The Two Most Important Words in Social Media!


Remarkable Service


Two words that say it all. 

I can’t begin to tell you how many conferences I speak at, consulting sessions I have, training workshops I hold, classes I teach, in which people constantly want to know the “keys” (this means magic keys) to social media. 

 No matter how much you listen, no matter how well you use the social media tools, none of it matters unless every touch point in your organization provides “Remarkable Service.” That is, customer service so special they will go out of their way to tell others. They may share the story through word of mouth, on Facebook, Tweet, create a video for YouTube, etc.

The first step in every social media plan must be “remarkable customer service.” Why? You can be incredibly responsive on social media platforms, but if someone at your organizations treats a customer “average,” then that person walks away with nothing  to say about your organization. 

The first step, the weekly check, the monthly check, and the constant check, needs to be “remarkable” customer service. That means the best of anyone in your category or channel, at every single touch point. 

(c) Joseph Barnes,

There is Nothing More Important Than the Customer Experience!

For all of the social and digital media advice and trends I provide on this website, as I preach at conferences, keynotes, when I’m teaching, and anywhere people will listen—all of the social media engagement and listening in the world is trumped by remarkable customer service. 

If you provide remarkable customer service, people will tell others through word of mouth and through social media. Conversely, if you have poor touch points with customer service, people will tell others.

I was flying cross country a couple of weeks ago and had a layover at DFW. Now I know airline gate agents are stressed to the max and have to deal with some outrageous people and situations at times, but watching what was happening for a few hours was amazing.

This happened to be American Airlines. I’m sure American has thousands of amazing people who go out of their way to help customers and make them feel good. However, on this day, at this gate, for a few hours, that wasn’t the case. The customers who would approach these gate agents did so politely. For three hours, never did I see a smile. Never did I see anything other than multi-tasking, transaction agents, mostly looking down while “customers” approached them.

Here are a few things to think about:
1. Love your job or leave it. It’s not prison.
2. Love your customers or leave them. Your job isn’t prison.
3. Provide remarkable customer service that people will talk about, otherwise your business is invisible and no different than any other business.

(c)  Joseph Barnes 

The Most Powerful Thing You Can Do In Social Media and It’s Free!

What to make a big difference in social media and stand out from your competitors? 

Respond to every email question, every good and negative tweet, and every good and negative Facebook post within minutes or one hour. Think it’s impossible? Think again. If you don’t, every minute that goes by—especially for a negative post—the customer continues to be angry and continues to tell family and friends.

Don’t have enough staff? You do. There are plenty of businesses and organizations —- large ones —- that have one person handling social media. You just need someone who loves doing social media 24/7. 
Think of it this way: If you were a customer how would you like to be treated? How impressed would you be if you posted a negative comment and received a message from someone at the business asking how they could help? It’s happened to me and it immediately changed my opinion of the company. I applaud Home Depot. I had a big problem that was not solved initially at the store level, tweeted about it and within minutes received a direct tweet back from someone at Home Depot asking how they cold help. Within minutes the store manager was on the phone with me.

Research backs this up: According to research from Conversocial, social media users expect the connection will be two-way.
It’s all about the customer experience, online, in store, and especially with social media.

(c) Joseph Barnes

"It’s the Relationship Economy—Stupid!"

Remember when Bill Clinton was running for president? The key strategic phrase the campaign used everywhere was, “It’s the economy, stupid!” They didn’t say it like that to the public but that was the phrase that everyone, including Bill Clinton, used to remind themselves to stay on target with their messaging.

Today, whether you are an online business, brick and mortar, education or nonprofit your phrase should be “It’s the Relationship Economy—Stupid!”

Everyone throughout your business needs to view customers, clients, patients, donors and/or students as “family.” Without each one of them, your business goes nowhere.

Today word of mouth about bad experiences can be shared to hundreds, even thousands of people. One needs to look no farther than the backlash at Bank of America’s attempt to start a debit card fee or Verizon’s attempt to charge a fee for paying your bill in a certain way. “It’s the Relationship Economy—Stupid!”

Whether you like it or not your brand is at stake in every touch point, right down to  how people answer the phones at your business.

The only way to build a trusting relationship with your customers is to demonstrate it. Every part of your business needs to be “remarkable.” That means, an experience that your customer feels so good about they will tell others—-otherwise you are only average. And average isn’t good enough.

Want your business to grow? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. When people in our business answer the phones, is it a “remarkable” customer experience?
  2. When people go to our website, is it a “remarkable” customer experience?
  3. When people to to our Facebook page, is it a “remarkable” customer experience?
  4. When people come into our business, is it a “remarkable” customer experience?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions,  create a plan to fix that immediately. Stage a remarkable customer experience. Train the staff to create remarkable experiences.

 Remember: “It’s the Relationship Economy—Stupid!”
(c) Joe Barnes

Why Customer Service Matters

There’s a lot of buzz about banking these days, mostly negative. Why? Fees, people feel like they are just a number, they are constantly waiting for the traditional teller, and they need to go to different people for different transactions. Oh but wait—some now offer a free cup of coffee or a piece of candy. 

Nationally we’ve seen a big movement toward credit unions, partly because of the “threat” of fees, partly because of customer service. Uh, make that how you are treated as a customer. 
On the West Coast there are two shining examples of how to treat customers differently:
1) BECU: Boeing Employees Credit Union, open to all Washington state residents.
2) Umpqua Bank: Now in California, Oregon and Washington, and rated as one of the top places to work.
If you walk into either of these one person—get that one person—can handle all of your transactions. They look at you when you walk in, they smile, and they are different. They treat you like you would like to be treated. Oh by the way, at any Umpqua branch there is a phone you can pick up and immediately be connected to the CEO!
Take a look at what both look like and think about this: Is every tough point in your organization providing top notch customer service that is “remarkable?”

The NEW CRM Rules!

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is changing rapidly and if your company or organization is in the stone age—that is—just capturing data—you are being left behind.

Today’s world is about “Social CRM.” It’s no longer just gathering data and segmentation/selling to that data.

In today’s world you don’t sell to a number. You sell to people. And people are social, have expectations, and want to be treated special.

It used to be that “sales” representatives would “handle” customers. In the new age, all employees should be customer-focused. It used to be there would be period customer engagement when they placed an order. Now, as customers interact and talk about your brand, products and services, CRM is about “sustained customer engagement.”

And that’s the key. The future of CRM is social, not data. It’s not about a computer application, it’s about people. What do you know about your best customers that can go into that database? In the nonprofit world they put in meaningful personal information about children, family life, events important to a donor. As a for-profit business have you ever thought enough about your customer to do that so you can have a meaningful conversation?

(c) Joseph Barnes DIGITAL3000.NET