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This week we feature an article by Daniel Bakst who writes about how important it is to monitor and respond to comments on social media and review sites about your brand. – Shep Hyken

Interactions between brands and consumers are changing across virtually every industry, making it more important than ever that your organization strives to encourage consistency within every moment of the customer journey. Increased accessibility has changed the expectations of the average customer, and as a result, brands have a whole new set of responsibilities that did not exist even ten years ago. While social media has opened up a litany of new opportunities for brands to increase their reach, it has also played a huge role in these shifting consumer preferences. There is now a commonplace expectation that your organization will provide instant feedback via these channels, and if it does not respond appropriately, the digital community will be instantaneously able to view your failure.

Depending on the size of your organization, there could be a constant feed of incoming messages being sent to your various social media accounts. Implementing a brand reputation monitoring tool can streamline the scraping process so that all messages sent to your brand are localized in one easy-to-access location, with the ability to quickly analyze and respond to each individual message. This level of personalization can help improve the individual interaction with that specific customer, but it can also prove to those that read the exchange your team’s willingness to go the extra mile to provide value.

Beyond social media sites, another important location to monitor the way customers are discussing your brand is on popular review sites. Yelp is the most popular website, but many of the social media sites offer a specific review section, as well as more specified industry forums depending on the space your brand encompasses. Possessing the ability to group all the reviews that are submitted across these sites into one reporting portal can greatly reduce the amount of time and effort it takes to respond and provide service to customers. This can help your organization reduce the number of employees responsible for filtering through and responding to this feedback, as well as categorizing the data in a simple and actionable format.

A brand reputation monitoring tool that scrapes these sites can serve as a differentiator for your brand because it is a public assertion of your employees’ willingness to provide value and increase the convenience for your customer base. Regardless of the impact that each moment of engagement may have on an individual sale, by sending out consistent responses to online customer feedback, you are proving that everyone from brand leadership to frontline employees are actually listening and trying to improve the existing Customer Experience. This can serve as a great reputation booster compared to a nonexistent online profile where consumers feel as though they are shouting their feedback into a void. While it is important to analyze each individual situation and respond appropriately, simply having an active profile can help you stand out amongst competitors.

The goal of any Customer Experience initiative is to reduce the amount of effort that a customer must exert on their journey to purchasing your product and beyond. Responding to service requests, negative and positive reviews and other forms of online customer engagement can help you further encapsulate your desired brand image to consumers. It proves that you are willing to invest time and energy into constantly improving your existing platform and can make a positive impact on each individual you engage with.

Daniel Bakst is the Social & Digital Marketing Associate for Second To None, a leading Customer Experience research firm that empowers customer-centric brands to deliver consistent, intentional and authentic consumer experiences. They adeptly design and manage mystery shopping, compliance, engagement and voice of customer solutions grounded in strategic relevance, program integrity and actionable insights. 

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