1 Social Engagement Best Practices An ebook for Customer Experience Professionals Brought to you by NewBrand
2 Executive Overview Your online reputation matters, now more than ever. But you can impact that reputation in ways you never thought possible. This ebook explores the reasons to pay attention to social feedback and how to effectively engage with reviewers to build lifelong brand advocates. 2
3 What is Social Media Engagement?
4 Social Engagement is Connecting It s simple, you just have to connect with people who post comments about you on social media sites. These people are your customers and they provide opinion, fact and detailed feedback about their interaction with you online. Contrary to popular belief, these people are not just teenagers or patrons with an axe to grind, they are your customers. 4
5 Social sites are growing in importance As social site popularity grows, so should your awareness and understanding of your online reputation... Your prospective customers are on the prowl for every nugget of your online reputation. 41 M Views 78 M views Readership on popular review sites is growing at staggering rates People visit up to 11 review sites before booking hotel rooms. 5
6 Impact of Poor Online Reputation Gone are the days when tweets, posts and opinions fade into the digital ether. With the surge of smartphone usage, people of all ages and social economic persuasions are using the information out there to decide about their next purchase. Your online reputation has the potential to kill your brand because people will change their mind midbuying cycle. You have to Listen and Act. 4 out of 5 Reverse Purchase Decisions after viewing online reviews The average review is read by anywhere from 150 to 25,000 people 6
7 There is real value in every connection Engaging with online reviewers allows you to uncover opportunities for operational improvement, increase customer loyalty, and improve your online reputation. Make no mistake about it, social media feedback can help you grow your business, perhaps in ways you never thought possible. You can glean details about your service, product or offering, your pricing and promotions. Yep, all that information is at your fingertips. Operational Challenges Customer Loyalty Online Reputation 7
8 The numbers speak for themselves... 85% of customers are very happy when businesses respond to their public comments in online forums and social media venues 27% were "delighted" with a public response to their social feedback. (Source Maritz Research found in its "Consumer Preferences" survey of 1,400 people conducted online in April 2012) 34% deleted their original negative review after being engaged (Source Retail Consumer Report) You have to take action! 8
9 Follow four simple steps to improved reputation Listen to customers Engage on review site but immediately pull conversation to or phone Target based on priority Watch reviews, star ratings, reputation and sales increase 9
10 4 Steps in Detail Listen to all reviews from all social sites, review sites, blog posts and any other digital source. Target social reviews based on author influence and reach, review star rating, and keywords used in the review. Connect with the reviewer as fast as possible and use the best practices we spell out below. Watch your star ratings increase and your location s online reputation improve, resulting in increased sales and profit. 10
11 What Good Engagement Looks Like
12 5 Engagement Best Practices 1 Marketing Sanctioned, Brand Aware Responses should mirror brand image and voice. Ensure that everyone authorized to reply to posts understands your brand voice and be sure to refresh the team as your brand voice changes. Create and distribute brand-voice guidelines. Provide a standard structure and keep your replies consistent. For example, ensure you end with a standard for customer service and signature of replier including title. Do not copy and paste replies, rather, customize the reply to each reviewer by keying off the core messages in their review. 12
13 2 Don t take it personally Keep calm and think practically. Avoid knee jerk reactions. If you have to, give yourself a timeout before replying. Research with others before replying. Remember, customers don t usually lie but they do embellish. Find out the details so you can address concerns confidently. Take the high road, don t defend yourself and remember a heart felt apology never hurt anyone. As with all business, keep religion and politics out of it. This is about your company and product, not your social beliefs. 13 Keep eye on the end goal: loyal repeat customers.
