Why not ask the people talking about you, what you can do to improve. After all, they’d know best, right? The information you glean from informal conversations can be detrimental to the success of your business.

Have Feedback, now Adjust. You’ve reached out, gathered invaluable feedback, now what do you do with it? Use it. There’s no better way to recognize the value of your consumers and their feedback than to actually use their input. Your company does not have to undergo a complete overhaul, but acknowledging that your target audience contributed organically to improvements strengthens your relationship with your customers.

How you react to the conversations taking place around you is important. You have the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the people that will ultimately support your bottom line. The type of impression you leave is up to you.