Facebook. Twitter. Foursquare. Gowalla. Yelp. Groupon.
A decade ago, those words would have been completely meaningless. In 2010, however, they are important components to businesses small and large. There’s a conversation going on. Are you a part of it? People are talking about YOUR company.
Most businesses are aware of the need to have a website. If you have your own website already, congratulations are in order. You’ve taken the first step to managing your online presence as a company. Just don’t be complacent – there are a lot of opportunities out there to increase awareness and customer satisfaction! This in turn will lead to repeat customers and new business opportunities.
Listen and Be Aware
Find out who your vocal customers are. What do they like? Are they happy with what you offer? If not, why?
A great example of listening comes by way of Arizona’s own Discount Tire. They were able to find a customer who was literally asking the internet for help finding a good deal. Discount Tire responded via Twitter and retained a customer. (Read more at Digital Royalty)
Embrace and Interact
Engage with your vocal customers… Don’t just seek out those who praise you. Not everyone will be ecstatic about the services you offer. That doesn’t mean you can’t go out of your way to listen to them and maybe even offer up a solution or alternatives. Your customers are all important: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
A hard lesson was learned by Amy’s Baking Company of Scottsdale. A reviewer on Yelp had some unpleasant things to say about a recent visit. This is pretty commonplace on Yelp; even the best establishments have at least a few unhappy customers. What matters is how these comments are handled. It is important to be tactful, and appreciative of all feedback. (Read more at KTAR)
Encourage and Entice
Ask questions that will generate conversation. Create word of mouth advertising through special offers. Modern technology allows you as a business owner to advertise without having to pay through traditional channels to reach your customers.
Contests, discounts, and special offers are all great ways to reach out and expand your business! There are several examples, including Tempe’s Sportiqe and Downtown Phoenix’s Portland’s Restaurant.
What are you waiting for?
Sign up for Facebook. Claim your business on Foursquare. Check out your Yelp reviews. What matters is that you take an active role, and become a part of the conversation. Don’t miss out!