14 3 Target both positive and negative reviews Negative Review: Positive Review: Apologize Reference situation Commit to improve Offer help or Ask what you can do for them In Either Case: Remind them you re listening Tell them something they didn t know Invite them back Respond quickly, within the day if possible Be thankful for their feedback, every situation is a learning experience Reply on the public review site, but take the conversation to a designated address that s monitored by more than one person Remember Golden Rule, treat others as you would like to be treated 14
15 4 Don t just talk, act Make sure you aren t just paying lip service to the customers with whom you engage. You Must Follow Through! First, pass the information onto the people who can make a difference in your business. Get it to the regional and general managers and their leadership teams and empower them to fix the issues quickly. Next, encourage GM s to use the information in pre-shift meetings for long term improvement. Reward staff whose efforts yield amazing customer service with monetary gifts and team-wide recognition. Consider creating a social media Hall of Fame or provide incentives for staff mentions: gift cards, shift priorities, time off, priority parking, and so on. 15
16 5 Measure your progress Ensure you keep track of engagement replies including who replied, reply date and actual reply content. This is valuable for audit and training purposes. Give yourself targets for engagement defined as numbers or percentage of total reviews. Some examples of goals include: 1. % of reviews engaged: shoot for engaging with 50% of all online reviewers, even tweets 2. % of engaged customers who reply: monitor how many customers reply to your outreach 3. % of engaged customers who return: use your loyalty program and customer relationship management (CRM) platform to track customer return rates 4. % who reevaluate and reposted review: give yourself bonus points for reviewers who change online reviews due to your efforts 16
17 Grow Your Efforts As You Grow Next you might wonder how to size your social media efforts. Keep it in proportion to your business and your online presence. As you grow, increase your outbound engagement, and distribute the workload after proper social media training. 1 5 Locations CEO or Owner Replies to ~50% of reviews 6 20 Locations 1 part time Marketing Mgr. If > 30 Reviews add in GM Reply to ~40% of reviews Locations Create focused social media team with 1-2 full time staff Reply to ~30% of reviews Also manage: Distribution of operational improvements for locations Promotions > 100 Locations 3-5 on social media team and distributed to GM and RM Reply to ~25% of reviews including all 1 and 2 star reviews While replying focus on: Guest Recovery Guest Loyalty Promotions 17
18 Restaurant Does Engagement Right Greg M, April 2, 2013 we really enjoyed First Watch The food was excellent! That said - NEVER order your burrito with a whole wheat tortilla First Watch Customer Service, April 3, 2013 Thank you for coming in! We are so happy you enjoyed our friendly staff and tasty food. Customer service and serving up fresh, healthy food is so important to us, so it is wonderful to hear how much you enjoyed these qualities. We do apologize for your feelings about the tortilla and will share your feedback with the team. We look forward to seeing you again soon! Greg M, April 5, 2013 After the owner contacted me about my last review I decided to retry I m so glad I did We ll be back, +1 star for excellent breakfasts Complaint. A genuine start mentioning review details. Apology and commitment to improve. Increase star rating, that s real results. 18
19 Hotel Engages & Wins Samantha, Feb 3, 2013 Rooms are very small. Doors open to outside except 3rd floor. Older hotel and not very clean. We moved the next day to another hotel, this one did not meet my standards. Would not recommend it. Complaint. Hotel Sales & Service, Feb 4, 2013 We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay with us. We do realize that we are an older hotel and we strive to maintain a friendly and welcoming environment for our guests. I hope the remainder of your stay in Savannah was excellent. Yours In Service, Director of Sales While this customer won t be back because historic isn t her gig, others will see online that you value feedback and genuinely strive for great service. A genuine start and statement of fact. Admit limits and offer gracious conclusion. Be known as the brand that listens. 19
20 What Not To Do Jessica, April 15, 2013 I can t believe it, as soon as I wear this stuff and wash it once, it falls apart. Get your act together #brandname! Complaint. Brand Name Customer Service, April 17, 2013 Jessica, thanks for your feedback, but we have to say, it s quite a surprise. Have you checked your washing machine, because this likely isn t an issue with our product. In the future, read the tag. In this case, no one wins. The customer has just taken your reply to her blog site, read by 5,000 and continued her social media venting, spreading further damaging information about your brand and she and her readership are likely turned off for life. A sarcastic start worsens the exchange Defensive and accusatory while denying responsibility. Long term side effects 20
22 The Results Still not sure that spending the time to engage with customers is worth it? As little as 1% increase in connection with online reviewers can result in anywhere from 11% to 25% increase in your overall sentiment. This proves, it is not a matter of if you should engage, but how much. Impact of Engagement: 22
23 Key Takeaways Reviews about your business are out there, it s imperative that you listen, respond and fix the issues before they recur. Plan a time, even if only a few minutes a week, to reply to social media reviews using these best practices. Ensure you size your team and efforts to expand as you grow. Remember 5 Best Practices: 1. Deliver brand savvy replies 2. Don t take it personally 3. Reply to both negative and positive reviews 4. Operationalize review feedback 5. Measure your progress 23
24 NewBrand customer experience management software does more than just social listening, analytics and reputation management. It enables you to quickly identify, prioritize and implement changes that will have the greatest impact on your brand at the local, regional and global level. With NewBrand, you listen, understand, prioritize and act to quickly and decisively make decisions that will improve customer loyalty and acquire new customers. See NewBrand in Action Copyright newbrandanalytics. All rights reserved. newbrandanalytics, Social Market Intelligence, Social Business Intelligence, nba Insight, nba Advantage, nba Connect, nba Instant are trademarks or registered trademarks of newbrandanalytics.