Communication. It’s such a simple word, yet such a complex thing for people to do. Why do brands have such a hard time talking to customers?
Well, “back in they day” brands could just ignore customer service letters, mess up a customer order and not say sorry, make a mistake and hope no one notices. Not this “day and age”. With social media, email, and technology the way it is, there is no reason NOT to communicate with your peeps. (Notice the “with” part. Brands should be talking with customers, not “to” them.) If you ignore them – they will let you know via any channel they can and it’s out there for the world to see and to taint your image.
So wouldn’t it be easier just to be their friend and tell them everything? I mean realistically you can’t tell them EVERYTHING, but let them know about things that affect their experience with you. Prime example of good social media “phone” skills? Take a look at men’s fashion retailer Bonobos. They had a major snafu on Cyber Monday (the site crashed completely, and for like 3 days!) and this is how their CEO handled it.
They didn try to ignore it, or even explain it in a simple sentence. Andy (the head honcho) was real, to the point, and from an outisders view – honest.
He took the time to tell his peeps what was up and even honored the sale they missed out on. This is good communication. (High fiveeeee!)
So basically, my point is that good communication can mean the world to your customers. If you are an honest-to-good brand, and you make a mistake – own it, explain what happend, what will happen, and your customers will forgive and forget. (well except for some haters are gonna hate, so let ‘em be) They will still love you, because that’s what we do as humans. We make mistakes, we learn from them, we forgive others, and we continue loving. (and all that gushy mushy stuff)
And.. now time for the post-like wrap up:
• Let customers know what’s going on. You may think they don’t care, but they do. This goes for mistakes, successes, or even small changes.
• Brand engagement and experience matters. Customers are spending their hard earned money, and sometimes they will spend that extra buck because they are loyal to you and no one else. Do your best to make it worth those extra pennies. Form that personal relationship with them so they know they can count on you to do the right thing.
• Know that no brand is ever perfect. Welcome customer comments – the good, bad, and the ugly.
Soooooooooo, I see many brands make slip-ups and try to hide themselves with marketing schticks. Brands that are succeeding these days (well, morally) are the ones that openly communicate with customers about mistakes, growing pains, issues, successes, testing, milestones, triumphs, basically whatever. Kinda honoring the “open door” policy. Because isnt’ that what the social world now is? A mega-door that has been opened for everyone to walk through. Social media opened the door to brands actually being a “good” friend to a customer.
When the social media phone rings, don’t just ignore it. What do you do? Pick it up and say hello. It’s a good start and will most likely lead to an ear-opening conversation.
Ta-ta for now,