Social Media Listening With No Budget

by Jeannie Walters

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I’ve been talking to a lot of customer experience professionals lately. We’ve come a long way, baby! A few years ago I would utter the phrase “customer experience” and see the glazed expression of..pity? confusion? In any case, it wasn’t always easy to say why customer experience was a real thing.

So while there is more discussion about customer experience, there is also (in some ways) more confusion about what one DOES as a customer experience pro. In many cases, the role is a newly created position in an already well-established company. This means that suddenly, there are expectations. And the CX Pro is left wondering: HOW? How do you track customer experience success? What do you measure? What do we know?

When drowning in customer lifetime value (CLV) calculations and answering calls from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system salespeople, it’s difficult to see the forest for the trees.

One area where it’s easy to get a read on your customers is social media. If they’re not talking about you, that’s something to note. If they ARE talking about you, that’s an important place to put up a listening post.

Here are 4 ways to start listening without a dedicated system, employee or budget.

1. Twitter search (http://twitter.com/search)

On a recent episode of the overlooked but great HBO series Veep with my hero Julia Louis-Dreyfus, they discuss the Vice President’s staff keeping tabs on her many unflattering nicknames. It’s actually a great point. Take a few minutes every week to run a few searches on not just your company name, but those names you’d rather forget.

2. Google “<Company Name> Sucks”

It’s also helpful to try other fun combinations, like “blows,” “is terrible,” “+bad customer service” and the like. Some of your customers could really be upping the hate rhetoric in creative ways. It’s good to know.

3. Glassdoor.com Employee Review

What have the employees and former employees shared with the world about your company? Glassdoor.com fills you in. This site allows anonymous reviews of both companies and specific managers. Why do you need to know this as a customer experience pro? Because your employees are your first connection with customers. If they are miserable, you can bet that your customers are, too.

4. Google blog search (http://www.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en)

Get creative. Don’t just look for your company. Look for terms your customers might use. Look for your competitors. Look and look some more. If you’ve never done this before, you will be surprised.

Then, keep it up! Set up Google Alerts for phrases and brands you are tracking. Set calendar reminders to check your searches.

There you go. 4 ways to really hear what your customers are saying. What have you heard?

Photo credit: ky_olsen via Creative Commons license

 

 

 

 

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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