Once upon a time, if customers wanted something addressed in their facility they would make a telephone call, record a voice message, or just leave a note. The assumption was you would call back or attend to the issue in time.
Those days are gone. To engage with customers today you are expected to remain connected around the clock. What started out as email correspondence has evolved into texting, tweeting, or messaging through other social media sites.
Feeling out of touch with 21st century customers? Follow these tips to connect with the social media generation:
- Stick to what you promise. Don’t under- or over-deliver on your obligations.
- Be clear as to what the customer can expect; if you do not offer a certain service, let clients know from the start.
- Always be honest with your customers. Repairing lost trust is arduous and can be a losing battle.
- Managers change jobs more frequently now. Have an action plan in place so you know how to develop rapport quickly when a new manager steps in. For marketing reasons, it is also a good idea to keep in touch with former managers.
- Monitor online reviews, but do not try to manage them. All businesses, especially service businesses, will have some unhappy clients that may express their thoughts in online reviews. Have a monitoring tool to receive alerts whenever your company is mentioned. Politely respond to negative reviews, and then move on.
- Adhere closely to a prospect’s proposal request; 21st century managers want everything spelled out clearly.
- After addressing customer problems follow up quickly to make sure everything has been corrected.
- As today’s customers are very visual, use your smartphone to take photos to convey messages when possible.