Social media is all the rage. Between the changes to Facebook and GooglePlus, the upstart Pinterest, and the stodgy LinkedIn, social media is everywhere. Businesses that want to excel in marketing and customer service are flocking to social, in order to better engage their clients and patrons.
But, if you step back, and take a long hard look at customer service, you will find that the majority of companies aren’t embracing all the benefits social media has to offer.
As a customer, I don’t expect to be treated like a king. I expect them not to bend to my questions and demands, to only do what’s in their best interests. So, when that doesn’t happen, when the business does more than what’s expected, I’m amazed, and will quickly become a raving fan.
Case in point. I bring my car to the dealership where it was purchased for service, and in fact, have never serviced it elsewhere. It’s as if I believe their oil is better than the local service station. The first golden customer service nugget occurred when my service advisor called to let me know that my front rotors needed to be “cut” and that it would be a bit expensive. Did I need it? Do I even know what the rotors do, and how they would be better if cut? No on both accounts, but I told him to perform the service anyway. After all, he said I should. About 2 hours later, I received a call to tell me the car was ready, and I inquired about the costs. He told me what was done, and how much the total was. Then, without any delay, he said, “I see you get the car serviced here regularly, so I will put the rotors under warranty.” Completely unexpected so…wow!
Then, when I went to pick up the car I realized I forgot my 10% coupon. All I did was ask the cashier nicely if there was anything that can be done (I expected nothing, as it was my fault). She left to speak to the manager, and when she returned told me they would adjust the bill, and gave me the 10%. I couldn’t believe it. That’s customer service. And, I’ve told several people about it, in just a few days.
I read of a similar situation in a blog post by Peter Shankman entitled, “When You Should Bend the Rules (or, How to Blow a 7-Year Business Relationship in a Day), which spoke of this very situation. Where businesses don’t take their customers into account but live and die by the “rules”. Where his previous apartment building refused to rent to a person with his recommendation, who had been sub-letting his apartment for months, and who could not get her previous landlord to sign-off that she lived there (she was involved in litigation with him). The rental office’s attitude was simple – our rules require this paper, and without it, you can’t rent.
If only they had taken the time to consider the situation. If only they had taken the time to rise to the occasion. If only. But they didn’t, and they have created enemies for life. You can’t get that back.
If only businesses would rise to our expectations, they would create fans. Fans for life. Fans that would scream their praises from the highest mountains.
And, that type of marketing is priceless.
Are you mediocre? What do you expect of the businesses you engage with? Has a business risen above the normal for you?
Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.