By now you have most likely heard that the world is changing, and consumers are greatly increasing their buying power through online social media. Imagine this, you walk into a store to purchase an item you have had your eye on. You know that another store sells a very similar product so you immediately get onto your smart phone or tablet to compare the store prices and product reviews. The opinion of a sales associate is nice to know but it is also important to hear from real-life users of the products.
Nielson recently released a study that reported the second most trusted source of brand information and messaging are online consumer reviews. Buyers’ trust in online reviews is projected to increase from 70% to 85% within the next few years. This may make keeping up with technical changes to keep your competitive advantage challenging. Having a
- Neilson also found that 61% of buyers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. Online reviews can be anything from a simple peer recommendation, sharing of images, customer testimonials, and either a negative or positive comment.
- Reviews are starting to gain greater credibility as anonymity fades away. Now as the real identity of buyers is starting to come out more through sites like Facebook and Twitter, even more trust is being placed on reviews.
- With integration tools such as Social Listening, you can easily monitor what consumers are saying about your company or products on social networks. You can respond in real time to make sure you are staying in conversation.
- Keep an eye out for your competitors by monitoring what consumers are saying about them.
- Understand purchasing signals and quickly react to generate leads and stay ahead of the competition.
- Customers value the ability to have a two way conversation with companies. You can not only give buyers valuable information, but you also have a greater ability to listen to what they have to say and react accordingly.
- With CRM, you can create a central location for a companywide look at each consumer. This helps to ensures that questions and concerns are answered in a timely manner.
- Successful businesses know that focusing on customer relationships should always be a number one priority. Having a strong presence online where consumers are talking will help you to understand their needs better in order to build stronger relationships.
Never underestimate the consequences that can result from just one bad review. Negative comments online can really do some damage to your company. Stay involved in online social conversations and ahead of your competition with a socially connected CRM solution.
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By Socius, a CRM solution provider in Ohio and Kansas (www.socius1.com)