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Cynthia Clark | December 12, 2013

Not All Publicity is Good Publicity

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sentiment blog2.jpgRemember a time when customers were exposed to organizations almost solely through television commercials, newspaper and magazine ads, and mailings? Today, brand mentions seem to be thrown at us from all directions. Open your inbox and there are a handful of promotions, click on a website and advertisements pop up on the side.

Not to mention when you check your Facebook page or Twitter feed. It seems like everyone is talking about their brand experiences, sharing the good, the bad, and also the ugly.

And especially today, when almost everyone has a smartphone, customers are talking about their interactions with organizations all the time. They no longer need to wait to get home and in front of their computers before praising a brand or complaining about a negative experience, turning a personal encounter into a very public one.

This means that organizations need to be extra diligent in making sure they deliver on their promises or they will soon find their customers highlighting their failures about anyone who will listen. And talk about a negative experience can seriously impact an organization's image and undermine efforts to acquire new customers.

"Not all attention is good attention," notes SAP in a just-published infographic. The company looked at social mentions and analyzed customer sentiment during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These are some of the findings:

• Customers talked about Black Friday almost three times more than they did about Cyber Monday.
• However, frustration was more prevalent on Black Friday while customers felt more excited and happy about Cyber Monday.
• The total volume of mentions about Black Friday went up by 495 percent over last year, while mentions about Cyber Monday went up by 292 percent, reaching almost 330,000.
• Sentiment about Black Friday was higher than last year. However, this was at its lowest on November 25 and on Thanksgiving Day, potentially due to stores' decisions to open early.
• In comparison, sentiment about Cyber Monday remained positive between November 20 and December 2.

While two big shopping days are already behind us, the holiday season is far from over and retailers still have the opportunity to wow customers with a positive experience. Tom Redd, VP of strategic communications at SAP Retail recommends that retailers keep a close eye on their customers to determine what they can do to improve the experience. "Keep them happy and get feedback," he recommends. Insights from this holiday season can then be applied to next year, allowing retailers to keep improving customer experience.

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