Every economist and accountant worth his/her salt that I have spoken to / badgered / pestered / stalked recently have all given the same tip for businesses looking to survive the crunch; LOOK AFTER YOUR EXISTING CLIENTS/CUSTOMERS.
As I have mentioned in a previous post, recession is a poor practise cleanser and punishes anyone who executes poor business and customer relations. This is where I feel social media comes in. The beauty of social media is that it is an honest forum where any cynical posting gets sniffed out and ignored almost instantly. The point is that you simply communicate, nothing special nothing salesy, just like you would if you were talking to someone in a pub. This means businesses can take off their suits and talk to the online community in the manner the system was set up for.
Blogs give companies a chance to talk about whatever they like, safe in the knowledge that the only people who will read it will be people who want to read it. Consumer companies can tweet directly to their audience without having to sell them anything, just chat about matters of the day. It is all about finding the right community. There are so many communities on the web that you will always be able to find people that are interested in what you say and you interested in what they say.
Sadly, most financial directors won’t see the point in such time consuming activities which don’t directly sell a product to the masses, but something we forget in this country is the need to keep customers happy at all times and at whatever cost.
The importance of customer service can be summed up thus: Near where I used to live were two pubs, one had a Sky TV, pool table, gambling machines, conservatory and dart board – the other played crap music at a low volume. One pub was rammed day and night, 7 days a week, the other only had a slow and steady small customer base. Guess which one had the better customer service.
Social media, simply put, can help charities, businesses, local governments and organisations communicate with their audience in a way no other medium allows them to do. Only two rules: Share and be honest.