People’s perspectives reveal how and what they think. A recent conversation with an executive who was still hung up on all this social stuff revealed his perspective on all things social. He stated: “We’re still trying to figure out how we make money from our social media initiatives.”
My response: Do you charge for interested customer to call you? He said why of course not. I said, yes you do and the cost are built into the cost of your product/service. Your customer service line is always busy and you are paying for it through a bad reputation and customer turnover. So my question to you is “how do you make money on customer service?”
His answer was: By providing outstanding customer service.
My Response was: But according to your latest surveys your customers are not satisfied. You can make more money by reducing cost through building good relations and solving problems openly and honestly. It cost ten times more to get a new customer than it does to retain them. Engage in a relationship, give the customer tools to solve their own problems, get your system out of the way of excellent customer service. By using social media and the related tools you have the ability to engage in human dialog, learn and adjust accordingly. Simply engaging would help change the customer’s perception of your company. That is if you know how to respond.
His response: “I understand that but we don’t have time to change our customer service process or train people who leave in six months.”
My response: You just identified the root cause of your problems. You don’t have time to do the right things and yet you still think social media should make you money. Social media are merely an extension of experiences you create with people and markets. If you organization isn’t creating great experience and enhancing relations then how can the organization make money using social media?
He had a blank stare.
In the End Social Media is a Mirror
In the end, social media is nothing more than a mirror of people’s real-world behavior . If you’re taking steps to make your organization relevant to people in the real world (the real world starts with your people), then it’s not that big of a leap to figuring out how to make your organization relevant to people in a social media context. Social media should be a valuable tool for helping you answer that billion-dollar question of what will make your organization relevant to people.
If you believe the wrong things then act on those things then you are not likely to create relevancy with those that believe the right things. People’s experience with your organization is what creates their beliefs about your organization. Social media is the mirror that people gaze into seeing the worst, the best and everything in between. Changing what they see takes a lot more than slick marketing messages.
The mirror of social media reflects what people see about and behind you. About you is the messages you distribute to people. Behind you is the truth about your message. Get it?