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Listening Closely to your Customers, through Socialytics

By: Tom Redd, Vice President Global Retail Business Unit, Strategic Comms. Retail Lifecycle Solutions at SAP Labs

No one can deny that social media is huge.  Everyone, young or old, now seems to have an online social presence, whether it is through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, blog, online product reviews or all of the above.

Therefore, every individual has a voice and the ability to virtually speak out, either positively or negatively, about anything – including your retail business!  Extending this – the last thing you want is to have one of your customer’s openly complain on social media about a shopping experience or a product that you carry and then have it be trending on Twitter!  Depending on how much reach a negative social trend has it could create as much revenue/margin impact as a major organized crime shoplifting hit on one of your stores!

So, how do you prevent such a social media catastrophe?  Your only option is to keep a close ear on your customer—to catch and address any “negative toned” issues expressed through social media right when they happen. But this is no easy task and a few summer interns cannot just monitor Facebook and Twitter for you to watch for negative comments.  No, this task involves sifting through the immense amounts of unstructured data in Facebook status updates, tweets, blog posts, and the like! 

This is where a powerful social analytics, or socialytics tool, can help.  Socialytics can segment social media data by positive or negative sentiment, geography and demographics to make it relevant to your brand-monitoring needs. It enables you to see when a customer has tweeted a product complaint, enabling you to then take action to immediately reach out to the customer to make it right.  On the other hand, if a customer is raving about an awesome experience they had with your company, you can reach out, thank and reward the individual for sharing his or her experience.   As this area grows it will become a whole new way to market and sell product and services.

Connecting with your customers through social media is yet another way innovative companies today are differentiating themselves from their competitors.  By providing above and beyond customer service with socialytics, you can create and fortify customer loyalty and be ready for what is around the corner in our fast changing world of retail. 

Oh, and the 2 college interns that used to monitor Facebook and Twitter for you?  They can handle converting the positive social feedback into more sales!

To learn more about socialytics, check out the following resources:

RIS News Insights Thought Leadership Paper- Social Media Strategies: Enhance Engagement and Enrich Your Customer Knowledge

Netbase: Enterprise Social Intelligence Platform

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