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Leveraging social media and multi-channel can drive engagement and feedback

Social media is playing an increasingly important role in helping retailersÂ’ engage with their customers and it looks set to be an integral part of how they garner customer feedback in the future. By Glynn Davis


Leveraging social media and multi-channel can drive engagement and feedback

Ahead of Empathica presenting at the 4th Retail Bulletin Customer Loyalty Conference 2013 on June 12 Gary Topiol, managing director for EMEA at Empathica, highlights how structured surveys are becoming more integrated with social media and being undertaken across multiple channels.

“It is becoming more and more important that social media plays a part. People are still learning the best way to use it and how to respond to it,” he says.

Empathica is working on bringing the various social media feedback together and integrating them with the structured surveys that it increasingly undertakes across channels for clients including Boots, Debenhams and Waitrose.

The objective is to use the feedback from social media and surveys to better inform store managers on say issues they may need to address or conversely highlight particularly valued service they have delivered to customers.

To date feedback has been gathered in silos but Topiol says it is now being brought together utilising things like QR codes whereby a quick scan in-store takes the customer to an online survey that they can then either conduct on their mobile device at the time or on their desktop at a later date. 

“We need to have a conversation with customers in the way they want. At the moment we want feedback but it will only be done if say we can call the customer. We need to develop new ways of getting feedback. Surveys need to become more convenient and not so interrogative,” he says.

He highlights the tendency for younger consumers to complete surveys in real-time and cites Mitchells & Butlers as having 50% of its surveys undertaken on smart-phones after the customer has scanned the QR code in one of its pubs. “We’ll see more of this sort of feedback although whether it is QR codes or NFC only time will tell,” suggests Topiol.

Such feedback is then being increasingly brought together with customer comments and reviews from social media, sites like TripAdvisor, and the ‘Go Recommend’ app that has been developed by Empathica. 

Having it all in one place enables a greater level of analysis to be undertaken and a more objective view to be garnered, according to Topiol, who says: “Many businesses suffer from the challenge of multiple sources of feedback and so these organisations go with the source that supports their original points-of-view.”

One of the potential areas where the different feedback types could work well together is when social media has thrown up an issue and it is then investigated using structured surveys: “You can hear things first on social media and then dissect it at-scale by asking broader questions of the general population. This helps retailers understand it better.” 

This conference is a great place to share ideas with a focused peer group in a relaxed environment. Make sure of your place at this low-cost, one-day event by clicking here.


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