Businesses who don’t listen to, or create a dialogue with, their customers are missing the opportunity to have a customer for life.
This is the essence of what I’ve been discussing on this blog and is the synopsis of Brian Solis’ book, “Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate and Measure Success in the New Web.”
While I discuss establishing a person-to-person dialogue via one-on-one interviews, e-mail or the telephone, Brian’s focus is leveraging social media and the opportunities provided by social media.
As I’ve shared in the past, analytics provide access to more data than ever before. However, data without insights is not worth a lot.
It’s important to know where customers are finding you and how they want to engage with you so you can make it easy for them to do so. If they want to engage via e-mail then do so, if they prefer Facebook, engage with them there. As always, the customer is the driver of the relationship. It’s just easier for them to drive the relationship now than it was before the Internet and the advent of social media.
Building a relationship with your customer is critical to your business’s success. If you have built a positive relationship with your customer, you’ll increase referrals, increase retention rates, sales and lead generation. And if you do have a slip-up in terms of product quality or delivery down the road, you’ll have some positive equity to help offset the negative experience.
When you develop a relationship with your customers you’re inviting negative feedback which, as I’ve mentioned before, is a good thing. How do you know if you’re customer isn’t satisfied unless they let you know? What’s key for you is to be available, address their feedback and resolve their problem. Goodness knows how many other customers are having the same problem and not letting you know.
It’s critical to maintain your credbility. As such, don’t make promises you can’t keep, or you have no control over. You need to have some sense of your customers’ expectations in order to meet or exceed those expectations. I personally believe it’s important to underpromise and overdeliver.
It’s also important to empower your employees that are working directly with your customers so they know you expect them to deliver service that will make the customer one for life. Your employees may need some training on what this means so be prepared to help them undertand what you expect of them.
The elements of Brain Solis’ book apply equally well for social media as they do for all other forms of media, CRM and customer satisfaction. I believe they are the fundamentals of having a customer for life.
How is social media affecting how you deliver high levels of customer satisfaction?