customer retention

It’s Always Personal, It’s Business

“It’s nothing personal, it’s just business” is a phrase that, unbelievably, still lingers in some modern business owners’ lexicon. The reach of social media, the rapid rate at which consumers can communicate and the speed with which they can congratulate or condemn means that whether you’re in customer service or marketing: business is always personal.

When customers use social media to query or complain, the business is presented with a unique opportunity: to personally engage with this one customer. Studies into complaints made over social media indicate that 50% of customers give a brand only one week to respond to a complaint before they stop doing business with them. The same study indicated that 89% of customers began business with another company after a poor experience. Can you afford to stay silent?

The most common words on a major airline’s Facebook newsfeed.

The most common words on a major airline’s Facebook newsfeed.

It would be unreasonable for a business to completely change their terms of service on the whim of one customer… but prompt acknowledgement and resolution of a complaint online can help a customer to not only forgive the grievance, but flip their view of the company from negative to positive, thereby strengthening brand loyalty.

Another study indicated that after having two-way interaction with a brand over social media, 90% of customers would recommend the brand to others. In developing an emotional connection, a sense of loyalty, between customer and brand, social media is an invaluable and incredibly effective approach.

Still not sure just how “personal” it can be? In 2008, United Airlines were shown just how effective social media can be as a weapon when it was used against them with humiliating and ruthless efficiency. After irreparably damaging musician Dave Carrol’s guitar during a flight, and refusing to reimburse him despite 9 months of negotiations, Dave released a song on YouTube which blasted their business and customer service. The song went viral, and four days after its release, United’s stock had dropped by 10% – an estimated $180 million.

As more consumers choose social media as the means to communicate with the brands they use, the age old adage “it’s nothing personal, just business” should recede from all minds serious about strengthening brand loyalty, and increasing their customer base.

– Kyle

Am I Crazy?

The other day I was out getting a bite to eat in the area I live and I saw something interesting while I was waiting for my order. A team member of this place was sweeping up with a dust pan and broom. That’s not the interesting part, what happened next is.

A large piece of dust caught itself in the bristle of the broom and refused to relinquish its grip and settle in the pan. So the team member bent down, plucked it off, placed it back onto the ground and made a second attempt to sweep it into the pan. This happened about four-five times before the team member grew frustrated and just placed it straight into the pan. I wish I were exaggerating.

kymThis brought to mind Albert Einstein’s famous quote “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. And this adage can be carried over to how you think about your On Hold messages. If you currently play radio or standard “thank you for holding” messages and still have angry or upset callers, try something different! Or if you have a professionally written On Hold production that’s not getting the results you want, try something different!

The great thing about On Hold messages is that (depending on your package) you can chop and change them as you like, fine tuning them until you achieve the desired result. This might be increased conversions, larger customer share or customer retention. The choice is yours.

– Lachy