Social media has become a hub for customers to rate, slate and share feedback on service, purchased items and brands, as well as find out about the latest trends and must have items. But how can retailers use the channel to their advantage in the face of conflicting advice from so-called experts?
In any relationship, communication is key and the same can be said for retailers and their customers. It’s impossible to get it right all of the time, but if a customer is able to speak to a human being when they have a query or complaint and the problem is quickly resolved it’s likely that you will gain their loyalty and repeat business.
Customer data in the way of feedback, thoughts and demands is some of the most valuable information available to any retailer, so why not listen to and analyse it for actionable insight? The data available across social media platforms, if collated, can be used as business intelligence to add value to operations and ultimately deliver against and exceed customer expectations. Unstructured it may be, but its value is incalculable.
What are your customers saying? Good or bad, it can be used to make changes for the better, i.e. has a customer received a bad experience (online or in store) and is there an emerging pattern? If so, identify it and make sure that something is done about it and most importantly, notify the customer as to your actions so they know they’re valued.
As well as using social media to listen to customers it should also be used to deliver the latest updates, such as promotions, sales, competitions – everybody loves a bargain and social media is the perfect platform to promote this type of information and get everybody else talking about it. Pinterest and Facebook are great mediums for retailers to visually share updates of events and new seasonal ranges, whilst communicating the core brand messages.
It’s never been more important for retailers to engage, listen, learn and respond to what their customers are saying and social media offers a platform for retailers to be able to facilitate this. Customers continue to shape the future of retail and it’s never been more important to listen to them!