Can a business operate if it is separated from social networks? No. Companies of different levels establish their representations in social networks, such as VK, Facebook, etc. Due to specific features of social networks and the exponential growth of their audience, in the near future companies will need to create their own accounts and profiles to handle existing customers rather than to increase the audience and sales.
Research carried out by US-based experts (University of Hatford and the University of South Carolina) has revealed that a close association with the brand can be traced among customers if the company contacts the audience through social networks. Such customers feature loyalty and satisfaction with the quality of the goods and services offered.
The ‘State of Social 2016’ report revealed that 54% of companies provide support to customers through social media. The Sprout Social agency notes that customers looking for support first address social media to find company accounts. The number of customer support calls through accounts and social network groups increased by 18% in 2015-2016.
CRM system analytics: advantages for business
The current situation has both pros and contras. Social media is a new channel for companies to interact with audiences. This channel is not anonymous: users have their profiles that contain personal information. Customer information is always available if needed.
However, problems emerge that are associated with the analysis of an immense amount of information. The volume of data will only increase over time, since users spend much more time online than communicating and sharing various information offline. The audience of major social networks is growing exponentially. Today over 2 billion people already use social networks. If users are dissatisfied with the quality of a services provided by any company, they will definitely post an angry review on their page. It is much easier to do than to e-mail a complaint to the company or try to call the support desk. Many people do not trust conventional ways of resolving emerging issues. It is also worth noting that very often problems do not require an urgent solution.
Companies that value their online reputation should monitor such comments and timely respond to them. Customer messages on social networks cannot be disregarded since they are of significance for business. If a company is a small or medium-sized business, it can independently monitor comments on its new products. If the company has many branches located throughout the country and the products are sold via thousands of stores, the task becomes much more complicated.
Studying customer feedback in social media is similar to analyzing requests received through any other channel. However, reviews posted in social media bypass employees and are published immediately. They often have a positive connotation, but most frequently the tonality of reviews and comments is negative. A brand new niche obviously emerges: the data flow is immense, and therefore, the technologies designed for handling Big Data should be employed to analyze this flow.