I’m beyond frustrated, I will never use your product again – There it is, those are the golden words which can be wonderful triggers for new business. Social media has enabled customers to communicate their likes, dislikes, preferences and more. This provides an opportunity to generate leads via competitors monitoring through social media.
Intent to Switch – Legally steal your competitors customers
One of the key indicators of a potential customer is when customers are frustrated and complaining about a service or product. Traditionally it was very difficult to observe and know when your competitors customers are intending to switch. Most customers would typically vent by calling into customer service via a phone call, making it impossible for you to know if they are facing issues.
The Social Media Advantage
Social media has turned the tables in your favour completely. Social media networks are common grounds where customers can directly speak their minds out about a product or service issue. It also enables you to connect with the customer directly.
So is this really possible? Do companies do this, especially enterprise companies?
Nokia versus Samsung
A classic example of this is the case where a Samsung Blogger was complaining about an activity done by Samsung. Nokia jumped in publicly contacted the blogger and offered to help him. What do you think the blogger did?
The bigger advantage
Not only did Nokia show the agility which is needed, it also created a large amount of positive buzz for itself.
Is it really this simple?
In order to generate potential lead from your competition you need to be monitoring them. Social media makes it simple to monitor however, the challenge often is that the volume of conversations on social media channels can be overwhelming. Especially when you monitor multiple competitors.
The problem is further multiplied if you’re an enterprise organization with multiple lines of products and services.
There is another challenge
Don’t run off to open your competitors social media pages and handles right away hoping to find possible leads. You’re most likely going to be disappointed as you won’t find customers necessarily complaining at the moment in time when you visit there. It might be a longish wait.
Lead generation monitoring approach
Without a lead generation monitoring approach you’re going to get frustrated pretty soon. An effective lead generation monitoring and execution approach needs to take into account a number of external and internal factors in order to be successful.
- Competition – Who all are you going to be monitoring, and across which social channels.
- Conversation topics – What topics aligned with products/services
- Contact and engagement rules – How to approach the potential lead.
- Keywords – What are keywords which can trigger intent.
- Integration with sales and other teams– A work flow to ensure the appropriate teams are flagged and assigned tasks.
- Tagging – A system for recording opportunity area and probability.
Though the above are stated as single line items, you need to give considerable thought to each. (I’ll cover these in another article)
There are some other advantages of monitoring your competition.
E.g. Customers speaking about the competitors product problems can be turned into showcases of your product strengths.They can be brilliant testimonials.
E.g. Customers speaking about things they like about their products can be used to enhance your products and be valid direct feedback to your product teams.
What are the common points of failure?
1. Wrong keyword selection is often the first point of failure. For e.g. if you search for I want a new xyz product or service name. It’s quite unlikely that people express this. People are often talking about a challenge or issue they are facing with a product, not so much as expressing a desire for a product. So keyword selection for monitoring involves first looking thru the kind of conversations people are having and then deciding probable keywords. Keyword selection is a continuous process and not a one time process as different people express their desires, frustrations in different ways.
2. How to connect with the customer: So you see a customer complaint about your competitor, how do you approach the person, do you make a direct contact and sales pitch? The risks being a) the competition does the same back to you, b) the customer getting irritated. You need to work out a clear approach plan, based on the context, and need to have different types of conversation starters to avoid a backlash.
Social media has enabled one to legally view your competitors and their customer interactions. The potential of lead generation via your competitors is huge. You need to clearly define your CCC KIT for lead generation and be aware of the points of failure.