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Social Intelligence Trends for 2013

The explosion of online customer feedback is transforming how businesses will use social intelligence to deliver a quality customer experience. Using information analyzed from 2012, here are some key trends that newBrandAnalytics predicts operators will see unfold in 2013:
Good-bye surveys: newBrandAnalytics, reports that in 2012, organizations witnessed a 25% increase in online customer reviews. With a consistent, reliable and free source of feedback coming from the web, social intelligence has rendered solicited surveys pointless, and businesses will start to eliminate spend on solicited surveys in 2013.  
Industrial espionage is now legal and free: Forget old-school normative assessments and anonymous data. Smarter companies will use social intelligence to dig into their competitors’ performance. They will not only benchmark competitors' social data to try to outperform on operations, but also as inspiration for product creation.  
So long traditional performance evaluations: Social intelligence will drive the real-time 360° performance evaluation system of the future. Forward-thinking companies will see the value of using online feedback from customers, guests, and co-workers to assess performance, make hiring/firing decisions, and motivate staff.  Says Randy Stanley, Vice President of Parasole Restaurant Group, “Sharing online feedback places psychological control on employees. They recognize and accept that everyone is a critic and that they can read about their performance online daily, good or bad. They see now that they have to be ‘on’ all of the time. Every experience counts. That’s powerful."
Social media, not just for marketing anymore: As brands expand their myopic view of social media and position it as a strategic business function, social media will break through the walls of the marketing department. Operations, human resources, customer service, and product development teams will have their own personal views into the intelligence. Ultimately, disseminating the information to more individuals ensures that investments in new locations and product offerings have the desired results in revenue and profitability.  
Star ratings are so yesterday: Consumers and businesses alike will start ignoring the once-coveted star ratings as they are proving to be misleading, unreliable and not actionable. Instead, they will flock to online review analysis tools to gain the meaty insights and details they’re looking for. Consumers will seek verbatim reviews in making their purchase decisions; businesses will decipher the true meaning and uncover important themes discussed in these unstructured reviews to drive improvements. Ultimately, star ratings will be rendered useless.
Everything’s local: Companies will move from trusting brand level intelligence to wanting location-specific intelligence.  The conclusion --- it's no longer about the brand. Savvy companies will use location-specific social reviews and alerts to quickly pinpoint trouble spots and react in a way best suited to deliver the best possible customer experience in that location or store.

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