Before I proceed I want to share with you a personal sorry that occurred recently.
I was disappointed at mediocre internet banking infrastructure of the two banks #hdfcbank, #icicibank and the unhelpful call center of #jetairways. The numerous attempts to the call center that either put me on hold for a good 20+ minutes or were unable to understand the requests yielded no results. Such waits and both frustrating and costly. I did what was the next step. Vent out my frustration on a tweet.
In less than 12 hours, I had ‘messages’ #icicibank #jetairways requesting for more details. In less than 24 hours of me providing my contact details, the representatives called me and promised to fix the issue. One bank #hdfcbank, just chose to be unheard and non-present on twitter. Needless to say thy just lost my $10K investment that I was planning to do to their competitor.
As a customer, I was delighted that a 140 character tweet could achieve what a 20min international phone call or a 300 word email could not. Harnessing its power, let’s get serious.
Unfortunately, most companies are still treating social media like just another teenage fancy. When in fact, it’s so much more.
Where can Social Media help?
- customer service, building loyalty
- public relations, networking, thought-leadership
- and yes, may be customer acquisition, too.
- And because I’d hate to see it all not add up, I’ll add this tiny bit of advice. Do not assume that social media is the answer to every problem
- If your product sucks, social media won’t fix it.
- However, if your customer service sucks, social media can help.
- If your repeat business sucks, social media can help.
- If your company’s word of mouth sucks, social media can help.
So, here’s what you need to do:
Define your company’s online marketing strategy. Hope is not strategy
Stop thinking “campaigns”. Start thinking “conversations.
Your customers are queuing there. Your resistance to social media is futile. Millions of people are creating content for the social web. Your competitors are already there. Your customers have been there for a long time.
If your business isn’t putting itself out there, you are putting yourself out of business?