The digital age has changed the way we do business. People live on email, social networks, and Starbuck’s coffee. Our mornings begin and end with the Internet. But something interesting is taking place. I wonder if you have noticed the growing desire and compulsive need being expressed – people want to have personal conversations with total strangers.
Privacy and anonymity seem to be a passing fad, a priority of the past. Guards are down as people share their most private experiences, thoughts, and relationships to a global market. The need to talk, question, and comment, may sometimes borderline obsessive behavior, but is actually a blessing in disguise for those email marketers who integrate their marketing campaigns with social media marketing.
As we engage our clients in blogs, twitter, and facebook, we want to have a discourse in meaningful and influential dialogues, furthering the discussions on a positive and informative note. Our strategies are to develop trust and respect for our company, product, or service. Without which there is no loyalty or repeat business. But what happens when a negative comment is made on a blog or email communication? Does it spiral out of control? The need to learn how to respond in an open, unmediated arena will reduce that fear. Learning to adapt to the continuing dynamics and constant challenges of the social Web is a daily experience. Our attitude towards any criticism, however, should be to learn and grow from every experience.
Is the Comment True?
Whether a negative comment comes from a colleague, friend, relative or customer online we must ask ourselves is it true? Don’t go into combat mode, as if you are being assaulted. For some of you, honesty has always been an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience when dealing with negative remarks. The world is filled with dishonesty. Salespeople lie about their products, employees make excuses for their mistakes, and customer service people lie about when the product was shipped, and on and on. It seems that telling a lie is easier than admitting a fault or product defect. So we practice this thinking when dealing with our clients online. But, that is not the way to go.
Having smart conversations with people who have something important to say, is being wise. Productive criticisms about your product, service, website, or support, can only lead to improvement on your end and trust on theirs. Being honest is being vulnerable. But how can we develop loyalty and trust, if we cannot institute that in our own actions and lives?
Remain honest and straightforward. Most of your clients have been around the block. They know when they are not receiving honest, straightforward responses. Don’t try to impress, but address their issues honestly and respectably.
Be a proactive communicator. Keep your communications alive. Many email marketers send communications when a new project or client has come on board. Make sure you are both on the same page. Never assume. Question what is not clear, or what you might have missed. Strive for excellence. Email your client on a periodic basis. Let them know they are very much alive in your thinking and planning. Even if it seems redundant, keep the good vibrations going out to them.
Communications are a lifeline to business and client alike. Honest communications today, build loyalty and trust offering a better bottom line tomorrow.