The explosion of social media has transformed the relationship between a business and its customers. Way back in the day, the worst that a business could expect from a poor customer experience was an irate phone call and one lost customer. In today’s world of Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, one angry customer can very quickly turn into 100…or even 1000 at a mind-blowing rate of speed. If one of your customers posts a negative status update or tweet for the day, hudreds of people are going to read it. And let’s not be foolish, bad pub,licity is not always good publicity.
However, these social media channels also offer business a means in which to interact with their customer base and repair damaged relationships. Businesses can use these sites to improve customer satisfaction by acknowledging problems and publishing the steps that will be used to fix the issues at hand. That is, of course, unless the businesses choose to sit on the sidelines and watch the social world pass them by because of one or all of these reasons:
Fear of Disclosure. Umm…so….I wasn’t supposed to post our marketing plan on Facebook? A lot of people worry that the utilization of social media will lead to confidential information being shared with the online world.
Fear of Stupidity. What? You didn’t know that the president of the company would post slanderous content in his blog? Many fret over what kind of wacky stuff employees may say when they have the mic.
Fear of Time Suck. Aren’t employees just going to spend all day looking at friends’ pictures and playing Farmville? Many believe that social media is only social, with no room for professional productivity.
Businesses must remember that they don’t really have a choice. Customers have come to expect the level of interaction with businesses that social media affords them. You know what that means — you’d better find the pull-start on that Twitter machine…like now.