When it comes to marketing your business–it’s bad if a customer vents against your business.
It’s worse if you’re not aware (and don’t respond) and it’s on an open platform for thousands to see (like Facebook).
Podcast #28 discusses how a bad customer experience shared on social media can kill your business.
It underscores the need to provide regular updated content, monitoring and engagement.
It’s all a part of our three-part strategy to drive SEO and web traffic and make your business exceed the profile and exposure of your competitors.
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Marketing Your Company; Are You Aware When Your Customers Vent? What Can Kill Your Business, Podcast #28
Host: John D. Verlin
Once again, good afternoon. This is John Verlin with On Demand Advertising Solutions, with another Digital Marketing Update.
I’m calling this Are You Aware When Your Customers Vent? What Can Kill Your Business. A couple of observations here in general and then a major one.
This past weekend, now this is the first part of August, 2017. I attended a seminar for a Small Business Development Center at a local community college. It was about buying and selling a business. I talked to an attorney who was an instructor.
I asked him to tell me in general about how he’s seeing small businesses today and how they’re doing.
Are they doing well? Are they not dong well…so-so? And he said, well, they’re doing all right. But nothing to scream about. He talks to a lot of small business owners who coming to the college courses.
I talked to him about what I do and he pretty much agreed with me and said a lot of small business owners doing understand social media, content marketing, podcasting—they don’t understand a lot of it and they don’t use it.
But, he said they need to because its moving in that direction pretty quick.
And if they aren’t doing it, their competitors will. He pretty much agreed with everything in that statement. So it’s something to be aware of. This is from a community college that teaches small business courses on building a business.
And his observations of talking to people who are coming to those courses. So, it’s kind of a heads up on being aware of this. Either have someone freelance and do it for you. Or hire someone to do it for you. Because it is going to be impacting businesses large and small and already has and will continue to do so.
Now, another example I had over the weekend was a lady who lives in the town I live in does machine quilt making. And my girlfriends sister wanted to get a baby blanket made.
So, we ended up driving by, we found out from a yard sign that she did this, and we met with her. She was going to need measurements and everything. I asked her do you have a website?
She said no. Oh, ok. So do you just have the yard sign. And she said yea. I said I’m curious how that’s worked for you.
She said it’s worked OK, but the city is probably going to make me take it down. So in the back of my mind i’m thinking you don’t have a website. She obviously has some quilts made and probably getting business word of mouth I imagine.
And yet, what’s going to happen when she has to take the sign down? What is she going to do? And she doesn’t have a website.
This is kind of what I’m talking about, the dilemma. She’s probably getting referrals, which is great. She may continue to do that and she may not want anymore business too.
But this is a scenario I’m seeing time and time again, and they’re not prepared for when suddenly their market changes. Or a competitor comes in and does it better, or cheaper. These are things to be aware of.
One glaring example I wanted to talk about was a large national bank. Multi-billion dollar bank. I was talking to another social media person about some of the implications of social media impact.
Why business needs to be doing constant content marketing and engaging their prospects and customers.
This is a huge bank. Has been around over a hundred years. They have over 37,000 followers on Twitter and 16,000 likes on Facebook.
Quite a bit of activity. A lot of their posts were tied into community things they’re sponsoring or good things. But as I was reading through some of the posts, a couple of them stood out.
Basically, how dare you charge my elderly mother a fee because of blah blah blah. And it was pretty glaring. And they responded, we apologize we tried to call you numerous times. Please call us at this number. So at least they responded.
That was the first thing. And I was showing this to my girlfriend to get her opinion. And then we see a second post.
Somebody wrote in, you people went after my dying father…and we were behind because of medical bills, this and that and the other. How dare you charge us this and that and threaten to do this and that. And it was pretty cutting.
I was really shocked. And they responded, please call us, we’ll work through this together. But why do I mention this?
This is an example of what can happen and why social media in doing these things I’ve been suggesting in podcasts. Getting your content and expertise out in podcasting. Getting it online. Building relationships with your prospects and customers.
Because these are customers of this huge bank. That’s been around forever that are venting. In spite of all the other posts about the community service and other things they’re sponsoring. Suddenly, these two posts cut to the bone.
Made them look like a terrible, evil bank that’s going after their customers.
I looked at my girlfriend and she’s like, whoa! Now she’s never even seen that Facebook page or been exposed to that bank.
Let’s say she was a prospect. Suddenly read that on their Facebook page. Now they are aware because they’ve been doing social media for five years it looks like on their Facebook page.
This is my point in all of this. Your customers and prospects whether you know it or not, maybe venting on if you do have a Facebook business page.
If you have a personal business page or Yelp. Or Google +. Or any other social media platform whether you think you need to be involved or not.
They may be involved and they may be saying nasty things about you. So it’s critical that you’re aware and that you’re answering.
Now the bank did respond. Hopefully they’ll rectify everything that happened. But the point is this is why this is dangerous.
Social media is here and as that lawyer I talked to indicated, it’s moving in this direction. So much so that you can’t sit on your duff and not pay attention to it. But because people can now use it, it’s not a bad neighbor telling a neighbor something.
This is venting to thousands and thousands of people who are following or liking those posts, or pages.
And just remember, all marketing ties back in to the customer experience. Whether it’s Facebook posts, Twitter posts, blogging content, podcasting, you name it.
TV ads, radio ads, email marketing…all of this ties in to that end customer experience. That’s the critical thing, because that is where we are headed.
And it’s going to be mandated or dictated at some point through automated, not saying robotics but artificial intelligence.
It’s getting smarter and smarter to know what customers want. And providing that will be the differentiator between you and a competitor.
But getting a customer mad and not responding or not being aware and i’ve seen this happen quite a few times. Could be a black eye and it didn’t have to happen is what I’m saying.
So, this is why all of this is important of recognizing the online threat if you want to call it that, from a competitor or prospects or customers who are engaged.
And if you’re not. That’s a judgement call. That’s a judgement call to when they are searching and looking for who to do business with.
So anyway. I’ll get off my soapbox. Just some observations from this past week of people I’ve talked to, things I’ve witnessed.
To keep in mind when you’re growing your business. If you’re not doing social media, be thinking about that. Be understanding.
Your customers are critical. And they maybe engaged on social media one way or the other.
If you don’t have a website, again it’s all part of customer perception and branding of what I call the marketing platform of who you are and about your business.
Have a great weekend and we’ll talk to you next week!
All podcasts are recorded by Verlin Studios / Gardner, Kansas
Copyright, John D. Verlin 2017