I recently went to lunch with my family. While they went to the restroom, I pulled out my phone to flip idly through Facebook. Facebook, being as perceptive as it can sometimes be, using location services to identify which restaurant I was at. Then, it was ever so helpful to tell me what people talk about when they’re at that restaurant.
The consensus? When people are there, they tend to talk about the slow, poor service.
Go ahead and guess how great our service was at lunch.
Go, on. I’ll wait.
I’m kidding, of course. The service was atrocious. You don’t need to guess that – you already know it. For what it’s worth, the food was good.
In the past, you had to sort of stumble across someone talking about your business who didn’t really know it was yourÂ business in order to find out what people really thought of you. Or, you had to run a focus group to try to convince people to tell you what they really think of your business, without filtering out negative feedback. Social media has made people’s unfiltered thoughts much more accessible to everyone – business owners and customers alike.
This means that as a credible business owner, there is now officially no excuse for you not to know what people are saying about your business. Even if you do not have an active social media presence, you need to periodically check in to see what people are saying about you. You may be wondering why – after all, the reason you don’t have an active social media presence is because you think social media is stupid or you just don’t have the time.
That’s fine. But your customers are likely using social media – some of them at least. And you need to know what kind of information others are sharing about you there so you can appropriately address any issues and promote the things your customers already love. Without doing this, it’s very possible you’ll lose business because people aren’t willing to see if the negative feedback is accurate. I know that if I’d seen those comments about poor service before we’d been seated, I likely would have picked a different restaurant. There is no better focus group than social media. Learn what your customers think of you, for free. You can’t afford not to.