As our business has grown so has our customer base. As exciting as this is, the need to stay on top of brand-to-customer communication has become even more important. While it may seem overwhelming to think about managing customer feedback, you don’t need an entire customer service department to organize and address customer queries.

Here at Sprout, we believe that open communication between consumers and brands creates progress. We also believe that, regardless of size, it’s imperative to remain agile and evolve our product to meet the needs and demands of our customers and the marketplace. Social is where these ideals intersect.

The medium provides a rare opportunity to not only speak with customers but listen and discover. In fact, according to a Nielsen report, more than one-third of customers prefer to contact businesses for customer support questions through social media.

We don’t take customer feedback on social lightly—and you shouldn’t either. At Sprout, 25% of inbound messages are organized and tracked through message tagging. We then filter these messages using our Tag Report and present findings to the appropriate teams. Sprout’s Message Tagging isn’t just valuable for bolstering communication between our business and our customers; it can be beneficial when it comes to further developing our product based on customer needs.

For example, we used our Tag Report to analyze the message volume around requests for LinkedIn analytics. We then compared these asks with other product feedback we were receiving. This data collectively demonstrated that LinkedIn analytics were a priority for our customers and reaffirmed our decision to prioritize the LinkedIn Pages Report for development.

In addition to tracking inbound messages from customers, we tag any outbound message that has information on a product update or new feature. This lets us run a report that delivers learnings to our product team and provides us with a better understanding of customer sentiment. The product team continuously calls on us and Sprout’s Tag Report, to gather data, distill requests and identify patterns easily observed from our social community.

Promoting communication between businesses and customers strengthens the brand/consumer relationship. With Message Tagging, we’re able to monitor that communication in a way that helps us evolve our product and more efficiently understand and respond to our customer’s needs.