Now that Social Media has been around for a awhile, and I say awhile meaning around 2 years for most people that will acknowledge it. There are still businesses out there dragging their feet at even attempting the use of Social Media.
If you haven't embraced it in some manner, what's holding you back? Do you know if people are talking about you? What if someone is giving you a compliment right now and you don't know it? Worse is if someone is complaining about you and again you don't know it. How do you try to fix something you don't know is happening?
The following story is a true story that happened to a friend. This person lives in a small town in Bend, OR. He has frequented a particular coffee shop every day, 365 days a year. He say's he spends about $1,400 a year at this place. It is a ritual to stop in, and yes everyone knows him.
On one particular morning he went in to order his usual (he orders the same thing every day) and they tell him that they are out of one of the items that is needed to make his drink. He is fine with this and asks that they order more. The next day he goes in and they still don't have the item. He gives the manager $20 to go buy some at the local store for the next morning. He comes back yet again the next morning and before he could get out of his car, the manager comes running out and gives him his $20 back and tells him not to come back.
To me this was an easy fix. Take the $20 go buy the item and make the customer happy.. Nope, not in this case. Here is where it gets really good.
Immediately my friend who has been a loyal customer for years has now been insulted and made to feel like he is not valued as a customer and worse, made to feel that his offer of help was really not wanted.
Here is where you as a business can't afford to let this go unchecked.
My friend immediate got a Yelp account and started telling the world about this incident. He was blogging about it and telling people what crappy customer service he had received after being a loyal customer.
It took about two weeks and after checking back on his Yelp account, the coffee shop has made amends and my friend is back to his regular routine. Obviously they heard the lesson loud and clear and decided to fix this problem quickly so they wouldn't lose a loyal customer.
This is not just for those in the "service" industry, but for every business. If you aren't listening you can't be certain what is being said.
It is like that old commercial "You tell two friends, then they tell two friends, etc" get the point?
I am not saying you have to have a Yelp account, although it isn't a bad idea, I am talking more like Facebook and Twitter. There are more people on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn than you would think. This is where people start their searches.
My advice. Start somewhere. Engage your clients/customers and start listening and interacting.
What are you doing to ensure you hear your customers?
photo credit : The Freeman