Social listening is the activity you’re engaged in when you pay attention to what consumers are saying about your company at any given time, and even what’s being said about your competitors, or your industry in general.
Listening is a relationship function, and social listening for a business isn’t terribly different from listening to your spouse or significant other. There are behaviors that will make you more successful, and some that will continuously throw roadblocks in your way and frustrate you.
1. Be open to whatever is being said, however critical. If someone is raising a concern with you, don’t dismiss it, even if it seems petty or unreasonable.
2. Learn to look at the situation from the customer’s perspective. Remember that they’re probably not aware of most of the solutions available to them, even if those solutions are on your web site. The customer doesn’t work for your company, and there are some things it’s not reasonable to expect your average customer to know.
3. They didn’t tell you they have a problem because they had some free time, so make sure you reassure them that their concerns are valid, even if the solution is simple.
4. Take a minute to research the customer’s issue before you respond, so you can provide the most educated response to their specific circumstances. If their comment was angry or upset, take care that you don’t respond to emotion with emotion. That’s like using a match to respond to a gas leak.
5. Don’t set up unrealistic expectations. Telling the customer what they want to hear will, only very rarely, resolve the issue, especially if you can’t provide that level of service consistently in the future for that customer.