Binah Advisory, on Social Media and The Customer Experience
Binah Advisory's Founder and CEO, Tullio Siragusa, is Speaking at the American Teleservices Association, about Social Media and the Customer Experience in NYC, on June 24th, 2009. -- To register cut and paste the following link into your browser: http://bit.ly/fDgbQ
The world is changing at a rapid pace; social networks are opening doors for people of all walks of life.
Brands should take advantage of such advancements to improve the relationship they have with the consumer, which has a direct impact on the bottom-line.
Not too long ago, customer service centers measured how fast and how effective a service representative could handle a customer inquiry, complaint, question, and any other service related issue. These metrics will soon be a thing of the past. Want proof?
Recently a customer visiting a major tire manufacturer facility was looking to get new tires for his car, when the wait time was longer than expected or advertised the consumer Twitted about it, to his surprise the tire maker responded with an apology; later the customer Twitted again that he was still waiting and was not satisfied with the experience; the company offered complementary tires to the customer.
Experiences like this, are a reminder that in order to effectively maintain customer loyalty, it’s not enough to have a call center taking calls, brands need to be aware of what consumers have to say real time, and respond in real time.
Today, with social media, a consumer complaint can reach millions of people almost instantly, so can an endorsement; the consumer is the one in charge of a brand's success, or failure.
What should brands do, to get closer to their consumers and improve the customer experience?
Establish communities around your products and services within social networks, chances are that a good percentage of a brand’s consumer is online, on a social network at some point during the day, if not all day long. Within these communities, create a customer service vehicle for the consumer to interact with you.
For example, if you are in the consumer packaged goods business, establish communities around your products on all the major social networks, allow your consumers to interact with you and with each other. You can learn a great deal about what is working, what is not working, and how to improve your product to meet the needs of the consumer.
Focus on the customer, provide real value, make it easy for the customer to do business with you, and the customer will take care of your bottom-line.
Improving the customer experience using social media, benefits the economy too; it creates new opportunities for those who are impaired for example, be it that they cannot go into an office, or they have speech impediments… as long as they can type and respond to an inquiry – brands will have created employment opportunities for many who would otherwise have more difficulty.
There are some brands already using social media to improve the customer experience, but not enough of them. It’s not complex to build communities, and if you are a brand that is active in your community,(you give back, you have social gatherings) social media can enable you to build groups of interests where you can post events, allowing consumers to not only interact with you as the brand, but with each other.
Social media is still in its infancy, in terms of its potential global economic impact as a means to bridge the brand/consumer relationship gap. Beyond what social media has been historically used for (friends connecting), social media represents a shift in how brands create a better customer experience, and how they engage customers; the elusive 1:1 marketing dream spoken of in the 90s, is now becoming a reality.
In the not so distant future social media will change not only how brands provide customer service, but how