I do my best to support small independent traders, so just recently I made several purchases from members of my Facebook group along with a few from promotions I had seen in other groups, all of whom were small business owners.
I made a point of letting people know I had purchased in order to help boost their posts and help promote their business.
The response I got was quite varied.
The first lady I purchased off and left a comment for, saying how excited I was to have placed my order and was looking forward to receiving my goods, completely ignored my comment. Not even a like even though I had tagged her! However, a comment below mine got an instant response from someone who was obviously a friend as she said she would drop the order over when they went out for drinks later.
How did that make me feel?
Ignored (obviously) and that my purchase was insignificant and not of any value to her.
A few days later I received my product and that was that.
The second purchase that I left a comment for did manage to get a ‘like’ but no reply or further interaction with me.
How did this leave me feeling? That she wasn’t really bothered by my purchase either. Another example of how not to create raving fans for her business.
Again, product received but this time with a card asking me to rate the business on social media. Hmm! Now then. As I had been ignored previously, would I take time out to do this. Maybe, maybe not.
How to create raving fans
Now take a moment to compare this was another purchase further along the line.
Here I did exactly the same. Completed the purchase and left a comment on their promo post whilst tagging them so they couldn’t miss it.
The difference in the response I got here was so far removed from the first couple.
Hallelujah!! Someone cares!
I had a reply to my comment thanking me so much for my support and that she was as excited as I was about sending my purchase to me as I was in receiving it as she knew I would love it.
Between my order and my receipt of the same, the lady kept me fully updated via email. Again, I received an email thanking me for my order and with an expected dispatch date. I then received a lovely email saying how my order had just been lovingly wrapped and taken to the post office so would be with me soon.
When the order arrived, it was beautifully packed in tissue paper and tied with a piece of ribbon along with a business card that had a handwritten message on.
How did this purchase make me feel? It made me feel valued and warm and fuzzy inside that I had supported a small business that really appreciated my support.
Out of these three businesses, who do you think I will return to when I go to make future purchases? Which ones are creating raving fans and which ones aren’t? I’ll give you one guess.
The moral of the story here is that if you are going to promote your business on social media, then get social! If someone takes the time to make a purchase and flag up your business to try and support you, then at least have the courtesy to respond to them. It only takes a few seconds to say thank you.
Remember, it’s now what you say or what you do, it’s how you make people feel that matters and will determine if they return to you to buy from you again or not.
Does this resonate with you? Yes or no? Leave a comment and let me know below.
Do you know that one of the best ways to delight and surprise your clients and build raving fans for your business is to do something unexpected to thank them for their business and make them feel appreciated?
However, very few businesses think about thanking their customers for their business. Even fewer actually find original ways to do so.
One of the simplest and best ways to do this is to send them a surprise in the post. In this world of online technology, receiving something as simple as a handwritten note will make you stand out from the crowd and get you noticed.
Your clients will appreciate that you have taken a few minutes out of your busy day to think just about them.
And you don’t just have to restrict this sentiment to clients. Why not send something to a prospect that you would like to work with.
How to delight and surprise your clients
It doesn’t have to be expensive to send something personal in the post. After all, remember the adage that ‘it’s the thought that counts’.
Take a look through the following list to get some ideas flowing:
- You could simply buy a pack of plain note cards and write a personal message to them.
- Or buy packs of postcards with motivational quotes on the front and pop a handwritten note on the back.
- If you see an article in a magazine that is relevant, how about cutting it out and sending to them – so much more effective than sending a link to an online article via email.
- Consider getting some personalised bookmarks printed up with your branding and sending those out as gifts.
- Think about sending a voucher to spend with your business. If you are a masseur, hairdresser or provide products, a voucher is easy. If you are a coach or consultant, create a voucher to redeem for a free 30-minute session with you.
- Do you have a client that you suspect is feeling tired or overwhelmed? Why not pin a tea bag to a short note telling them to take 5 mins out on you and sit down with a cuppa? Guaranteed to make them laugh, feel loved and remember you!
- Or how about sending a small (or large) chocolate bar to give them a treat?
- For long-standing and valued clients, send a beautiful notebook
- Or an inspirational book of your choosing
- Or a gift card ……
These things are inexpensive yet will help build relationships that will generate you much more money in the future through clients who feel nurtured and valued and who will stay loyal to you. Your gift doesn’t have to be expensive to be memorable. It has to be special and feel personal.
What ideas do you have to delight and surprise your clients in unexpected ways? Let me know in the comments below.
Have you ever had a complaint on social media?
Today, more and more people take to social media to make a complaint. But there is such a huge difference in how businesses deal with these complaints.
If you get a complaint on social media, do you want to keep that client who complains (and create a raving superfan for your business) or just get rid of them (and take others with them)?
Things go wrong. If they don’t, you probably aren’t that busy or aren’t trying hard enough.
And this past week two retail giants had major problems. Their websites broke! Sainsbury’s was online but whatever search went in ended in ‘no results’ available. Boots UK site was completely down and simply couldn’t be accessed.
Sod’s law dictated these problems happened on the very day that I was trying to do some online ordering. After numerous frustrated attempts to order what I wanted, I gave up and took to Twitter to ask when they would have their problems rectified.
Within minutes of my tweet to Sainsbury’s, they responded to say they had checked and yes, there was a problem and would report back to me. In a short while, they tweeted me again to say they were doing their best to rectify the problem and would I bear with them and try to order in a few hours time.
Boots? The silence was deafening! No response at all.
Later that evening Sainsbury’s asked if I would send them a contact number so they could speak to me direct. I duly sent this and they called me to say the site was back up and had I managed to place my order. I told them that I hadn’t placed my order as time had run out and I had gone elsewhere. They apologised profusely for the inconvenience caused, told me how much they valued my custom and immediately sent me an e-voucher.
I was impressed.
Boots? After sending a second tweet they responded 48 hours later to say their site had only been down for one hour. Utter rubbish, it was down for over 6 hours! And no further correspondence was had from them.
So what can you learn from these two companies and the way they handled a problem? As I am sure you can guess, it’s not rocket science.
What to do when you get a complaint on social media
If you get a complaint or a client/customer flags up a problem try the following:
- Immediately acknowledge there is a problem and it will be looked into
- Ask for contact details to take the complaint off line
- Inform the client of when they can expect a response
- Let them know what went wrong and what has been done to rectify the problem
- If you and your business were not at fault, there has still been a misunderstanding of some sort so acknowledge this and look into ways of ensuring the misunderstanding or problem does not happen again
- Let them know how much you value their custom and apologise for inconvenience caused
- Go over and above to make them feel special and offer them a freebie/voucher or similar to show you genuinely care
This is an effective way of regaining trust and credibility with the client and retaining their custom.
It is also possible they will be so impressed that they will turn back to social media to say how impressed they were with how your problem was handled, raising awareness of your business to others.
What not to do when you get a complaint on social media:
- Ignore them
- Deny there was a problem – this is basically calling them a liar – not recommended as insult will be taken
- Get into a public argument
- Do absolutely nothing to let them know you value their custom
If you do the above, you are most likely to lose their custom forever (there are plenty of other places to buy the same products and services from).
It is also quite probable that the client will take to social media to highlight your poor attitude giving a bad impression of your business to others who may have been thinking of buying from you and will now go look elsewhere.
Create a customer care policy
If you don’t have a customer care policy in place, go create one now. It doesn’t matter if you are a one woman band or a multi-million corporation. The principle is exactly the same.
Hopefully, you will never have to use it but as the boy scouts famously state, it is always good to be prepared.