Companies that don’t embrace social media today are missing huge opportunities to capitalize on the consumers’ voices, says Ron Kaufman, author of “Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet.”
That’s because consumers can contribute immediately and powerfully to a better service experience.
Social media has become an integral part of the consumer experience, Kaufman says. Yet few organizations fully embrace this new social reality—presumably because they’re afraid of negative comments.
But organizations that don’t embrace social media are missing huge opportunities to capitalize on consumers’ voices.
Members’ voices are vital to your credit union, Kaufman says. “Social media provides an incredible opportunity to engage those voices, to turn one customer’s great experience into an advertisement that attracts new customers and gets current customers thinking positively about you. It’s an incredibly advantageous way to address customer concerns and improve your company’s service culture in real time.”
Kaufman suggests taking seven steps encourage consumers to use social media in a way that will benefit your credit union:
1. Make it easy for consumers to go social. When communicating with members, include information about social review sites where members can share their experiences. This shows confidence and can lead to great word-of-mouth publicity.
2. Say “thank you.” It’s a simple gesture that can go a long way.
3. Invite members to reach out. Acknowledge members’ social networks during service delivery. It’s a great way to capitalize immediately on member interactions.
4. Ask how you can improve. Be open to feedback and encourage members to bring their complaints directly to you so you can immediately begin the service recovery process. This allows you to turn a problem into an opportunity—and a casual member into a loyal one.
5. Encourage members to recognize great one-on-one service. Collect input about good employee-member experiences. This can boost morale, focus members on what employees are doing right, and give employees measurable feedback.
6. Funnel member questions through social media. Displaying responses to consumer questions openly online allows other members with the same problems to benefit. It also helps build up the credit union’s informational capabilities, improving future interactions.
7. Encourage members to talk about your brand. The best way to ensure members are spreading positive, encouraging messages about your credit union is to provide such great service that they can’t help but share their stories with others.
“Companies should be saying to their customers, ‘If you did not enjoy our service, please tell us. If you did enjoy our service, please tell someone else,’” Kaufman says. “Engage them. Tell unhappy customers to come to you via social media so you can make it right and improve your overall service.”