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With a marketplace that’s nearly limitless, how do brands compete for their share? Ensuring every brand encounter is top notch is the only way – and that means customer experience monitoring.

Beyond the basics

There was a time when the in-store experience was all – or almost all – that mattered. You might have sometimes needed to address consumer complaints via mail or phone after the fact, but most customer service happened face-to-face. If you did your job well, word of mouth further validated your marketing tactics.

Now brands must manage a number of touch points that each contribute to the overall customer experience – even with consumers who’ve never set foot inside your store, assuming you even have one.

Additionally, the accessibility and viral nature of social media means anything lacking – or any problem – becomes known across the globe instantly. To avoid bad social PR, being proactive is a must – as are customer experience monitoring tools. So what exactly do you need to track?

Consumer responses on social

When consumers talk about your brand you need to know what they’re saying and why. Both the good and bad matter for different reasons.

Customer service issues are more likely to be shared via social media now, and consumers expect a timely response. A recent survey notes 47% expect to hear from brands within an hour, with 84% expecting to hear within 24 hours.

If you aren’t focused on managing customer concerns on social, prioritize that now. Otherwise you’ll lose out to brands already doing this.

It’s just as important to respond to positive commentary, however. Those calling out your brand with love want to be acknowledged and appreciated – or they too may move on. Loyalty isn’t assured unless you are actively courting it at all times.

Use social sentiment analysis to identify those most passionately positive and negative. The passionately positive are potential influencers; the negative are the problems you want to defuse first.

Consumer comments in your category

Mentions of your brand aren’t the end of the conversation. It’s crucial to know what your audience thinks of other brands as well. Perform competitive analysis to spot consumer issues not being addressed, and step in with solutions.

Or find out what these consumers love about your competitors and use those insights to your advantage. The information is freely there on social media – if you don’t put it to work, your competitors surely will.

You may also come across consumer wishes – which can inspire new products or services your brand never thought to offer. Be first to answer such desires and you’ll get a lot of love in return.

Potential new audiences

Another reason to focus on sentiment is to expand beyond your known audience, while bringing personalized messaging to all your customers. Use segmenting based on shared passions to identify the topics that matter most to your audience – and talk to them about exactly that. They’ll love you for “seeing” them, and for acting like a person instead of a brand.

Then use those passions to find others outside your known demographic. It’s likely these feel-alike consumers will love your brand as much as others who also love “softball and Doritos” – or whatever the segment breakdown is.

The customer experience starts long before consumers even shop with you. They observe the way you interact with others on social media, and they form an opinion right away.

If that opinion is positive they might give you a try – but you’ve got to hit every checkmark along the rest of the experience to keep them happy. When they are, they do part of the work for you – sharing rave reviews with everyone they know. When they aren’t – watch out.

Be sure you’re on top of your customer experience monitoring each step of the way so you’re never caught off guard. Every misstep just gives competitors an advantage.

We’re sharing lots of strategies just like this at NetBase LIVE this October. Register today!

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