Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sour Milk: Do you operate 24/7 or are you dark 76% of the week?

In today’s hyper-media, 24/7 environment, consumers and members expect response or results when the issue surfaces. Many customers/members expect – almost demand – immediate response regardless of when the problem comes to mind.

(Note: 24 hours x 7 days = 168 hours in a week. A typical 40 hour work week means you are closed to business 128 hours or 76.2% of a week.)

Thus, customers/members email, call and/or use Twitter, FaceBook, Yelp or LinkedIn to share their frustrations and concerns.

Some associations/companies are listening and monitoring. Others remain in the dark, clueless about what members and customers are saying. If you are an association executive or association communications professional, this is a strategic issue for your association.

Social Engagement Example

The other Sunday, my wife said “the milk is sour, again. And we’re four days from the ‘expiration date.’”

Since this was about the fourth time that milk from this store had gone sour early, I took to Twitter.

As you’ll see in this trail of tweets, Sweetbay was monitoring:

  • @shopSweetbay milk turned sour again ... second time in a month. And, 5 days left on "use before" date on jug. #fail
  • Sweetbay Supermarket @shopsweetbay @SteveDrake so sorry about that! Could you DM us you store location and contact number?
  • Sweetbay Supermarket @shopsweetbay @SteveDrake thanks for your private message. We can't reply via DM but we'll definitely pass this on to your store manager to resolve.
  • Steve Drake @SteveDrake RT @shopsweetbay: @SteveDrake Can't reply via DM but we'll pass to your store manager to resolve. 3 others 2-nite said they had same issue.
  • Sweetbay Supermarket @shopsweetbay @SteveDrake that sounds really frustrating and we’re so sorry. We’ve contacted the store manager. Are these others from same store?
  • Steve Drake @SteveDrake RT @shopsweetbay: @SteveDrake We’ve contacted the store manager. Are these others from same store? Yes, all same store.
On Monday morning, the store manager called. She said no one had complained about milk going sour. She offered me a free jug of milk if I came to the store and asked for her.

Social media today is much like telephone calls and fax machines were two and one generations ago. It is somewhat new. It takes time. It can be frustrating. But, we have no choice.

Social Media Engages

The wonderful thing about social media is that it creates the opportunity for an engaging two-way communications with your members and prospects. And, it provides a great listening post to discover what concerns them.

But, it isn’t any good if you don’t answer and if you’re dark 76% of the week.

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