Keeping tabs on customers’ sentiments is a critical component of running a successful business today, as a majority of the consumers turn to online reviews and social media buzz to make an informed decision.Staying on the top of the conversation that goes around your brand helps you mitigate any potential damages and positions your brand as an entity that cares about its customers.According to surveys on customer satisfaction and loyalty, 96% of your unhappy customers will not complain; however, 91% of those will simply never return.Therefore, companies that fail to prioritize listening to and acting on their customers’ feedback are unlikely to retain customers in the long run.Whether you’re a small business or large enterprise, you must listen to your customers actively and address their concerns to show that you love your customers and care about them.Here are some tips on how to monitor the online conversation around your brand and show your customers that you’re committed to their satisfaction.Customer Satisfaction SurveysBusinesses conduct customer satisfaction surveys to determine the happiness quotient of their customers. These surveys can be conducted in various ways, depending on the specific objective of the survey.Here are some common approaches to conducting customer surveys.In-app Surveys: If you want to get quick feedback from your website visitors in real-time, conducting in-app surveys is a good idea. It usually involves asking a quick question using a subtle, non-intrusive feedback bar. If you have a mobile app for your business, you can do the same to allow your customers to share their sentiments. Popular tools such as Survey Monkey and Floq can help you conduct these surveys. In-app software helps you measure some of the most common customer satisfaction metrics such as NPS (Net Promoter Score), CES (Customer Effort Score), and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score).Post Service Surveys: Post Service Surveys are handy when you want to measure customer satisfaction as soon as they buy your product or service. It’s effective because the customer is usually in the best position to respond to your survey. Businesses asking their customers to rate their services or live chat support experience via an email link or pop-up windows are good examples of this type of survey.Long Email Surveys: Both in-app surveys and post service surveys may be inadequate at times since they are unable to gather in-depth insights from the customers. This is exactly where long email surveys can be very useful as they allow customers to fully express themselves and share specific experiences. The only downside to these surveys is that they have a low response rate. According to Survey Gizmo, long email surveys typically have a 10-15% response rate. However, they are still an excellent approach to letting your customers share their sentiments in a comprehensive manner. Customer feedback tools such as Google Forms are ideal for conducting long email surveys.Monitor Quora AnswersWhen it comes to online discussions, Quora hardly needs any introduction. The immensely popular Questions & Answers site, with over 100 million monthly unique visitors, is a very useful tool for businesses to monitor conversations around their brand and connect with their users, customers and prospects alike, in real time.Even though Quora discussions aren’t as active as the ones on Facebook and Twitter, they still offer plenty of opportunities to understand customer sentiments and intent. Businesses keeping a close watch on these discussions can use the insights to build better products and improve services, offering better customer satisfaction in the long run.Moreover, Quora offers a unique opportunity for thought leaders to answer relevant questions and demonstrate authority in your specialty. Imagine the CEO of a start-up jumping into a Quora conversation about their products and answering their customers/prospects – this can have a significantly positive impact on the morale of your consumers.Encourage Customers to Write Reviews and TestimonialsOnline reviews and testimonials are powerful tools today as consumers tend to make their purchasing decisions based on the reviews from someone they know.Source: BrightLocal.comHowever, more than being influential, online reviews and testimonials are also opportunities for businesses to forge a bond with their customers. When businesses encourage their customers to leave a review immediately after they buy a product, it reflects a great deal of honesty and transparency and makes the customer feel privileged.Honest feedback is useful for both business and its potential buyers, especially when it’s positive. Customers feel valued when they are allowed to share their opinions. Therefore, businesses must encourage their customers to write user reviews and testimonials.Pro Tip: If you’re having a difficult time getting your customers to leave a review on your site, this guide can help.Learn from Social EngagementThe increasing use of social media tools has allowed many to share their experience with potential buyers, making it a key space for businesses to monitor.Major social media tools including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram witness users sharing their views, comments and reviews, influencing and shaping popular perceptions of your brand. When others respond to those views, they feel happy and privileged.Banking on these partners, businesses can either engage in an ongoing discussion or start their own thread and encourage others to join in and offer their feedback. When a business encourages their existing as well as prospective customers to join a conversation on social media channels, it sends a positive signal.While social engagement may appear time-consuming at first, there is a slew of tools to make the job easier for you.Final ThoughtsFrom encouraging customers to participate in a quick survey or write a review to joining an online conversation, businesses can adopt various creative approaches to get close to their customers, making them feel connected to their favorite brand. Apart from creating a positive brand value, these campaigns can offer your customers a sense of entitlement. Done well, this can help you turn your skeptics into advocates in the long run. About Bento for BusinessBento for Business offers a new generation of technology-driven SMART employee expense cards for SMBs, nonprofits, organizations and associations in the form of a business prepaid MasterCard. 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