Social Media … Changes and Awakenings in the Customer Relationship

Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 10.52.44 PMSocial Media is an ever-changing landscape, however if your strategy is not yet determined, or if you have not updated your strategy in the past month, then here are a few points to consider.

  • Is your focus on engagement and building relationships? Is this how you measure your efforts, or are your measurements still centred around selling? Sales are important but it should never be your only metric – think about creating the proverbial pipeline. The pipeline is created with relationships.
  • Don’t just post, think about how your message will be received by the person reading it. Your message might be very interesting to you, but will it be interesting for others?
  • Instead of just making statements, try asking questions that will provoke thought within the person you are trying to connect with. You are, however, trying to get them to think about themselves and not about whatever is important to you.
  • When we can show that we are interested in them, we would have made them feel more significant and we build trust within the people we are trying to connect with.
  • The big question is … What is the customer expecting from us, how will we get the attention of the customer? Listen to their needs and then deliver on what the customer needs, not what we perceive they need. This perception is based on our experience or statistics and that’s guaranteed not to be the customer’s current need. We will need to  listen more than ever or else we will miss the opportunity to have a relationship with our clients.
  • Relationships are built on trust, and one of the best ways to establish trust is by using stories that are heartfelt and authentic – tell other people’s stories about their real experience with your product – we are not in the 90’s where stories were contrived and scripted.

Why all this fuss, why must our approach to the way we communicate with customers change?

Because everything you have read above, although you may not be doing it yet, is being done or is being planned by your competitors. Now that you have some insight into what they are doing – What are you going to do differently?

Benchmarking is a thing of the past, get over it and get moving in the direction of where your clients expect you to go. Where is that? The real answer is – we will never know unless we listen. Listening constantly and allowing what our customers say to disrupt us, rather than confirm our thinking is the way to begin. Then the real challenge arrives – how are you going to engage with your customers and prospective customers?

It gets a little more complex and a little more simple at this point : all that these customers are expecting from you is a relationship and we need to ask ourselves What do we know about relationships? If you are thinking with customers then start adjusting your thinking, think real relationship – yes, the relationship you have with your loved ones and you will be close to the relationship that you should be nurturing with your clients.

Relationships are the way to go, no technology will help you and the value of the relationship is determined by effort – what effort are you prepared to put in to have a relationship with people, will they trust you enough to give you their business too?

Of course this is not simple, but the question is how badly do you want the relationship or does your competitor want it more than you do?

Photo credit: Andi Licious / Foter / CC BY

About RichSimmondsZA

Retired but still Disruptive
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