How To Use Social Data To Understand The Voice Of The Customer

The need for voice-of-the-customer (VoC) data is nothing new. Brands use VoC insights to enhance the customer experience, find out why customers switch to a competitor and pinpoint what drives customer loyalty. When organizations fail to invest in the right set of tools, they miss out on key details of the customer journey and how customers feel about their experience. To identify opportunities for improvement and measure the results of marketing or customer experience initiatives, brands need to leverage social data for a comprehensive understanding of VoC.
Social data’s value for producing VoC insights goes beyond the customer care team. Sixty-five percent of marketers say their team owns customer care interactions within social channels, according to Gartner’s 2016 Digital Channel Survey. This creates a growing need for data that can guide a brand’s customer strategy across the entire organization. Social media data adds dimension to insights brands have obtained through customer surveys, research teams and focus groups.
How can different departments benefit from adding the context of social media data to their strategies?
Consider the following:

  • Deepening customer feedback collection: The customer care department has traditionally been limited to surveys, comment sections and phone reviews, but think about how often you see someone sharing his or her experience with a brand on social media. This unsolicited data hides countless insights and offers the customer care department the opportunity to go directly to the source to address problems.
  • Modernizing research: Social data represents a huge opportunity to perform sentiment analysis. What are the words consumers use when they talk about your brand? How do social media users feel when they mention your brand? Traditional market research strategies like focus groups are outdated. Instead, your research department and analysts can apply machine learning technology to social media data and access new, critical insights.
  • Giving customers products they actually want: Social data can power market research. If your product development team wants to know what customers need, they need only look at the raw, unbiased commentary that customers share without even being asked.

Social media may not be the only place you interact with your customers. To get a picture of customers’ cross-channel journey, you can’t look at social data alone. Combining customer surveys, forums and more to analyze the data your customers share with you at every touch point, including on social media, gives you a holistic image of the customer experience. This way, you can dig deeper into trends in your customers’ experiences, pain points and loyalty, ultimately allowing you to serve those customers better.
Check out Gartner’s “Market Guide for Marketers’ Voice-of-the-Customer Solutions ” to learn more.

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