The power of social media is great for many things, such as connecting with friends and family, sharing interesting content with others, building relationships, and a host of other things.
Of course, social media is also key to a business’s marketing efforts. In fact, one of the most important power of social media for businesses is the power of listening, really listening to customers.
In a recent article on Social Media Today, Ralph Paglia discusses how businesses can grow their market simply by listening to their customers (and most effectively, through social media). He points out that most customer conversations are simply not heard by an organization. In fact, nearly 90 percent of customer conversations are totally unheard by an organization; 9 percent of the conversations are heard but not acted upon; and only 1 percent are heard and assimilated as knowledge.
These numbers are shocking for several reasons. The most important thing is that customer conversations aren’t heard because they aren’t happening – they aren’t heard because a business is not listening to them. It may actually be worse to note those 9 percent of the conversations that are heard and simply not acted upon.
Of course, the real challenge is to be part of that 1 percent, who listen, consider, and act. If a business is to be exceptional, it must always listen to the customer – to the good and the bad. If a customer says something good about an employee, the best company will reward that employee in some way and encourage other employees to duplicate that behavior. Likewise, if a customer makes a complaint, this presents an opportunity for a business to look at the internal processes behind the problem and evaluate them for improvement.