At Thrifty Foods, We Listen

There are many benefits of being in the digital world as a business; one to one contact with your customers, conversations, customer service opportunities – but the biggest opportunity you have in social media is listening to what your customers (and your competitors) are saying.

Think about it: where else could you do this before social media came along?  You would have to perch yourself in your business and see if you could listen to your customers.  You had to wait for your customers to come to you with the good, and the not so good. Before social, you would only hear the very bad and very good – now you can hear all of it – and that’s valuable.

Now you can create a community, listen to what they are saying, and respond when needed.

listen for keywordsAt Thrifty Foods, through social media monitoring tools, we track several iterations of our name, as well as mentions on twitter of our handle, and any public mentions of the company on Facebook.

Often, this will allow for a conversation with a customer we didn’t know we could have in the old days.  Long line ups, loving a product, not loving a product, staff commendations, and much more – so many people are talking about us, and often don’t tag us.

My favourite post to respond to is when a customer posts a message about awesome service they’ve received at one of our stores.  I never miss a chance to ask them to nominate one of our employees for a Smile Pin– it’s a formal reward our employees receive from their manager after a nomination from a customer or fellow employee is received online.  I know many of the people I reach out to after they’ve posted a message about great service will take a couple minutes and fill out the info and send it in.  Great chance to reward our employees!

Because we track so many keywords we also find conversations many of our employees are having about their  workplace.  Some positive…some not very positive.  I’m still amazed about what people will say when they think no one is listening.  All messages are monitored and some are escalated to an employee’s manager.  Employees, through this process, are  reminded  of our social media use policy.

Much focus is placed on the messages we post, how to word them, what images to use – but don’t ever forget to stop and listen.  What you’ll hear is as valuable as the reach of your posts.

Sarah Roberts

Sarah Marlayne Roberts is a public relations and digital media strategist based in Victoria, BC. She has extensive marketing, social media, public relations, and special events experience from her work in television (CTV Television, Canadian Idol, Juno Awards, The Bachelor Canada) and with some of Canada’s most vibrant brands including The Edmonton Oilers, the legendary Hudson’s Bay Company and now, Thrifty Foods. Her focus at Thrifty Foods is on the company’s digital presence including the web and social channels, working to reflect the in-store experience online. In her spare (?!) time, Sarah also blogs about pop culture and other stuff you shouldn’t live without at STUFF by Sarah and works with small business clients on maximizing their online presence.

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  • http://twitter.com/landsharkz landsharkz

    Wow, I had no clue that TFoods was on Pinterest! Thanks Sarah.