Social media is a rich source of data on how people interact with your brand. You can collect engagement metrics, calculate ROI on your social media campaigns and talk about growth in different platforms. But the customer testimonials, complaints and qualitative feedback on social platforms can also enhance your learnings by highlighting the “voice of the customer”.
When I put together a research presentation on customer satisfaction or market trending, I look to social media to provide support to some of the numbers and charts. Having a direct customer comment from Facebook or a piece of feedback from Twitter can add a lot of weight to the research presentation and really make people take note.
Past market research thinking pointed to a “one study, one presentation” type mentality. I see that changing and I’m a big believer in more holistic presentations and awareness. That means each presentation of a trend or customer study should include support from multiple sources like analyst reports, articles and social media. As I’m pulling out a trend from a recent survey, for example, I’ll look to other sources to support that trend. For instance, what evidence supports this trend from my focus groups? What are the analysts saying? What about customer feedback on social media?
Here’s a short example of how social media feedback supports these presentations. Note this is edited slightly due to confidentiality but the process is the same.
Late last year, we ran one-one phone interviews with customers as part of our qualitative research program. We found a trend that customers wanted a simpler way to contact us about technical support questions. So I started looking at other sources of information to see whether this topic was coming up in other places.
I found some analyst reports that talked about how communication channels were becoming important in post-purchase customer service and that investment in support communication platforms was increasing customer retention. This prompted us to run a short survey with customers to collect quantitative data on this topic. As the results came in, the evidence became more comprehensive but we still needed more. We had some prompted customer quotes in the qualitative interviews but I looked to social media to add unprompted feedback. While prompted feedback is great, unprompted requests from customers are even more powerful.
Using tools like Actionly, I went through comments linked with our brand along with any metrics around people mentioning support on social media. I found a good collection of customer comments on Facebook, Twitter, our forums and 3rd party forums. Some comments were complimentary while a few had some feedback on how we could improve. All of this unprompted feedback added a huge amount of credibility to the qualitative work, the analyst report and the survey results.
Social media feedback became the final, important piece to presenting this trend to the boardroom with a holistic set of evidence. Here is an example of how this presentation might come together, supported by social media feedback, to show a holistic look at the need for better technical support:
This blog is contributed by guest blogger, Chris Dowsett (or Dows for short) is your friendly data analyst, statistician and numbers person. Originally from Australia, Chris works for an IT company in Southern California. He’s also studying a Doctorate in data value perception among business leaders.
Website - http://about.me/chrisdowsett
Twitter - https://twitter.com/chrisdowsett