In both parts 1 and 2 of the Three Ideals For Social Marketing Success, I mentioned that success in social media boils down to three things:
Want to know the secret behind creating rampant word-of-mouth? Wait for it... wait for it: Give people something positive to talk about! I've blogged about this topic a few times before and the importance of going above and beyond your customer expectations, but in this post I'm going to be laying out the ground rules for customer enchantment.
Remember: it's the difference between what your customer expects and the level of customer service received, that will dictate whether or not your customer talks about you. Failing to meet those expectations will create negative word-of-mouth, going above and beyond will create positive word of mouth, the choice is yours.
What does customer service have to do with social media? Simple, if you want to be part of the conversation that is happening in your customers social graph, with their connections, then you have to give them something worth talking about. This doesn't just happen by chance, it happens by design. Design excellence into your daily routine, every employee, everyday, all the time, no exceptions.
Always be on the lookout for chances to show exceptional customer service. In the service department, if you find out that a customer is having a hard time coming back in to pick up their vehicle, take it to them. Salespeople, offer your customers a concierge service where you schedule all of their service appointments and offer a pick-up-drop-off service.
The Golden Rule Of Customer Service: Never forget that you do this every day and just because you see it all the time doesn't mean that it's no big deal to your customers. Never glaze over an issue and act as if it's not a problem, always reassure your customers that it's a genuine concern and that you will personally take care of it.
In a study conducted by Bain and Company they found out that an increase in customer retention of just 5% improves profits by 25 to 95%! The logic behind this math is predicated on the fact that customer turnover is enormously expensive. The high cost of acquiring new customers can only be offset by maintaining profitable, long term relationships.
Creating Long Term Relationships By Creating High Customer Satisfaction
We've always known that word-of-mouth, by far, is the best form of advertising, but then why do some businesses, and whole industries (the auto industry among them), struggle to achieve it? Look at the car business, people don't expect much, in fact they expect to be treated bad and to be the subject of high pressure sales techniques, which leads me to:
Create an environment of exceptional customer service into your dealership. Make it mandatory, tell your employees up front, at the interview, that you only hire people that puts the customer first. You need a staff of people that are quick to smile, want to serve, and understand that a happy customer breeds other happy customers. We all know how expensive it is to create a customer, so keep them happy, keep them coming back and keep them talking about you!