October 26, 2010

posted by: Carissa Drohan-Jennings

Why Residents May Use Facebook As A Feedback Medium

facebook

 

I was researching an article today and I came across this comment from Lauren Demar, CEO, Ipsos Marketing, Global Consumer Goods Sector, “Our data indicates that brand profiles on Facebook are good complements to a corporate website.  Consumers visit Websites for information and promotional offers; however, when they really want to express their opinions about a brand they turn to Facebook.”

Demar continues,“Marketers are appropriately exploring the use of Facebook as a new way to “listen” to their consumers. Websites are ideal for sharing information about the brand offer with its consumer franchise. However, Facebook can be leveraged to really listen to what consumers are saying about the brand experience, by providing them with what they may perceive to be a less threatening forum for self-expression.  Marketers can enrich the value of social networking sites by elevating the consumer experience and ensuring it is consistently engaging, useful in terms of content, and a two-way conversation. Websites and social networking forums like Facebook each have a role to play in establishing and building a bond with the consumer.”

I know from my previous conversations with landlords that Facebook still remains a mystery.  Most Facebook pages that I've seen focus around advertising units.  The pages become somewhat of a micro website that mimics the purpose and content of the main rental site.  Instead, landlords should be refocusing their pages to listen to the voice of their residents and letting them share their opinions and/or experiences with other residents. 

Getting feedback is something that is often feared but it is vital when trying to provide great customer service.  As a landlord you need to know what your residents really think if you're going to be successful at retaining them.  You need to know if you are doing a good job at providing them with the service that they expect to receive.  If you're not then you need to know what areas you need to improve upon.

Remember, even if the feedback you see is negative you still have an opportunity to turn around the situation.  Negative feedback is hard to take sometimes but it is often good to hear.  If your renters see you actively trying to improve your customer service and respond to any complaints then your reputation as a good property manager will only stand to improve and your residents will feel more valued as your customers.

If you're unsure about using Facebook as a feedback medium, try adding a secured resident forum to your website's resident portal.  You will still be able to see the feedback but it will be kept in a more controlled space.  This way the comments are never seen by a larger audience.   It's an option worth considering if you're timid about letting your residents converse in a public place.