Why? Because with statistics showing repeatedly that our general population puts more value into what the online community is saying about anything and anyone, there's no better place to be and to be found!
- 47% of Canadian consumers conduct a broad online search prior to purchase
- 42% consult customer review sites before buying search online to find the best place to buy
- 45% of those that searched for product info online still purchased via traditional retail.
- about 2/3 of customers use the information they find through social media to influence their buying decisions
- 67% of customers are likely to pass this information on to others
- over 60% trust information they find through social media more than traditional advertisements
With these numbers, I say even a crappy business can benefit from social media because this is your chance. Your avenue to speak. And I don't mean to speak just with words, other than to say "Thanks for bringing this to our attention! We are listening and learning from your valuable input. Please stay tuned."
Being able to identify what others are saying about you and your business online is the perfect opportunity to respond. And not just by responding to a direct comment with a direct comment. I mean this is your chance to speak by listening, learning and improving!
Listen to why people are making comments:
- Is it the products you sell? Are they of poor quality, prices too high, not enough variety or sizes, etc.?
- Is it your staff? Are they rude? Does their personality fit with that of your customers? Are they knowledgeable about your products, service & business? Are they inattentive or too pushy? Are they unprofessional, have poor hygiene or wear inappropriate attire?
- Is your place of business too crowded, uncleanly, or inaccessible to those with mobility issues?
- Have you handled customer complaints poorly? Have you provided proper training to your staff on dealing with customer complaints or product issues?
- Are your current or ex-employees saying things about you and your business online?
It is wonderful that wonderful AND non-wonderful comments are being made about any or all of these things about you and/or your business online!! Why? Because new goals and paths have just been handed to you for improvement. And if you have read this far than it is my assumption that you are a business who wants to remain in business:)
Learn what you can do to remedy any issues. (We love brainstorming with a group of close and not-so-close individuals by bringing them into the environment to explore for a bit, then we ask specific questions to get a good discussion going) We include customers, suppliers, friends or people off the street).
Improve by implementing your changes and then splash it all over social media and if possible, directly to the person or people that helped you get to the point of improvement...the complainers.
But don't stop there! With our world becoming much smaller due to online technology, use social media as a consistent monitor for your business to remain in existence and for growth and success for many years to come
We've all heard that there is no such thing as bad feedback because it helps us to further develop. And in this case, now that social media has come along, we are very fortunate that we don't have to spend tons of time digging to find out how we can improve in order to stay in business. It's all at our fingertips with online tools available for us to find out what people are saying about us all, so let's use them together:) Together we stand:)
HM Coordinator is a Social Media Services & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes
serving clients throughout Ontario