Customer service has changed overtime and the way companies now interact with their customers’ highlights a difference between customer service today and customer service in the past. Customer service today has come to a point where the goal is to befriend the customer, this all boils down to a more tactile engagement with the customer. The advent of social media and internet marketing, came about to help advertisers build not just familiarity with their customers, but intimacy and this higher degree of intimacy now evident in business has significantly reduced the obstructive barriers between customer and company. Companies now want to ingratiate their way into our social circles, they want to be part of our lives and are succeeding very well at that. The engagement companies now have with their customers has become more informal than formal and has moved from that professional sphere to that casual space where more casual dialogue and influencing can take place.
Building your social media framework.
We were developing a marketing campaign for a bakery shop, a client that came to us not surprisingly from our social media efforts on twitter. The task was on getting customers to come back and try our bakery shop. Up untill then, the company hadn't considered social media and their marketing efforts and resources had been spent on the old fashion way of building a following. The following they built were garnered through expensive direct mailing blasts directed to John and Jane within a 15 mile radius of a zip code and local newspaper advertisements; while it garnered some number of repeat business, we found the that the cost was too much and the results could be a lot better. Our campaign strategy with this client was to focus on a social media strategy.
Here are the steps we took:
- We communicated this social media drive to all employees and staff.
- Created Facebook fan page where communication (i.e., feedback) with customers could occur
- Developed the twitter page.
- Networked the social media networks together
- Communicated this social presence to the customer.
We communicated our client's new social media presence to customers through the steps below.
- placed social media web address on business cards and print materials that touched the customer's hands.
- Informed staff to lets customers know that “we are on Facebook and twitter”
- placed “incentive motivators on receipts and other materials that customers interacted that stated “Find us on twitter and Facebook for specials and tasty treats”
Driving your social media strategy.
Once we had put together the tactical aspect of this social media drive, we then started using our fan pages and twitter to communicate coupons, specials and offers. We held contests and challenges and very shortly we had a thriving community of followers whom the client could communicate to and vice-verse. Customers would communicate new flavor requests that they would like, customer service praises etc. The client loved it. The result was an increase in the number of customers and repeat business that made their way back into the store. A social media success, arrived at methodically.
In essence the meat of the challenge was to introduce a new and more effective marketing medium and secondly to harness it for what is inherently its purpose, communication. By offering the capacity for a more effective communication channel via social media, we were able to develop our client's brand and develop the business.