We’ve all heard Paralysis by Analysis: the process of over-thinking, scrutinizing and re-engineering every process due to the smallest bit of new information. It’s very common in an industry driven by numbers. Sometimes though, your guts are dead-on, and you just need to listen.
Is social media really that different? Is it the fact that technology is involved that makes it so stressful for people? Let’s forget that social involves the Internet for a moment. Follow me through this:
What if you sold a car to someone and they had the misfortune to experience a series of service issues during the first 6 months. It’s not necessarily the dealer’s fault, these things do happen. But your customer is angry. To them, this is an enormous investment they’ve made that is now failing them.
What do you do? Ignore it? Pretend it’s not there and hope it will go away? Go out front and argue with the customer until they move the car? These all seem like ridiculous ways to deal with the problem right?
What if ten people stood outside your dealership and explained to every person who walked on the lot that they shouldn’t buy a car from you because of the awful experience they had in the [Insert Department Name]. Again, would you ignore the hubbub? I don’t think so.
So why is it that as soon as technology is involved, we all get locked up and fight over whether we should engage with it? Social media is Customer Service at its very core.
So…What to do?
LISTEN first to what is being said online. Just because you don’t have a Facebook page doesn’t mean people aren’t talking about your business. There are plenty of forums for people to talk about your dealership online including blogs, review sites and various other social networks. You need to be perusing these sites to find out what is being said about your dealership.
Second, TALK to your customers. If someone called your dealership with a complaint you wouldn’t hang up on them. You would talk to them to find out the problem and try to rectify it quickly. Social media is no different.
Finally, CONNECT with your influencers. There are those who have great influence over a large audience in your market. Cultivating a relationship with these people both on and offline turns them into potential conquest agents for your dealership.
See? No over-thinking, no over-engineering or scrutinizing: just the new formula for customer service in today’s computerized world.
by Matt Murray, Director of Digital Marketing