“Give, give, give…than ask.” ~Gary Vaynerchuk
When does the customer experience actually start? Many believe it begins with your customer’s first purchase. I believe it’s way, way before they’ve even considered making a purchase, with you or anybody else.
Social Media has given consumers the tools to recognize and reward the great companies. It’s also given them better tools to spot and expose a company’s hidden agendas and bad intentions. Here’s where the customer experience starts. Social Media platforms emphasize transparency and immediacy. Technology helps spread the word about your company and you better be out there with the right message.
Consumers have become adept at deciphering the intentions of companies. In Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, “The Thank You Economy”, he says,
“Good intent is the single biggest differentiator in this new economy.”
Good intentions create a pull. If your intentions are good, it shows, and people are drawn to you. If not, you may notice a loud sucking sound. That’s your prospects bolting for the exits.
Ask yourself what your intention is with Social Media (or any other marketing for that matter). Is it to just get someone to click through or click the “Like” button? Or is it to build an online identity and foster a connection between your store and the customer? The reason so many Social Media marketers fail ties back to their original intent. There’s nothing wrong with click throughs or building likes. But if the reason you’re on Social Media is to attract fans and followers so you can blast your message to that user base, you’re playing the wrong game and you’re going to lose.
Success in Social Media is measured by both quantity AND quality. If you throw meaningless tactics around to increase your numbers, even if they work, you won’t have gained anything of true value because you didn’t put anything of true value out there. All your numbers prove is that you’ve made contacts, not connections.
Quality must always be part of your Social marketing equation. Quality content fosters credibility and attracts quality fans. A quality fan base begets brand advocacy and repeat business.
A successful Social Media strategy is one that plays close to the emotional center; the farther away you stand from that center, the farther away your customers are going to stand. Their value will therefore be worth less in the long run than it would’ve been had you engaged with them in such a way to make them want to come close.
When you’ve earned your numbers through quality, your prospects want to come close. Your repeat customers what to come closer. That’s the lifetime value of a true customer.
Dealerships and other businesses have been trained to market to “anybody, anywhere”. We used to market to the masses and somebody would show up to buy. We have to start thinking differently about how we connect. Technology has given us such an incredible opportunity. We no longer have to spend huge ad budgets to reach the masses. Now, we define exactly who our customers are and reach them in a more friendly, intimate way.
Connecting and engaging people in advance of any sale makes you remarkable. Don’t let your success be thwarted by your failure to act on good intentions. The information you give all along the sales process gets noticed and retained. Anybody can market their message to the masses. It takes a truly extraordinary company to develop a relationship with a customer who hasn’t even figured out they’re going to buy from you someday soon.