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A friend of mine was telling me a very interesting story the other day. On Good Friday this year, he took his family to a well-known Pizza chain. He is a bit of a regular and quite a fan. Knowing this, he always arrives at opening time so there is no wait and he can grab the good seats. However, on arrival he noticed that there was only 2 staff on which he thought strange for Good Friday, especially as it was the school holidays and the eatery was at a big retail park. Not one to not know a reason, he questioned the manager who replied with “well, we looked at the books for Good Friday last year and it was really quiet”. My friend then pointed out that Good Friday 2012 was a heat wave and most families with young kids would have been enjoying the sun either on the beach, in the park or having a BBQ in the garden. He did not tell me the look on the manager’s face but it was not long before the place started filling up rapidly and sooner rather than later, people were being turned away. Some customers were waiting so long that they lost patience and walked away and some people just didn't go in.
“Car crash at your restaurant, 20+ people turned away due to understaffing.”
Followed up by:
“Car crash customer service. People now leaving without food arriving.”
Well, as this was a bank holiday there was no reply and whoever managed their account was off until the Tuesday, 4 days after the event. My friend was subsequently annoyed that they had not responded but even more annoyed when the reply came through saying: “Here is an e-mail address you can reply to.” In his opinion, and mine too, this this is not good customer service; this is a fob off. My friend understands branding and brand reputation and wasn't going to let it lie, so he tweeted:
“Just like the staff in your restaurant, you don’t appear to be bothered, so no. Bye.”
This did get a response and, following a few DM’s and a phone call from my friend, the pizza company are now looking at how they will improve their social media to improve customer service.
Now, here is what could have happened had their social media been managed better. This tweet would have instantly been picked up by customer service and the opportunity could have been better handled with a tweet saying: “our restaurant is really busy at the moment so might be worth avoiding until it quietens down” followed by the hash tag “#pizzastaff are you free to put in a few hours extra work? #NEfollowers”. Even “apologies for the delays at our restaurant, have a drink on us” would have helped but, most of all, a response to my friend acknowledging and thanking him for making them aware.
I’m sure some of this would not sit well with some corporates, but saying a restaurant is busy indicates that the food is good and it would also avoid disappointment from loyal customers. Remember; if people have a bad experience they will tell about 30 people so if everyone in that restaurant told 30 people, 600 people could potentially be put off going to this restaurant.
Too often we focus on sharing our knowledge on offering special offers on social media without using it effectively to support our current client base. Ivan Misner (@Ivanmisner), Founder of Business Network International, the world’s leading referral organisation, says: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care” which is very true.
In summary, use social media to show how much you care about your customers and the results will improve your brand and customer loyalty. Too many companies e-mail when they should call or call when they should meet. If somebody has an issue - engage with them. We all make mistakes but it is how we respond to these mistakes that defines how we are judged.
If you would like help managing your social media or digital reputation, please drop us a line at email@example.com or call us on 01325 311 909.
Having a well-built website that promotes your company professionally and effectively is one thing. Having a website that is properly marketed through well implemented digital strategies is another.
It is essential that you market your website, brand and business in order to get people talking about you and noticing what it is you’re doing and why it is different.
As web specialists, we very much believe in the power of web marketing as opposed to traditional marketing methods. I have whipped together 5 reasons why I think this is the case:
In this day and age, we all want everything to have been done yesterday to constantly keep ahead of the times. Web marketing allows you to get your company’s message across to thousands in a matter of seconds. Take Twitter, for example. It takes no time at all to post a tweet that can then be viewed by a huge audience, thanks to the powers of hash-tagging and retweeting alike. This makes social media campaigns, quite frankly, a time saving no-brainer when compared to a traditional marketing campaign.
- Market Size
Distributing marketing materials physically is limited by cost. You can only print out so many flyers and post them through so many doors, therefore limiting your potential market size. On the other hand, posting a blog on your website can be seen by absolutely anyone if the correct digital marketing strategies are applied.
- Search Engines
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) allows any online marketing material to be optimised in several relevant key search terms, something that traditional marketing simply cannot do. Once optimised, blogs, content, newsletters and brochures can appear in Google feeds through various relevant keyword link ups – now, can you do that with a your printed newspaper advert?
Web marketing also has the competitive advantage over traditional marketing as it allows you to publish a blog, for example, immediately with no time or geographical constraints. An idea can quite literally go from inside your head and onto the screens of millions all over the world within a matter of moments.
All of the processes involved with traditional marketing, such as print and distribution management, come at a price. And, although web marketing is by no means free, it is cheaper and provides a much greater return on investment. For example, investing in a PayPerClick advertising strategy will drive traffic to your website, resulting in an increase in sales and/or enquiries.
So, which method of marketing would you rather use?