‘Social Media’ puts the power back in the hands customers
If you are hoping for an overall positive experience for customers, offering preferential treatment to some while others not receiving, bear witness, may not be your best marketing strategy.
Although a study that assessed the favourable effects of higher levels of preferential treatment as a relationship marketing strategy revealed that higher levels of preferential treatment are shown to positively influence relationship commitment, increased purchases, share of customer, word of mouth, and customer feedback. Several other studies have revealed that perceived justice was at its highest when no preferential treatment was given.
Blake Morgan in an article titled “Customer Experience In The Age of Social Media”, said social media puts the power back in the hands of the customers and gave them a voice to share their experiences.” She referenced podcaster and author of the book “Winning At Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media” Dan Gingiss who said customer experience is how people feel about every interaction they have with a company.
Morgan, who is a customer experience futurist, author and keynote speaker, said that while the customer’s experience used to be more siloed, where offline experience stayed offline, social media and smartphones have allowed that to change, bringing everything online. “A customer who has a bad experience can share it on social media, which can create a firestorm of negative publicity for the company,” said Morgan.
She reiterated that in order to harness the power of social media for customer experience, companies need to create a culture of putting themselves in the customer’s shoes. Observing every little thing that happens from a customer’s point of view can be eye-opening for employees about the challenges and roadblocks in the path and what it means to be a customer of your company.
Do not forget Professor Magnus Söderlund from the Stockholm School of Economics journal paper. In it he said “today, when customers can readily share their experiences via social media, the preferential treatment technique needs careful consideration.”
In preferential treatment you win some and stand the chance of losing more than you win. So, ask yourself if an increase in satisfaction for those getting the preferential treatment is worth more than the reduced level of customer satisfaction felt among those who don’t benefit.
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