Remember the good old days of the Shortwave radio?  It would play along in the background as if there was something of great importance about to happen.  Realtime listening at its finest!

I know it's kind of 'Old School', but I was rather surprised when my father-in-law said he was wanting to sell a ..... wait for it .... PRO Series AM/FM / SHORTWAVE / TV SOUND / AIR / MARINE MULTIBAND RECEIVER.   Not only that, but one which is in really good condition, I don't think anyone has ever used it.

The way in which we communicate has changed considerably in the past few years.  But are we any good at listening?  While we spin the tuning dial, do we actually stop and take notice of what is being said?  Is there such a thing as 'fine tuning'?

Today, I was having a conversation with Tanja Clauberg about the Art of Social Listening.  Tanja was explaining how she helps add the WOW into Travel & Tourism, by helping businesses understand what their customers are saying.  Once you know what your customers are saying, you can change products, services and processes to help create an exceptional customer experience.

Don't you just love those low-cost budget airlines which have a habit of treating customers poorly with a badge of 'un-reliable' pinned proudly to their chests?  I often watch a television show about one such Australian operating airline, Tiger Airways.  Time and time again, I see upset passengers who seem to have been poorly treated, while the airline doesn't seem to care.  It's easy to see room for improvement, but in most cases improvement is not what the customer wants!

Okay, don't tune out on me quite yet.  The low-cost budget airline is still in business today because it has listened to what the customer wants.  The ability to get from A to B at a low cost.  Their customers are happy to sacrifice comfort and reliability for a cheap ticket.

Today is the era of 'Big Data'. Thousands of photos, blog posts and videos are being shared on the internet daily. It's as if there's an infinite number of channels which we can tune into.  With Social Analytics we are able to identify trends in what people are saying about our industry, brands and services.

As I've said before, a Social Business is a People Business.  We need to be listening to what our customers and prospects are saying.  Take the time to have 'real world' interaction with your customers, they like to feel that you're listening to them.  But, also be tuned into what people are saying on-line, it's often more honest.

Here are some tools which may help you to analyse what people are saying on-line:

  • Cognos Consumer Insights - Create relationships. Build advocacy. Improve loyalty
  • Social Mention - Realtime social media search and analysis
  • TweetEffect - Find out what tweets made people follow or leave you
  • Converseon - A social media listening agency that listens for you
  • Spiral16 - Software tool based on organisation, accuracy, visualisation and analysis
  • Google Alerts - Provides streaming updates of latest relevant search results
  • Tweetdeck - A free tool which helps to monitor keywords on your category or brand