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Monday, May 7, 2012

The Influence Of Social Media On Your Small Business

As social media grows the numbers of bad customer service stories will grow proportionally faster than those about good customer service because they can be spread faster and wider with social media. One way to counteract that would be to have customer testimonials on your site and provide such great service that others agree publicly with the testimonials. I would even suggest that the company ask if others had the same experience.

Companies that are involved in social media have a tremendous opportunity to use the customer feedback to improve their offerings and their bottom line. Those that are new to the idea seem to be more concerned about increasing the number of "fans" on their site rather than asking for any real feedback. As a result, most companies don't consider the impact of social media until they have a bad "report card" floating around.

social media and social CRM can be used to gain customers, support existing ones and innovate based on their Feedback.

There are many ways businesses can use new social platforms and channels. Many people think it's just a case of setting up profiles and see what happens, it isn't.

'Social CRM' is a term I guarantee people will start to hear more and more. Social CRM is an extension of traditional CRM, but the social business model gives the customer more control.

Social networks allow businesses to build communities, listen and engage in conversions whilst having the ability to innovate based on prospects' and customers' insight. Businesses can themselves provide industry-specific insight and support to prospects and customers, then start to build and strengthen relationships. We all buy from people we like and trust, social media can be a great way to really turn contacts into long term customers. These platforms give the customer new ways to communicate with you and can provide you with a new way of understanding your customer-base. The more you know about someone the easier it is to sell to them, social media allows businesses to get on a level with their customers and understand more about them, which can only be a good thing!

I was told that when providing a service or product for someone, if they were pleased they might tell one other person. However, if they were displeased, statistically, they would tell 12 people about your poor quality service or product. With today’s technology and, literally, the world potentially the audience of those with computers or mobile devices I wonder…

1. What are the current numbers with respect to how many people may hear about the good or bad service or products?

2. Has the presence of social media affected your commitment to attempt to ensure that you are providing top quality in your product or service?

3. Do you, as a consumer, feel that there is evidence of a positive influence caused by social media on the quality of products or services in the market-place?... and ...

4. Should more business people pay more attention to how quickly a good, or bad, “report card” can be disseminated so quickly to so many?

Previously, unless your business was on a national or international scale, certainly the audience for your success or failure with regards to the quality of your product or service was much smaller. How has social media affected how YOU do business?

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