Customer Service & Relationship Building

Using Social Media for Customer Service, HR, Operations and the Rest of Your Organization

Social media has grown way beyond being a marketing, public relations, and communications tool. At its heart the core of social media is connecting people, an ever evolving opportunity for people to engage, discuss, and share  perspectives, opinions, and information. So by definition social media impacts most aspects of an organization including product development, customer service, HR, and crisis management. image of the world globe against digital backgroundAre you thinking through the best ways to use social media effectively throughout your organization to meet your goals and build community? Here are just a few examples of the many applications social media has across the organization: Customer Service. Customers and potential customers are most likely discussing your products and services online, providing a constant virtual focus group. If customers do not get the service they want or something goes wrong with a product, they will be quick to share it online. Be sure to respond quickly and helpfully, remembering your response and the customer's are in a very public forum.The positive is when you shine, you also may get complimented in that same public space. Obviously you want the positives to go viral, not to be a negative example used by social media experts for years to come (as happened with "United Breaks Guitars"). This is all one more reason why most organizations want to have a strong presence on primary sites like facebook and twitter to provide outstanding customer service while also supporting their branding and messaging goals. Many organizations also encourage customer reviews on their own web sites getting the opportunity to address issues as they arise and get honest feedback about their products. New Product Development. Listening to customers' conversations on social media can provide invaluable input and pinpoint trends to help hone current products and services and get ideas for new ones. Innovative organizations have set up special web sites to invite customers to share new product ideas and vote on favorite ideas others have submitted, for example "My Starbucks Idea." The sites often offer incentives such as potential prizes for winning ideas. Crisis Planning and Management. The power of social media to build community and communicate makes it a critical interactive tool in a crisis. Messages can be communicated on the fly to the public and the media. Conversation on sites like facebook and google plus about ongoing issues can keep people up-to-date and get their questions answered. (more…)

By Lisa Danielpour, ago
Customer Service & Relationship Building

The More Engaged Your Members Are, The More Likely They’ll Stay

Engaging members, donors, and customers in your organization and building a thriving community ensures strong relationships that go the distance. The more engaged and involved your members are, the higher your retention rate is likely to be. While this is the lifeblood of associations and  nonprofits, it is also true of many businesses. Building a thriving, engaged community can be key to any organization's success. Engaged, caring customers are more likely to be loyal to your organization - highly satisfied customers have less reason to look elsewhere. Price differentials (unless they are drastic) are less likely to matter if your customers or clients feel connected and valued, get the results and quality they expect, and have a superlative customer experience with your company. Ladder going up an arrowAssociation experts often use a pyramid or ladder as a useful representation of levels of engagement, from the most common activities at the bottom (e.g. reading your newsletter, liking your Facebook page) to moderate level (buying a publication, attending your conference or a webinar) to  the highest value involvement at the top (Board member, corporate sponsor, or member champion who recruits many new members). It is critical to thoughtfully draw a ladder or pyramid of engagement that is unique to your organization. Member engagement can take so many different forms. What does engagement look like for your organization, from the most casual to most intense levels? What are your goals for engagement and what do the different levels really mean to you - from generating revenue to relationships to service to the organization? What does it mean for your customer or member - what value are they getting, what needs are being fulfilled? (more…)

By Lisa Danielpour, ago
Career Advice

Resilience: The Most Important Ingredient for Success

What is the most critical factor that individuals and organizations need to succeed in any personal or professional challenge? Reflecting on my conversations with hundreds of people from California to Cleveland to Washington, DC and New York who have shared how the economy has impacted their businesses and personal lives, I believe the answer is resilience. Seedling growing A strong, resilient spirit sparks the optimism, ingenuity, and foresight to explore new opportunities, adapt to a constantly changing marketplace, and see opportunity in the possibilities ahead.   Adversity happens. There are situations you cannot control, it's how you react to them that counts. It's how you try to foresee what might happen in the future and proactively plan that will see you through. (more…)

By Lisa Danielpour, ago