If you have started a new business but do not have formal business training, you are not alone. In fact, some of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time did not graduate from college. However, you will need to take extra care to fill any gaps in your knowledge by educating yourself on important topics. One critical area is that of customer service. If your company cannot gather and address feedback effectively, it will not last long. Luckily, social media gives businesses multiple ways to accomplish these tasks.

Ask for It

Being direct is often the simplest policy, and this is true in the case of obtaining customer feedback. Asking your customers to like, comment on, or share your content is a straightforward way of finding out what they want. Responding to social media queries is quick and easy, so most people will do it if they are at least somewhat engaged. You can also use social media platforms to provide links to customer satisfaction surveys. The responses to your requests are quantifiable pieces of data, so they often provide a useful framework for understanding the status of your company.

Remember to evaluate the data you obtain in the context of your overall following. For example, if you have 200 followers, and 150 of them like the picture you post of your latest product, then you know that you are engaging about 75 percent of your following. It is also important to pay attention to trends in your feedback. If half of your followers ask if your new product comes in any other colors, you had better make multiple color options available.

Get People Involved

In addition to asking directly for feedback, you also need to create content that people instinctively want to like, share, and discuss. The food tech company hamptoncreek is a good example of how to do this effectively. The company has accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, where it showcases videos and pictures that make you wish you could reach right through the screen and grab a cookie. Such enjoyable content naturally encourages people to learn more about the company and its values.

Be Courteous and Thorough

Collecting customer feedback is only half the battle—you also have to do something with it. Designate time each day to the task of consolidating and responding to the information you obtain. In cases where the feedback is positive, your job is pretty easy. Respond pleasantly and be sure to thank customers for their business. If possible, personalize your responses to address the content of the feedback.

Things get a little bit trickier in cases of negative feedback. There may be times when comments are clearly left by trolls, but in general, you should respond to all concerns quickly and fairly.  If you have a money-back guarantee, honor it. If an employee needs discipline or training, take care of the problem and let your customers know that you did. Do everything you reasonably can to make their problems disappear. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is also an opportunity to retain customers and obtain positive feedback in the future.

In all cases, keep your tone courteous and pleasant. Angry customers sometimes say nasty things over the internet, but it is your job to take the high road. As always, proofread your responses before you send them to save yourself from making embarrassing and unprofessional errors.

Understand Your Data

Monitoring likes and shares of your content is one way to get a rough estimate of how popular it is, and if your content goes viral, its popularity is pretty much a given. However, to really get to the bottom of why your content resonated with your followers, you should make use of tools that track things like how aware people are of your brand, how much research they have done about it, and inbound links to your site.

The Customer is Always Right

Even if you have a lot to learn on the business front, you can still build a brand that people love by letting them know that their preferences matter to you. Ask your customers what they want, and do everything you can to give it to them. They will remember your efforts, patronize your business, and speak well of it to others. Establishing a helpful and caring reputation is one of the best things you can do for the long-term health of your organization.

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