Recently I made a change in my career. It’s something that has been on my mind for a long time. When I look back on my career, I have mainly served and excelled in growing business for someone else. I connect with my customers. Many have become friends. But my desire to make a career change came from seeing the look in my customer’s eyes as they were handed off to someone that hadn’t been involved in the “connection” phase. Many reached out to me when things weren’t going the way they wanted and it was frustrating to not be able to take charge and make it right. Many organizations are set up this way. The sales department gets the signature, passes the customer on and moves to the next prospect. Many times it’s a process that works best for the company rather than the customer.
But we are in a very different business world now. We are living in what is called the Information Revolution. It is a time that is being described as disruptive and even more transformational than the Agricultural or Industrial Revolution.
I recently got to see Gary Vaynerchuk speak at a conference. You need to check him out by the way. He has a book called, “The Thank You Economy” http://thankyoueconomybook.com/.
One point Gary made that resonated with me is how our grandparents were better prepared to excel in business than we are in our social media world. Gary talked about how our grandparents really understood word of mouth and how in a small town your reputation was the most important asset a small business could have. Now the internet and social media platforms make our big world small again. One person can share their customer experience with many people in just a click. This can make or break any business.
The second point Gary made was that customer's BS Radars are very sensitive. Authenticity and transparency are what we expect from the companies we choose to support. We know right away if they really appreciate us as a customer. Bad service is so rampant and commonplace, it's really easy as a competitor to stand out in a world where the norm is to take customers for granted.
My coach back in school would often say, “Everybody can talk the talk, very few walk the walk.” As customers, we are hungry for companies that actually walk the walk. In a social media world, companies that understand how to appreciate their customers will flourish. Their customers will support them with unrequested sincere endorsements and referrals online. It’s already happening. People share with their online communities why they love their favorite businesses. What are your customers really saying about your shop or business? Google it and see what your reputation online is. Don’t fool yourself. Cut the BS! Everybody can smell it.
Time for less talk and more walk.