Your clients are social! Will you get engaged (and how)?

I recently went through an interesting article on Social Media Today compiling some interesting data and statistics about customer service and social media I would sum up one ot these statistics in a simple manner: people have an important use of the web. OK, I agree, nothing to be surprised about but…

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… when you consider that they can spend a significant amount of their time on internet, then you have to face that reality: your customers have a great chance to be on social media. So if you have something wrong to apologize for… You can be pretty sure that they’ll have something to tell about it… or they already did!  Are you ready to live a great love affair with them or not? What can you do to deal with it?

#1 Be present!

Even if you don’t have the dreamt resources to do it, you have to be out there. Otherwise, your reputation will be on hold by a few customers you might have apologized to, helped if you’re lucky and creative… And you even might might benefit from something unexpected: an angry customer becoming a thanking and faithful customer!

Customer relationship is a relationship. It’s not a one night stand! You have to be commited, take care of your customers, make them feel important and unique (see below a few examples of engagement). In other words, love and cherish them for what they are: your most important stakeholders to make a living… and the ambassadors that can help you to attract new ones!

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Then you easily understand that when I say be present… it’s also to be in the present! you can’t afford to let people posting things and considering that it has not yet reached a level that requires action. You have to do something, from the moment you sold them something or you plan to do it!

Have a look at what Michel et Augustin a Paris based brand organizes on regular basis: meetings with its customers in their headquarter (named La Bananeraie) in order to taste their cookies. Not only it is important to be in real-time, but also to be in real world and create connections!

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But how can you proceed in order to develop such connection between your brand and services and your customers and create this possibility of a great customer experience… even when you’re facing difficulties?

#2 Monitor and listen

One of the best way to do it is to monitor what can be said on your brand. There are a lot of solutions nowadays; Personnally I’ve been using quite a few for big companies with budget to do so: Synthesio, Digimind, Meltwater of course are really interesting tools. Of course the list can be more detailed: from Sprinklr, to Falcon Social, Radian 6 or Sysomos… I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of such tools and services providers… But what to do when you don’t have a budget? Stop trying to collect information and data about your brand or products?

Many platforms can be used for free. From the traditionnal Google Alerts, to Tweetdeck… But at some point, you will require to use more “systematic” tools that allow you not only to collect information but also to analyze it at one glance…

All this of course depending on what you are looking and what you are expecting… Is you priority only to be a fireman when something goes wrong? Or do you want to embrace the full opportunities that social media can bring to you like: analyzing your competitors moves (and sometimes difficulties), understanding other topics in which your customers are interested, finding new ways through best practices…

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But if monitoring and social media listening are to me the cornestone of your plan, you can’t reduce your commitment to this “back office plan”. At some point you have to go public and confront with your customers.

#3 Engage with them!

I’m not going to detail all the possible rules of engagement or ways to engage with your customers. But when it comes to what you define as customer service, don’t forget that for your customers it goes beyond the service! They are willing to have a good service… because they are living their own customer experience!

In other words what you think is just a service with dedicated procedures and actions is far more than that. You create what your customers will remember from you.

So if you want to engage… Do it like a pro! Ask for the information you don’t have in order to really solve their problems!

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Apologize, correct what’s going wrong and let people know you’ve done your part!

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Share the feedbacks if you have some!

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And then… repeat! 🙂

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And you, how do you deal with your customers satisfaction?

Online reputation: how to be more visible on LinkedIn?

You have decided to be more visible on LinkedIn?

Either for preparing a near future made of applications to new jobs?Either to be more influential and create new contacts for your business?

Here are a few ideas of interactions that can lead to more visibility to do so!

1/ Optimize your profile regularly

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Optimizing your profile is key on LinkedIn. Having a good looking and adequate picture is the first thing you need to improve, check and things to be proud of. Many articles deal with that, but still today, many people have not yet understood that your profile picture is the first thing people seen on LinkedIn… and sometimes are even looking for! (Just in case… it is not a dating site!)

Having a cover picture that could reflect your business but why not using it as way to express your creativity too or something you are attached too?

Nevertheless, written content is also dramatic! By adding new competencies or by adding details to your profile you become more visible: every content you write on your profile is SEO sensitive which means that a search through LinkedIn or Google can show it! Elementary my dear Watson! 🙂

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2/ Share articles with you community

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Second major step to be considered. OK, you’ve done great things in your life, nevertheless it would be inappropriate to change your profile picture every week (even if I think that it could be interesting if you are a travel photographer for instance…)

Therefore another interesting feature on LinkedIn is the possibility to share articles or content like infographics, or presentations. By becoming a regular poster on LinkedIn, and necessarily by posting interesting content in order to nourish your community, your profile will be more frequently visited  and these will help you to create new connections.

Once you feel really confident with what you posted and how to react others comments then you could consider of enter in the discussion with other influencers!

3/ Interact with others activities

readenoughBy liking the content shared influencers: simple but efficient! Do it wisely by selecting the content you like. it’s really frequent to have connections that publish real valuable information but no one interact with it. By doing it you will give your connections more confidence and create a link with him/her.

Or by commenting it: someone is publishing an article or infographics. If you are familiar with this topic an think you can enrich this content by giving your own insights, do it. People generally appreciate it, can even thank you for that which is finally a recommendation that really matters and allow to be noticed by people who are not yet in your network.

But being visible on LinkedIn is not only a matter of being active on LinkedIn.

4/ Connect your profile with you other social media presences

follow-me-murad-osmann-20You have to try to drive attention to what you do and who you are.

To do so, you whole online presence and e-reputation will become a fishnet in which you want to attract new fishes, i.e. new contacts.

For instance,if you are blogging or using a Twitter profile to tweet regularly, use is! By mentioning your LinkedIn profile, what you post and create will be directly linked.

As a result, being active on various social media assets increase your potential to be seen!

Nevertheless these assets require time to use them, optimize them and monitor them frequently.

Nevertheless it can be really valuable in order to create new connections… of course. But is is also the first step to manage your own personal branding!

Have a quick explanation of what personal branding is!

By the way, don’t forget to connect with me, follow me or like my blog, and who knows, we might have the chance one day to share our opinions regarding these topics 🙂