Interesting white paper from ClickSquared, 1to1 Media and Peppers & Rogers Group entitled, “Creating a One-to-One Dialogue Through Social Interaction” (the white paper is available on any of the aforementioned company sites after registering).
I am, and always have been, a big proponent of having a dialogue with prospects and customers in order to get to know them as people and, consequently, getting to know their needs and wants.
The proliferation of social media gives both B2C and B2B companies tremendous opportunity to have a meaningful dialogue with customers.
However, there’s a lot more talk about using “big data” to essentially continue to market to customers, rather than creating a relationship with them.
Using social media to market to, rather than create a dialogue with, consumers is a tremendous lost opportunity.
Several points in the white paper illustrate this:
- “According to a recent Bain & Company report, customers who engage with companies in social media typically spend 20 to 40 percent more with those companies than customers who don’t engage.”
- “When companies are able to consistently demonstrate their ability to listen to what customers have to say in social media and that they’re acting on customer input, companies earn customer trust.”
- “Customers who trust the companies they do business with are more likely to remain loyal, recommend the company to others, and increase the amount of business they do with that company.”
- Integrity leads to trust. Trust leads to repeat business. Repeat business generates more revenue.
- “Earning and maintaining trust is crucial today given the transparent nature of social media. It is essential that companies are upfront in public dialogues with customers and don’t delete negative posts — especially considering the backlash such an action can generate.”
- “Social communities are a powerful platform to leverage word of mouth and customer advocacy. An advocate is different (and more valuable) than a loyal customer in that s/he supports, and is loyal to the brand, but also recommends and actively promotes the brand” as a result of having a strong emotional connection with the brand.
- This emotional connection with the brand is made with people, not with data. Data can facilitate and make the dialogue more productive; however, the human element is still required.
So how do you do this? Use the data you are gathering and empower your employees to engage customers and prospects via social media to begin a dialogue and start a relationship.
Zappos has done a great job with this and Amazon is improving after buying Zappos.
Chipotle has done this with me. They’ve made me a “raving fan” in the process and. consequently, I’ve personally introduced them to at least 100 new customers over the last five years.
What are you doing to promote a relationship with your prospects and customers?