Listen to The Social Customer

I just finished reading The Social Customer by Adam Metz.  I am teaching a digital marketing elective this summer and wanted to have this in my toolkit.  I feel like I should send Adam more money for this book–he says that he is giving us a blueprint on how to set up a social CRM system, but he is very generous in giving readers more than a blueprint.  It is a very detailed description of what you must have in place, including executive and organizational buy-in, in order to really listen to your customers and truly understand how to serve them better.

Adam makes a strong case for how brands are social objects, even giving us a history lesson (which I appreciate), explaining how technology has made it easier for consumers to talk about brands and share their opinions with each other, whether brands like it or not.  The question is: are brands going to pay attention and actually do something with that great data?

In my own research on brands, I have found that consumers trust brands where they share values and when brands are transparent in the information they share with consumers.  In turn, when consumers are loyal to the brands, they will have a higher level of intent to repurchase those brands.  Adam is right to encourage us to listen to the social customer to make sure we keep them as customers, but I would add that it will have the added benefit of making sure consumers trust our brands as well.