Recently I returned to Dell headquarters in Austin to participate in the company’s Consumer Advisory Panel for the second time. Dell wanted to know what customers (specifically those of us who blog and talk about brands like Dell on social media) think of Dell.
It was an amazing opportunity to be heard as a consumer. A year ago, our group made suggestions for improvement to customer service, brand messaging and the website. This year, they delivered. They updated us on their efforts to make our requests a reality. It’s a powerful feeling to be heard.
Put Your Listening Ears On
Dell’s got the listening thing down to a science. Its Social Media Listening Center is a model I think every company should emulate. They’re paying attention to conversations across social media channels, blogs and websites, and responding appropriately. Write a negative review of a Dell product? Dell’s social media team will find it and leave a comment asking to help you resolve your issue.
Can you say the same about your company?
Being a good listener doesn’t require a corporate sized budget. All you need are marketing people who know how to monitor social media channels and respond to help the customer. Here are a few other ways you can be a better listener.
- Talk to customers. Call them up. Email them. Invite them to your offices. Ask what they want and what they think.
- Send surveys. Make them short and specific.
- Encourage dialogue on social media with all of your employees.
- As the business owner, make your door open to anyone who wants your ear. And mean it.
By listening to your customers, you’ll soon find out if you’re on the right path in terms of marketing and branding, and you’ll get valuable feedback with regards to your website and products. And that, my friend, is priceless.