Nearly everyone has a smart phone these days and will have Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn, Google +, and / or Instagram to name just a few of the social media apps loaded on their phone. People will use these tools to interact with one another, at first it was just with friends, now it is with business associates and organisations. Although what you need to remember is that these “people” are your customers, most of whom you may never actually meet face to face.
Imagine if you will that you have just arrived at a luxury 4 star hotel, and the lobby is full of people. The reception desk stretches from one side of the lobby to the other and there are at least five terminals . As you approach the reception desk you have to join a long queue as there is only one receptionist on duty. Now as a guest that has just arrived this is hardly the welcome you would expect.This situation is also extremely frustrating when you can see quite clearly that all the hotel needs to do is have another few receptionists working and there would be no need to queue. So what would you do next? Would you look for the manager to complain about the slow service or would you take to your phone and send a tweet?
According to Jessi Hempel in an article she wrote in Wired customers will take to their phone and use twitter to log a complaint because they know it will be dealt with immediately. Social media has a far wider reaching audience and in the world of the internet you have to act immediately to resolve any issues.
I remember reading a tweet about a passenger in a train toilet and realising too late that there was no toilet roll. So they tweeted the rail company and in a couple of minutes there was a knock on the door and toilet roll was passed through to them. There was another story in the paper about a customer that got locked in a bookstore after closing time and so she took to her phone and tweeted and then to her relief some one eventually came back to the store to let her out.
Social media is a fantastic communication tool when it is used for listening and responding to your customers. So engage and interact and keep building your relationships online.
I would love to hear your stories of how you have used Social Media as a customer to engage with a business – so please do add your comments to this blog post and feel free to retweet, share, like and +1.