Monitoring, listening and engaging with social media is a hot topic for brands with their ongoing quest to get closer to customers, build trusted relationships and extend their customer lifecycle. There is a conference for that which I would have liked to participate in: Monitoring Social Media
I personally have been involved in monitoring the social media sphere for clients at Headstream as part of the listen and engage methodology from the Social Media Strategic Framework.
From my own perspective what each audit has highlighted is not only the wealth of conversation taking place about individual brands within social media, especially on certain platforms; but the need for organisations to place more importance on customer service and online reputation management.
In short organisations looking to be more successful need to become customer centric and take into account the social consumer – pretty obvious. You can read my thoughts on social CRM and online reputation management.
Back to the post in hand… Today I received latest the research conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Tealeaf that looks at the social customer and the powerful effect they have on a brand’s reputation. More specifically how customers respond to their experiences of online transactions. Do check out the slide deck and if you require further information visit http://www.tealeaf.com/harris-uk
The research was carried out amongst UK consumers who had participated in online transactions and those who had experienced online problems with transactions.
The findings for those who closely follow the social media world and indeed marketing in general are not ground breaking, but they further re-affirm the importance of digital marketing, social media marketing, online reputation management with regard to consumer purchasing decisions. I have extracted some of the key findings from the research below:
• When customers experience problems attempting to conduct an online transaction, 78% share their experience with others.
Furthermore 46% of those customers would then abandon a transaction entirely or switch to a competitor.
I am certain that you have witnessed many a tweet complaining about airline ticket bookings which is why in the UK profiles such as @easyjetCare exist to respond to customer issues. I do not need to mention @comcastcares or @zappos
• 51% state that social media has influenced their online transactions.
This finding further supports research from DEI Worldwide in 2008 that I have referenced within client presentations particularly for the consumer electronic and game verticals placing importance on search and social media.
• 74% said when they read a negative comment online, it influences their likelihood to do business with the company.
Would love to know what the sales figures were like around the @HabitatUK backlash which scattered across all social media. Out of curiosity it would be great to see if the figures underpin the above findings and understand brand perception through the Net Promoter Score (NPS).
• 52% used a particular website after reading good reviews.
Encouraging result that supports the need for brands to identify key influencers and form trusted relationships with them.
In summary the underlying message from the research is to monitor, react and respond. This focuses on listening to the conversation within social media, reacting to the conversation in the appropriate way through a considered response.
Going back to basics it makes perfect sense to actually sort out the website sales funnel and indentify where in the transaction the problem are occurring, usability testing would not go a miss.
This is also an opoprtunity to engage your community and get them to play their part in helping to contribute to research and development of new platforms. Without covering old ground Dell IdeaStorm exists for this very reason.
Essentially the research places the importance on digital reputation management for brands and looking toward a customer centric business model – cue the social business and more importantly the implementation of social CRM.