Customer service is often the lesser cousin to self-congratulatory brand marketing, and for a long time customers have simply endured this situation as they were effectively powerless to do anything about it. But no more. Increasing customer frustration is being match by growing pressure on brands to service the customers they have says the newly released 2012 American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer.
Not surprisingly, social media is instrumental in this shift. Consumers are using social media are wielding growing influence, telling more people about their service experiences, good and bad.
Here are some of the key facts from the report that dramatize how customer service can make or break tour brand as a function of what it inspire customers to say about you across their social media channels:
As damning as this seems, it also represents a clear description of areas in which your brand can exceed its competitors using social media. In return, customers will use their own channels to champion their positive experiences.
The net takeaway of the Report is that social media is polarizing the impact of customer service in your business. The better your service, the greater the benefits. The worse it is, the more it’s shared. So while it seems self-evident to say that a company should be committed to genuinely serve its customers (especially since it’s far cheaper to keep a customer than win a new one or convert a critic), social media is reminding us that this is a must if you want to succeed in the social business marketplace.
You can download the full report here.
It’s rare to find a book that is equal parts inspiring and practical. Good Works! by Phillip Kotler, David Hessekiel, and Nancy Lee is that rare read that shows you just how much is possible as an individual and a corporation, and what real value that can add to your business and our world.
It’s no surprise that We First believes that brand purpose is now a core business imperative, but Good Works! makes the business case for these initiates based on dozens of case studies that include GE, J&J, AT&T, Macy’s, P&G, Fedex, Coca-Cola and beyond. In doing so they clearly illustrate how business can do good in alignment with its company’s core values, so that such efforts reinforce the brand narrative while also doing good.
Not surprising, any brand contemplating such a move wants to know the benefit to them, and that where the book is so useful. The authors clearly demonstrate how good works inspire customer engagement that builds reputation, spire loyalty and drives sales, whether those good works involve employee volunteering or consumer donations. It also does this with a healthy blend of optimism and advice for the cynics, explaining why certain initiates fail and others succeed as a function of your motives.
What I like most is how the authors tease out the various ways that business can do good, from maing a contribution, to donating employee time, to getting their own house in order to temper the negative externalities of their own business practices.
Good Works! is a must read for corporate officers (whether innovation, HR or leadership officers) seeking to ensure brand relevance, reputation and sales. This is real world intelligence that can empower a brand to embrace its best self and in so doing, inspire its employees and customers to grow its business by building a better world.
A few weeks ago I shared an infographic of the social media landscape so that we can all consider our place and future in it. The impact of that inforgraphic is compounded when you consider the explosion of the Social TV ecosystem show above. This chart shows the main players in the Social TV landscape and the niches they occupy.
As you study the chart above you’ll notice everything from Social TV content providers to Meta Data suppliers to Analytic Tools to Content syndication. What we’re witnessing is the overlay of all the niches applications of social media onto the screen within screen platform to add a dynamic social and commercial dimension to watching TV.
You’ll also notice many new players within each category as the opportunities and solutions within each niche become more sophisticated whether it’s rewards for checking in (such as Viggle) or real time Social TV engagement analytics (such a Bluefin Labs).
Taken together, the Social Media landscape infographic and Social TV infographic present countless opportunities for the expanded reach of your brand, the engagement of new customers, and the measurement tools that enable you to finesse your strategy to improve your lead generation and sales conversions. What’s more, they both provide a powerful snapshot of the new technologies and applications that are re-shaping business.
So take a moment to study these two info graphics and ask yourself three questions:
1. What technologies or tolls represent opportunities for my brand?
2. What companies or niches threaten my current business?
3. What partnerships or collaborations could I pursue to improve my reach, sales or reputation?
Every one of the companies above has already done the due diligence as to where the market is headed and how to capitalize on it. As such they are signposts for your own business success in the future, and powerful indicators of where your business needs to pivot to find new customers, greater engagements, and long term financial success.
Is there any niche that really surprised you? What niche represents the greatest opportunity for your business?
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We First training and consulting helps the world’s most innovative brands tell the story of the good work they do in ways that build their reputation, employee productivity, sales and social impact.