Twitter I’ve got to get this off my chest before I explode!

OK so that’s an exaggeration but (especially using Twitter)…

I do have a new particularly frustrating Social Media pet peeve…automation! It was only a matter of time.

I absolutely hated it when it hit phone systems Press 1 for English. Then e-mail “This is an automated message, please do not respond to this e-mail.”  Wow that’s helpful, NOT!

Twitter Social Media
This image is from the Bigstock collection.

Yeah now we have automated responses for Social media! Say Twitter for example. When I follow people I’m now increasingly seeing automated thank you tweets and receiving ads as direct messages.

Oh, and then there are the automated acknowledgements for retweets! Not so great when you retweet the same person multiple times and are automatically thank you tweeted for each one.

Hello it’s social media! It’s a way to COMMUNICATE directly with your customers and potential customers. It’s a way to network with other small businesses. It’s increased exposure for your brand within your community, and if you so desire globally.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again it’s important to thank new followers. When I say thank them, I don’t mean via some repetitive cheesy automated message. If the automated message isn’t insult enough, it usually includes a promo for the automation application as well.

I see this as an indicator that I may not have a great customer experience in person. If they can’t be bothered acknowledging me online, why would that change at the till?

I like to treat new followers as if they’ve walked into my place of business. I get to know them a little, which means I check out their Twitter profile.

If they are someone that I want to associate with I follow them back. I post a personalized thank you tweet based on what I’ve learned about them.

When I see people favoriting, retweeting and mentioning me in their tweets I also thank them. Not every time, but I do tweet personal thanks regularly.

Call it Twitter etiquette if you want, but to me it’s just plain manners.

PS – There, now that I got that off my chest I feel much better 🙂 Don’t forget…

Support Your Neighbours Your Friends Your Community…Buy Local! Pretty please :)

 

 

Social Media Knock Knock

Social Media use it!

There are oh SO many great reasons to use social media (i.e. Twitter, Facebook Page) for your local business. That being said…DO NOT sign up for social media accounts unless you are committed to maintaining them.

In the brick n’ mortar world that’d be like leaving the store untended with everything in locked cases. Potential customers can walk in and ONLY look around. They can’t ask questions or make any purchases because nobody is there.  Plus it looks like it’s been abandoned for a really long time.

In the online social media world customers search for YOUR business. They sign up to follow you. They are specifically asking to be kept up to date. They are giving you permission to socialize with them.

When the first impression of your social media page/account is that it’s being neglected it can affect how they feel about your business.  My particular pet peeve is following a local business (especially ones that I frequent regularly) then not receiving any kind of acknowledgement. As a customer, it makes me feel like I’ve just walked into your store without being greeted.

Social Media use it to stay in touch with customers.
Social Media Don’t Make a Bad Impression

If you’re not ready to add fresh content regularly (stay in touch) then you probably should wait to set up accounts or pages. It looks really bad when a customer posts a comment that is left eternally UNANSWERED. Remember though that you are passing up the opportunity to communicate directly with your customers. To keep them informed. To provide news about your local business. To build a community with your customers and other local businesses.

When customers are looking for you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or others and don’t find you this can also leave a bad impression. The impression that your business may be a little out of date.

I like to look at it this way….when the store is quiet a valuable tweet to followers gives you the chance to treat them as if they are in the store. Thereby eliminating the lull altogether.

Now is the time to put social media to good use for your business!

If you need a little help setting up your accounts, building your social community and keeping them fresh feel free to get in touch 250-710-0594 or Shelley@ILoveCowichan.ca

 

 

Say Thank You and Mean It!

Wow! What a whirlwind December was. We’re off to the start of another new year. Bye bye to 2014 and hello to 2015. Speaking of December, the month of power shopping reminds me of something I noticed a lot (too much in fact). When you work in retail, without exception you should always say thank you and mean it! This is especially true for small local stores. This didn’t happen with some of my local shopping experiences this holiday season.

I know it’s busy. I know it’s difficult. But…

When I shop in smaller stores I expect to be greeted when I enter, and thanked when I leave and it best be genuine. I want that Thank You even if I haven’t made a purchase. These two interactions are part of the customer experience that keeps me coming back.

Duncan Andison Blackboard with Thank You written on it

Photographic Print Thank You by Duncan Andison

The big bad box store who shall not be named knows how important this is. They pay people to stand at the door saying hi and thank you. All too often though, it isn’t genuine. Just words they are repeating over and over.

Please, please, please understand the time of “buying local” has come. It’s your time as a local business owner to shine. People are becoming more intent on supporting their community by spending money locally. Customer experience matters, it is what can set us apart from big box.

Without exception, do what you have to do to ensure that every person walking in the door is greeted cheerfully and is thanked genuinely when they are leaving.

It’s simple…be honestly grateful that this individual chose to visit your place of business.

I am proud to say that I did most of my shopping locally this year (yeah me!) Also, supported local artists with some of my gift purchasing.

 

Besides saying thank you, here is some other advice to help improve retail customer experience.