17 Aug Improve operations and in-store experience with Social Listening
Social listening provides an unbiased understanding of your operations across hundreds of locations.
It empowers brands to make important changes to customer experience, in-store service, and products based on real-time customer feedback. This feedback gives you the ability to respond to issues with unprecedented speed, without ever having to leave your desk.
There is one, persistent difficulty in achieving this. With so much data available, brands struggle to keep up with collecting and analyzing it. But with the right tools, building an effective social listening strategy becomes a walk in the park.
We’ll cover this and much more:
Improve the Customer Experience with Social Listening
Social listening is more than responding to mentions on Twitter or reviews on Yelp. In this context, it can be defined as the process of collecting and monitoring comments, reviews and user-generated content on social networks for the purpose of improving customer experience and operations.
A study by Clutch found that 25% of business use Social Listening to improve products, 42% to improve customer experience and over 80% to monitor customer concerns and requests.
It is one of the most important tools a business has at its disposal for justifying strategic changes.
A great example of this is Burger King’s social listening strategies and it’s impact on menu items. In 2014, after a flurry of unhappy tweets helped them recognize they’d alienated a large segment of their customers they brought back their chicken fries.
Following this first experience, earlier this year after monitoring negative feedback concerning their chicken sandwich, the burger chain reached out to these unhappy customers and turned them around with their newest recipe.
They not only improved customer relationships, but turned the entire experience into a marketing opportunity.
Social Listening Challenges for Multi-Location Brands
Companies with multiple locations spread across large geographic areas have the added challenge of analyzing local data across hundreds or thousands of communities.
It’s no surprise that customers in California have different preferences and reactions than ones in Illinois. This can even be true for companies with multiple locations within the same state.
The volume of social data for multi-location brands can be problematic as well. For example, a brand with 300 locations and six or seven social pages per location has 2,100 pages to monitor. Even if each page only gets a couple of comments or reviews a day, you’re left with 6,000 posts pending review per day!
Compiling the data is just the beginning. Next, you’ll have to analyze over 30,000 posts per week to identify trends and suggest operational, product or service changes. The sheer volume of the data makes it almost impossible for the average person to handle.
There’s no return on time invested if a company is so bogged down with collecting and analyzing data. They’re unable to act on it.
This is where Social Listening tools come in handy!
Gain the Upper Hand with Social Listening Tools
In the early days of social media, customer feedback was scarce. It didn’t reflect how the majority of your customers felt so the data wasn’t as valuable. Basing major strategic changes on these insights was too risky.
Those days are gone.
With the current state of Social Media there is an unprecedented amount of free-flowing, instantaneous feedback that you can take advantage of to make business process and service changes with far less risk.
The difficulty is gathering and analyzing this data, that’s where social listening tools come in.
Tools such as MomentFeed’s MCX platform offer businesses the ability to gather and analyze thousands of data points, across all major social and review networks. With all of this information at your disposal you can search and analyze based on locations, specific products, customer sentiments and much more.
One of MomentFeed’s customers, a large restaurant franchise, was considering raising their prices. Fortunately, one of their largest franchisees discovered through social listening that customers already believed pricing was too high. They were able to convince higher-ups in the nick of time and avoid a mass exodus of current customers.
Setting Up a Social Listening Dashboard
MomentFeed compiles vast amounts of data from reviews on Yelp, Facebook and Google+ to Messenger, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare posts.
With all of this at your fingertips, you’re able to extrapolate insights based on a multitude of operational and customer retention objectives. Below are some of the most common ones:
By focusing on target locations (from individual stores to regions) you’re able to garner important insights on multitude of factors:
- Identify the best and worst performers. Following on this, you could create best and worst subgroups in order to ascertain the reasons for their performances.
- Break down the performance of a new product rollout
- Identify operational and logistical problems
Examine how products are performing and make adjustments. Our earlier example of Burger King and their Chicken Sandwich re-launch illustrates this point very well.
Want to see how many people love your brand in Wisconsin? Use MomentFeed’s search function to see how customers in a location or group of locations feels about your brand. You can search for any keyword, across any location and time frame.
If there is a particular challenge that tends to pop up, you can create specific searches to determine the nature of the issue. For instance, one of our clients used the keywords “line” and “cashier” to verify which locations were having the most trouble with long lines and were able to make quick operational and hiring changes to remedy the issue.
On Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare, brands can view posts based on star ratings. Operation managers can use data from these ratings to develop action plans for improving stores with lower ratings, and create best practices based on compliments from locations with higher ratings.
Regional group ratings can be used to empirically prove the performance of a region around customer satisfaction. If a group of locations has a high amount of reviews mentioning “service” with a negative star rating, operations will reach out to managers to identify the issue.
Once the data is collected and immediate responses are taken care of, further analysis is necessary for strategy and planning.
MomentFeed offers powerful insights into your brand’s social listening program within the Insights & Reporting section including response rate and time, heat maps, rating by specific keywords and much more.
Using Social Listening Data to Improve Operations
Operational changes are manageable when a brand only has one or two locations, but multi-location brands must implement changes on a larger scale and this has its own set of difficulties.
Foremost among these is the distance between Corporate and Local store/Franchise managers. Even with the best communication channels, a lot of insights and feedback will be lost due to day to day demands.
Social listening provides an unbiased inside look in the form of customer posts and reviews. This helps both parties understand what needs to be changed and why.
An excellent example of this comes from our client Pei Wei. In multiple regions, Pei Wei believed they knew which restaurants were performing well, and which ones needed to improve. Upon implementing social listening, they found the opposite to be true; “high-performing” restaurants got worse reviews than the “problem locations.” This gave them what they needed to begin working with individual locations to improve operations.
Pivot Quickly Based on Real Feedback
Monitoring what your customers say about your brand online helps you serve them better and become more profitable in the process.
A well-defined social listening strategy and the right tools allows your company to quickly pivot based on customer feedback. Responding based on what you hear gives you a rapid path to enacting necessary operational changes that will ensure better service and happier customers.
MomentFeed goes above and beyond a company’s social listening needs with its Social Media and Reputation Manager by allowing you to increase your effectiveness without substantially increasing the size of your team.
Contact us today to learn more.