With hard hitting opinions online ranging from labor to customer service to product quality issues, retail brand reputations are at stake with every online comment posted. So how can retail stores and brands stay ahead of, and manage all, online crises that come their way? The answer is simple: Use Social Intelligence, through social listening tools, for your crisis management.

So, how can a social listening tool help a retail business in a time of crisis? These tools are able to quickly detect and manage any social media crisis that may come up in many different ways, including the use of real-time alerts and detailed analytics. With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is important for retail businesses to fully understand how to handle the pressure of increased comments, whether they are negative or positive. So here is a brief list of ways that Social Intelligence and social listening tools can help a retail business in crisis:


Provide Shoppers with Real-Time Customer Service: Social Media has transferred the power away from businesses to consumers. The days of a single source controlling a brand’s reputation are long gone, and now consumers have a public platform to share their voice with the world, and all too often they use this platform with a negative tone. Consumer complaints, which were once hidden behind letters and phone calls, are now on display for the world to see, including potential customers. Social intelligence platforms not only help online customer service teams discover brand mentions and customer issues in real-time, but also provide a platform for routing customer issues to the appropriate department to fix the problem.

A great example of this is Kohl’s. They are one of the most proactive retail brands on social media, reaching out to customers via Facebook and Twitter, and incorporating social media for product reviews and shopping assistance into the Kohl’s website for easy sharing.

Abnormal Data Spikes: It is important to pay attention to real-time social listening data alerts. When there is a sudden peak in sentiment or mentions, you want to be the first to get notified! This gives you the ability to monitor the situation and make sure it does not spiral out of control. It is crucial for your business that you understand where your customer reviews, opinions and conversations are coming from, this way you can analyze why your brand is receiving certain results and use that information to move forward, evolve and, most importantly, grow revenue. A good rule of thumb to think about when you see spikes in mentions, sentiment or anything else that seems strange, is that any online conversation pertaining to your brand that sparks more than 5 additional comments should be given close attention by your team.

Real-time alerts on sensitive topics: Setting up alerts based on sensitive keywords is also a must for any company hoping to detect and manage crises. Retail brands can easily fall prey to attacks online. For brands launching new products, keeping an eye on those keywords is essential to ensuring that the launch goes smoothly.

Interested in learning more about how Synthesio can help you, or how you can help yourself, be prepared for any crisis that can possibly come your way? Download our FREE ebook: Plan For Your Next Crisis With Social Intelligence. This guide will help you understand data spikes, large conversations with many comments, real-time alerts on sensitive topics and how to implement an adverse events decision tree.