Where Everyone Knows Your Name

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It is a pretty scary time to be navigating the waters in a small business, or a large business for that matter. Even the "veterans" you talk to have not seen such times.  Irrespective of the economic conditions, we are functioning in a time where everyone knows your name, knows what you are doing, or not doing and they, your customer, have the power to broadcast that to many, thousands, hundreds of thousands with a few keystrokes. Yep, times have changed, and small or large businesses may want to begin conducting themselves "As If" you are always on stage because you are, and YOU do not get to choose when and or where they show up and decide to broadcast.

You absolutely cannot control the conversation but you can participate. Not being able to control the message is where things fall apart for most organizations and businesses. As we traverse the Social Media path in our small company, one of the first things we learned was just how afraid even our employees were of being exposed. After reading whatever the newest marketing and management book of the day was a couple of years ago I marched into our staff meeting to announce we were going to launch a My Space page. Jaws dropped and folks were squirming around. But residents may post bad things about us someone finally said, which I promptly replied, yep, they may, but guess what we will work on when the do. Social Media, at its simplest form is about Participating in the Conversation.

When "Things Don't Work" companies MUST embrace such circumstances as an opportunity to communicate with their customer and enhance the customers experience. When we trip up, a sincere; "I Am Sorry, and understand how aggravated you must be" really works wonders. It certainly isn't a short answer to all problems, however if we are simply available via a cell phone number on our website, an e mail address, a customer forum, an open company blog, and any other open dialog and transparency, when "Things Don't Work" are excellent opportunities to create "Customer Evangelists" Oddly, it seems as though the truest of Customer Evangelists are created from a favorable experience of when "Things Went Wrong" Embrace and engage this opportunity to talk with your customers.

Practice becoming more transparent with your company, your customer will love you for it, and it is a something that your competitor is likely not doing. More to follow on this topic, and how Rating Sites can become Your New Best Friend,

Let us know what you think about your customer being able to contact you directly, we would love to hear your story and what you think.


"Social Media, at its simplest form is about Participating in the Conversation."

Eric I made this exact point at an event I spoke at last week. Social Media is getting so much hype now that I fear that many people aren't realizing that social media is simply tools and sites that let you connect with people, such as your customers. And it also, as you said, lets you become a participant in a conversation that's happening RIGHT NOW about your business. Or better yet, if there's NO conversation online about your business, then social media lets YOU create the conversation.

The more you connect with your customers via the channels that they are already using, the more you will learn about them, and they you. Which makes your marketing and communication efforts more effective, more efficient.....and your costs go down. Sounds like a winnah!



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Eric Brown published on November 9, 2008 2:23 PM.

Book: Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur was the previous entry in this blog.

Helpful Marketing: A Case Study is the next entry in this blog.

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