Monday, 13 May 2013

Are we listening to our Customers Online?


Statistics are great, they tell us about the past, but we have no statistics about the future and we never will.

Unfortunately when we are not involved in an area we have no statistics either, we could use business intelligence to find out what our competitors are doing and where they are failing.

When we don't play in a specific area, we not only need to use business intelligence to find out what our competitors are doing, but we need to ask ourselves the following question 'What is our business plan for not being involved?'

Yes you have to have a business plan if you are not involved, you cannot simply make emotional I don't care reactions or plead ignorance and use the excuse that you did not feel it would work - NO again I tell you, you need a business plan for not being involved in any specific area.

So what are the specific areas where you could be involved and could have been avoiding these in your general business.

The areas are as follows: Human Resources, Talent Management, Public Relations, Communications, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and even Sales & Marketing. Some of these are obvious and some like sales and marketing are not so obvious. You probably saying surely all companies have a sales and marketing department - no not necessarily often municipalities and smaller cities and related service companies have no sales and marketing departments.

The latest statistics out of the United States is that 56% of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. Remember that Twitter is always a good indication of what is happening on the rest of the social platforms. If the US ignores 56% of it's customers tweets, I would like to guess that South Africa would be higher than that.

Again what is the business case for not responding to our customers tweets? 
Is it because we don't consider that online feedback is valuable? 
Do we not think that our customers are online?

Just because your company is not online that in no way relates to if your customers are online or not. because they definitely are online. They just have not found your channel to engage with you because it is not there or you have not put enough effort into the promotion and management of your digital channels.

So lets improve our communications and interactions with our customers, they are wanting to communicate, compliment and interact with us, get your business plan together, get onto the social platforms and lets make South Africa more social. #MoreSocialZA


Image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon at FreeDigitalPhotos.net