Both the marketing and customer experience teams care deeply about the customer and the brand. But while they are both driven by data as they surface and measure insights, very rarely do they integrate their findings – or even share them with one another for that matter.
Based on results from a recent Harris Poll* sponsored by X, formerly Twitter, odds are good that your marketing department is already deploying social listening, where they use tools to listen, analyze and measure social data. Of the marketing leaders polled, 93% revealed they are using social media in their programs, which allows them to accomplish tasks from tracking their campaigns to measuring brand equity. Nearly three-quarters also reported using social platforms to perform some customer care, a strategy that’s becoming increasingly important in building and maintaining brand reputation.
Now over on the CX team. If anyone is thinking about CX in social media, it is usually an afterthought. According to a recent report from Forrester**, most voice of the customer (VoC) programs are still heavily focused on traditional data sources like surveys. That means they are missing out on valuable unstructured and unsolicited data that comes from social listening.
Does marketing know something that CX doesn’t?
Here are three big things marketers know about the power of social media listening that they need to share with their CX colleagues:
1. Social listening captures what’s happening right now
While surveys continue to be the foundation of CX programs, their value is limited by the fact that they only measure a distinct moment in time. What marketers understand is that they don’t have to depend on customers filling out this one-time survey. In fact, they are providing a steady stream of feedback in real time. And in the case of X, formerly Twitter, that feedback is intentionally public as users interact with brands in a way that allows their friends and contacts to see and add their own comments. Throughout the customer journey, people are taking to social media to signal their satisfaction, concerns, frictions and conflicts, thus creating a valuable deluge of information as they express not only how they feel, but why they feel that way.
2. Social data is authentic (mostly)
We’re not trying to suggest that CX programs aren’t collecting authentic feedback, but solicited feedback like one would glean from surveys and focus groups is limited and directed by the questions and topics. On the other hand, marketers who employ social listening strategies find they are rich in unsolicited feedback. And, sophisticated marketers understand the nuances between the individual social platforms. For example, Instagram users may post inspirational content and strive to depict their best selves, while over on X, formerly Twitter, customers are likely to share their unfiltered views on any and every topic – from the mundane to the controversial. If you’re wondering what your customers really think, look no further.
3. Social is unmatched at surfacing unknowns
Have you ever been blindsided by unintended consequences from the introduction of a new product or service? Or been surprised when a competitor seemed to predict the future and capitalize on a new trend before anyone else? Marketers know that news often breaks first on social platforms, and social data serves as the bellwether of emerging trends and issues. Social listening allows them to see what’s on the hearts and minds of customers and when appropriate, insert their voice into breaking topics and identify and mitigate issues before they become a crisis.
By tapping into social data and combining it with traditional data sources, CX practitioners will find themselves one step closer to a true 360-degree view of the customer. These real-time and authentic reactions to your brand – whether good, bad or meh – will empower you to shape experiences for the better and win the approval and loyalty of your customers.
It’s your move…
Are you ready to integrate social data into your CX program? First talk to your marketing team about the benefits of a more robust social listening strategy; chances are, they’ve been waiting for your call. And check out the Twitter website to read powerful case studies, find a list of X, formerly Twitter Official Partners or get in touch with our team.
Finally, many companies find they benefit from an AI platform like Sprinklr that can help you manage and action the meaningful data points to ensure you gain the most benefit from your social listening strategy.
But make no mistake: Your customers are talking, and it’s time for you to listen.
*The Harris Poll, Social Media 2.0 How Social Data Informs Business Decision Making**Forrester – The Top Trends Among VoC Leaders, 2019