Social Media’s Three Rs

19 08 2008

What are they? Reading, Writing, and Relationships.

I’ve spent several posts on writing blogs and reading content from others online, but the most important R of all is relationships. It’s what makes social media social. From the comfort of your own home or office, you can build real relationships with customers and countless other stakeholders anywhere in the world. You can share ideas with the terrifically smart individuals you’ll discover and build lasting friendships with people whom you may never meet face-to-face.

It’s actually amazing how well you can get to know someone online. To illustrate the point, one of my former learning team members in Seton Hall’s MASCL program is a dentist. He told me that he got to know his online classmates better than he did the students he sat next to everyday in dental school. It’s kind of like the difference between staying in a hotel and taking a cruise; there’s something about everyone being in the same boat that promotes an entirely different level of interaction and sharing.

Social media provides a plethora of reading, writing, and relationship resources. Let’s face it, the three Rs of social media and the three Rs of PR are two sides of the same coin. Now you just have to convince the rest of your colleagues.

*Crosspost from Client Service Insights…(CSI/Season 2)

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Client Service Surveys

9 08 2008

Clients service surveys should not be used simply as measurement tools, they’re really relationship tools. If you plan to conduct your own survey to measure client satisfaction, then don’t just look at it from a standpont of asking for data. Use the fact that you’re conducting the survey as a means to strengthen your client relationships. Here are a few thoughts to consider:

Thank your clients for their business. We don’t do so often enough.

Send the message that client service excellence is a priority for your firm. Don’t worry about overpromising or raising expectations. Clients want to know you care and that you’re trying your very best on their behalf.

Don’t be afraid to ask. Sometimes agencies get bashful (scared) about conducting formal surveys, making the excuse: “my client is too busy.” Rubbish. It’s like saying you won’t invite someone to a party at your home because they may not be able to make it. People like being invited and can get really offended if they’re not. Be sure to ask; they’ll appreciate it, even if they are too busy.

Involve all your client contacts. Don’t just ask your primary (favorite) client contact. Ask everyone who works with your firm – on all fronts. Also remember that the secondary contact of today may be the primary contact tomorrow. Talk to everybody.

Share the results. Let your clients know that you’ll share the results with them. Do not make the mistake of asking for their opinions without follow-up. Promise to share the results, and be sure to follow through on that promise.

Develop an action plan. Regardless of how good the results, develop an action plan, or at the very least a communication plan. Discuss your progress on an ongoing basis. If you do this, you won’t have to wait until the next survey to uncover an underlying problem that could compromise the relationship.

If you’re considering a formal client service survey, then show your clients that you’re not just client service measurers; you’re client service champions. Strengthen your client relationships beyond measure.