How social listening can help the high-street.

A lot has been said about the Amazon effect, and the impact e-commerce has had on the highstreets and the retail sector in general so I thought I would produce a badly written article to air my point of view.

I would say I shop online around 60% to 70% more than I do on the high-street. For me, personally, a lot of it boils down to customer service.  When I shop online, customer service is the one thing I don’t think about. I find what I want, put it in my basket and checkout. I then get a nice email afterwards to say thank you for your order, followed by a year supply of spam and offers. All is good.

However, it seems each and every time I go shopping on the high-street, I get served by people who don’t care, who don’t want to be there, who have no personality what so ever. I’m quite a cheerful chap. I’m easily pleased. A simple “hello”, or “how’s your day been” or (if you live in the UK) “Weathers rubbish today, isn’t it?” would make me very happy indeed.

People today, and this includes me, tend to express their views a bit more openly on social media, then they probably would in-store with the manager or face-to-face with the person serving them.  And this is where I believe social listening can bring huge benefits to high-street stores, so listen up.

Social listen gives businesses a platform to monitor their brand, product or service by listening to what customers write on their social media profiles, and blogs. Furthermore, many of the social listening platforms offer businesses the opportunity to directly engage with the user writing the comment. I read a fact last week which suggested that one bad review can lead to a 20% drop on sales.

The data produced by these social listening platforms is phenomenal, and can often indicate a trend or an area of your business that needs addressing immediately. You may even use the software to monitor your competition and compare your online reputation against theirs.

Social listening software doesn’t have to be expensive. Depending on the size of your organisation prices can range between $50.00 to in excess of $10,000. If you need any more advice, please feel free to get in touch.

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