Kim Peterson, CEO CommonSenseHealth.org
Consumers now choose what types of companies they want do business with based upon feedback from friends, family, co-workers and even complete strangers.
According to BrightLocal.com
Businesses that haven't changed much over the past couple of decades are needing to embrace the fact that their staff and their message can be their biggest asset as the world evolves and changes, and that their clients and potential clients have more information than ever at their fingertips.
People buy from people they know like and trust.
People want to believe in something and do not want to be treated like a number.
People want to be heard and understood.
If you are encouraging your employees to engage with people (who represent clients and potential clients. You know, human beings.) in ways that bring transparency and genuine caring into the equation, you will be positioning yourself to thrive now, while staying ahead of the curve and building momentum forward into the future.
I recently had a situation with a large car manufacturer (whose shall remain nameless at this point) which represents the old school (slowly becoming more and more irrelevant) way of handling customer dissatisfaction.
Long story short, we recently purchased a $45,000, brand-new vehicle (without doing research online up front...that's on me) and after driving it for 60 days noticed that the paint is really not holding up very well.
We have purchased many different types of new vehicles from many different manufacturers and this is not normal. Even though we live in Colorado, we ski and do a lot of outdoor activities, paint should not be chipping after 60 days.
What we found after doing some research online, then meeting with the dealership management was that rather than listening to our concerns, they actually attempted to diminish our dissatisfaction by stating something to the effect that “information found online was not factual” that they had "been with the company for X number of years and this had never happened before."
Basically, our paint chips were normal wear and tear and too bad.
To which I replied “Really? Wow! Because there are 275,000 hits that come up when I Google it. Want to see?” “All 275,000 of these articles, experiences or testimonials are, um, lying? There is actually no problem with your paint?”
This is an example of a HUGE company that truly does not get it (United Airlines anyone?) they are going to have to make some major modifications with how they handle customer service in order to stay relevant.
Yes, they are huge and yes it seems unlikely that they would go under as a result of pressure from mere peasants such as myself, however, 275,000 additional individuals have also expressed their concern...very publicly.
We now all have a platform and a voice.
In this instance, it would have cost the company maybe 400 to repair the damage, we would have then invested an additional 1,200 to clear coat as much of the vehicle ourselves and chalk it up to a lesson learned.
What wound up happening is that we footed the entire repair ourselves and will never buy another one of these vehicles again, and when our opinion is asked by friends, family, co-workers or strangers, we will be sure to share our experience.
The point is, whether your company gets it, embraces it, or not, the change is here, the momentum is here, the platforms are here and they are not going away.
According to Forbes Magazine, here are a few ways companies can build trust through social media.
Your team is the most valuable asset you have. If they have the training necessary to reach out, listen and provide answers, your customer satisfaction, and track record online will reflect positively and go a long way towards building the image you want to exemplify.
If you choose the old school route of ignoring problems and framing customer as the enemy … well, good luck with that.
Kim Peterson is the Founder and CEO of CommonSenseHealth.org. Since 2009, CSH has been helping to establish an online presence while generating leads and sales for clients worldwide.
Kim has built a network of 150,000 + highly engaged subscribers, fans, for herself and hundreds of thousands more for clients; and speaks on how to build relationships online in such a way that will dramatically improve your (and your team’s) overall results while opening doors to opportunities you never knew existed!
To inquire about booking Kim to speak or lead a training, please click here and offer a few details in the message area. Kim will get back with you personally to discuss.
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