Connecting with customers on social media, for example, is a boon for companies with strong followings, but it’s not much help for those with weak followings.
According to Christopher Carfi of the Social Customer blog “engagement for some leading brands on Facebook is less than 0.0001—that’s less than one engagement for every 10,000 opportunities. That’s poor.”
These companies are running into a problem I’ve written about before—our ever-growing distrust of social media and reticence to put our private information out there for the world to see (or hack).
Carfi writes about this as well, predicting that we’ll grow savvier and more private about our personal information. In fact, we could begin creating our own ‘personal data stores.’
Along this line of thought, mass marketing could give way to more individualized customer service. Companies could tailor services to each customer, if customers were willing to share their personal data stores.
Carfi suggests companies should return to personal relationships with customers instead of relying heavily on market research.
“In the best cases, we’ll have built up levels of trust with our customers and will have been given the explicit permission to access our customers’ personal data stores,” writes Carfi. “In doing so, we’ll be able to actually take the guesswork out of the equation…and will, instead, be able to connect directly with our customers’ intentions and deliver value on their terms.
Industry speaker and consultant Andy Hanselman brings together some survey statistics on his website that are fairly telling regarding the change Carfi speaks about—
Among business leaders, 83% feel customers drive change more than anything else. Along with that, 53% of businesses think that customer service is more important than it was a year ago.
Establishing a personal relationship, even if it’s online, has its rewards—according to Hanselman, 81% of customers would be more willing to give feedback if they knew there’d be an immediate response.
Following that logic—if a company already has a communication line open with a customer, that customer already knows the company will listen to what they say in a customer satisfaction survey, and will be more willing to help.
A couple last statistics from Hanselman—
When asked how companies could get them to pay more, 40% of respondents said improve customer service, while 35% said speed access to information (i.e., answer their questions). Also, 81% would pay more for better customer service.