Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Accessibility as Strategy: The One-Way Conversation is Dead
Posted on June 12th 2013
As my grandma always used to say, “God willing someone answers the phone.” For context, she was talking about customer service and sales people. Are you ready for an open discussion? If you are, that means first, (and still unlike most customer service programs), you need to make yourself accessible. Being accessible means you have to interact, which leads to a 2-way dialogue.
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, invented his business on accessibility to their customers. Today’s customers are social customers, so rather than measuring how little time each customer service rep spends on a resolution or general communication, Zappos built a model where employees are rewarded for spending more time conversing with their customers. Time spent dialoguing is more important than the speed to closing a ticket or selling their products. It sounds so simple, but accessibility is the game changing foundation that made their business a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
And much like Mark Benioff (@markbenioff CEO of Salesforce.com),it’s the people behind any brand that need to step forward and become brand advocates. Connected company leaders prove that brands are human, and a human brand is a trusted brand. Yes, all brands make mistakes because they’re powered by humans (and to help avoid said mistakes, should be implementing social governance and training programs). But when it comes down to it, all the social brand blunders in the world have overcome disaster by being forthright, acting immediately, with a human response and the accessibility to engage in a 2-way dialogue.
Here are 5 ways accessibility can course correct your organization to align with today’s social customer:
1. Earn Trust: Trust takes time to build with customers, because it comes from advocates, evangelists and their experience with your brand. The first phase of your social plan should point to building a trust-driven engagement strategy. Think of it as direct deposit into your social karmic bank – a good social trust strategy will pay you back in spades exactly when you really need it (assuming the approach is authentic from the get go.)
2. Co-create the Adventure: People want to be along for the ride, not a moment in time. It’s the adventure that the customer loves to be a part of, so co-creating an adventurous story in social that is scintillating for you both will stimulate a riveting dialogue and great content; the two most important social necessities.
3. Accept Nothing Less than Raving Fan Status: I love this saying from Ken Blanchard’s book, “The Raving Fan.” When we started PureMatter 11 years ago, this was one of the books that helped launch the customer service values of our business. I suggest that the same value be applied to your own social accessibility, to build the kind of social fans that can make a difference to your business. Creating an accessible social space to celebrate and thank the people who actively engage with you and your brand is important not just for you, but will go miles with them as well!
4. Respond or Die: Unless you are going on sabbatical, into space or have set the expectation publicly about the ways you won’t engage in social (i.e. Seth Godin), a response is an acknowledgement that you’re listening and care enough to close the loop on the conversation. There aren’t many other more frustrating feelings than being ignored, especially in a public place like social media.
5. Participate in the Sharing Economy: It’s the right time to put yourself out there in this new “Sharing Economy”, where sharing your ideas, thoughts and opinions with many is totally socially acceptable. This new era allows us to collaborate more efficiently and use amplified listening to learn, modify and try again. Depending on the social channel, sharing information can be a powerful connection-builder that can lead to new business and new unexpected friendships.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Simply put, the one-way conversation is dead. Staying silent will only pull you backwards in the eyes of today’s social customer. Toss your fears aside and become socially accessible; it will be the strategy that makes the difference to your customers and your business.