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Really love the post. Truly savvy companies are indeed able to see benefit in the LBS space, but the industry as a whole hasn't been built for, or fostered, business growth. It's a consumer-oriented field, and businesses that play in it are largely putting square pegs in a round hole as the tools simply don't address their core needs. The key, is for businesses to utilize LBS tools that allow them direct, real-time engagement with their customers. True value will come once businesses can identify customers in their store, learn about their experience, and ultimately build on that. It's an immediately beneficial customer service tool that turns negative customer experiences into positives and creates brand advocates across the board.
3 years, 8 months ago on When a Picture is Truly Worth 1,000 Words
@Tikydo I agree that not all customer criticism is valid. The value of dealing with it in a public forum is that it holds the customer accountable to not be over the top, and it allows you to deal with them in a graceful manner. When the interaction between you and your customers is public, the audience can certainly determine if someone is taking advantage of a situation or acting unjustly.
3 years, 8 months ago on 4 Keys to Turning Negative Commenters Into Brand Advocates
@carmenhill It all starts with empowered employees. The people that you have dealing directly with customers need to be able to assess, act and rectify immediately. The chain of command has really undermined customer service, as it's taken away immediate resolutions and made a lot of forward-facing employees apprehensive to help.
@jennabroadbent Thank you so much.
@Ari Herzog They truly are golden opportunities. You can create advocates and shape your strategy with the feedback.
@C_Pappas Assuming you're a web-based tool, unfortunately there are going to be instances where faceless folks attack you - for reasons both justified and unjustified. If they have any intention of seeing their experience with your product improve or their poor feelings rectified, they'd take you up on it. In your case, the best thing to do is put that sincere offer to help into the public eye and let them take you up on it. If you're brick & mortar I'd be happy to talk more with you off-line
@CaraFuggetta Thank you. You're spot on - you'll never be able to keep conversation from happening, which is why businesses need to rapidly shift their focus to having a voice in these conversations and ensuring that their consumers are speaking well of them. Transparency is absolutely vital - it showcases the businesses willingness to make situations right, but it also polices someone who is unjustly bashing them, as there's a build in accountability when writing in front of an audience.
@andy_mcf Totally agree - it's a paradigm shift that results in empowered employees, capable of instantaneously handling situations rather thank running issues up the chain of command.
@teriel There's always going to be the customer who is incessantly complaining or simply trying to game the system. That played heavily into how we designed ChatterPlug - by dealing with customer feedback in a public forum you not only get to show off your service skills, but it makes it difficult for someone to play you when there's a crowd watching their each and every move. Additionally, over time, you'll have digital tabs on these folks and recognize them more easily.
@PJProductivity Absolutely. It's disturbing how low the level of customer service has fallen across the board - especially considering the push for increased engagement and conversation between businesses and customers. As a business, it doesn't take much to be great at it, and it can truly set you apart from your competitors.
One of the reasons that larger businesses fail is because it's not immediately quantifiable. If you're a customer-focused organization, success simply means that you don't lose a customer. The true value is the absolute of what a lost customer costs your company in the long-term.
@AlbertMaruggi I agree, the points above are best applied to in-store or e-commerce settings with direct customer interaction - that's where immediacy of response has the most impact. The visibility in the social space of what the businesses has done/does to correct a bad situation isn't a bad thing. Nothing is going to create a more positive perception of your brand than first-class customer service. It's why Amazon and Zappos are two of the most talked about companies because of their customer service. That's why you want to show this off for the world to see. Yes, customers are going to expect the same - that is to say they're going to expect great customer service and that if they have a bad situation, you'll make it right. By no means does that indicate that they're expecting handouts or free lunches.
Instantaneous response is key - putting out the fire before it starts is key. Using Twitter/Facebook, etc, you can certainly respond - the problem is that it's not immediate and if you have multiple locations, you don't know which location is responsible (unless explicitly called out) so the damage to your brand's perception has likely been done. With consumers being infinitely connected, the seconds that it takes you to respond really do matter. ChatterPlug was built so that you don't risk your customers walking out the door without first addressing the issue with you. The negative word-of-mouth repercussions are simply too damning, and a businesses is hard-pressed to rectify damage that is done when consumers broadcast negative feedback to their audience. @TechSocialInc
@garious1 For in-store or e-commerce customers, it absolutely needs to be instantaneous. The key reason for this, and the founding premise for ChatterPlug, is that it prevents customers from ever leaving a store with a negative experience and in turn telling their hundreds or thousands of "close" friends in the social ecosystem. Immediately rectifying their experience is going to go an incredibly long way toward creating advocates - and word of mouth praise - for your brand. On the rewards side, you don't need to just start giving this away for free, but you do need to ensure that you've throughly rectified their negative experience. Long-term, however, this feedback is perhaps the best strategic information that your company can obtain, and it can benefit your business to reward loyal customers who have provided you feedback over a given period of time.