All posts tagged customer communication

You Can’t Control Customer Behavior Online

American Genius published an article, “Corner Bakery Cafe forbids photography inside their restaurants, ‘it’s policy.’” It is another cautionary tale about bad decisions with regard to customer engagement and misguided social media policy. The Corner Bakery Cafe forbids photography inside their restaurants. As author Marti Trewe says in the article, and I agree,“Unfortunate and misguided.”

MARKETING REACH

It  has never been easier to spread your reputation and garner attention, especially for a business like a restaurant. In fact, social communication is partly responsible for the meteoric rise of the gourmet food truck sector from 2011 until now. There are tons of success stories, especially in the restaurant industry, of getting referral and repeat customers as a result of shared stuff online. After all the heart and soul of “social media,” is user-generated content.

BUSINESS DOESN’T CHOOSE

Your business is online and in social channels. Whether you choose to actively participate in the conversation or not is your choice. Never expect to control the conversation. Any attempt to dictate customer behavior can be damaging to your brand.

If our company were to do an analysis of Corner Bakery Cafe then trying to prevent customers from sharing anything online would be a significant weakness. Chain stores of this size (170+ locations in at least 17 states) are beyond this phase of maturity. Many are now figuring out how to train and engage their employees to safely take part in social channels. If you’re still considering public engagement then you are behind competitively in most markets.

IDEAS TO SHARE

  1. You should not attempt to control customer behavior (because…see #2 below)
  1. You cannot control customer behavior
  1. We are in the age of the empowered customer. You must find a way to weave the experience you create into the customer’s journey.
  1. Digital interaction is part of our lives now. We share information in the moment. You can choose whether or not you embrace it personally. However, as a business, organization, team or nation, your choice SHOULD BE dictated by your audience.

Note: Corner Bakery Cafe has an active presence online with popular, carefully managed profiles on most public platforms.

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C7group Announces Launch of New Offering for Small Business

Since its formation, the C7group has worked to help business owners and executives, from enterprise to SMB, understand that making the move to social is about more than ust using social media platforms for marketing and customer acquisition. A true social business engages customers and employees across the organization, from customer service, to innovation, to employee collaboration.

Small Business Social Business Integration SacramentoToday, we are pleased to announce the launch of a new social business offering designed specifically with small businesses in mind. The Social Integration for Small Business Suite from C7 Group brings cost saving and revenue producing tools that have previously only been available to enterprise level organizations, as well as the expertise to properly implement them, to small and mid size businesses.

C7 Group founder and CEO, Jeff Marmins, says, “We looked around right here in our own backyard, Sacramento, CA, and realized that there was a huge void in the marketplace; no one was talking about how small businesses could, with the right tools and training, compete with much larger organizations by adopting a social model.” Marmins lists the advantages small businesses have over their larger counterparts: speed, agility, centralized decision making, lower overhead. He also acknowledges that many small businesses jump into the social space haphazardly, with no clear idea of how to use the available tools to retain customers and make more money. “We’re a small business. We understand how confusing the digital landscape is today. C7group has taken advantage of cloud based software and social platforms such as Google Docs, the Google Apps Marketplace, Hootsuite, Nimble and others. What combination of the hundreds of offerings are right for you? We can help with the roadmap and tool selection.”

Marmins cites some astounding statistics to make his case (from a study conducted by C7group software partner, Jive): businesses that have adopted a social model have seen a 27% reduction in email sent, a 26% decrease in time needed for meetings, a 30% increase in employee satisfaction, a 42% increase in customer communication and, perhaps most impressive, a 27% increase in sales to new and existing clients. The path to that kind of productivity can be tricky, though, Marmins warns.

“There are a lot of ‘overnight experts’ that have jumped into social media,” Marmins says. “If you don’t know what to look for, you could easily get burned by an amateur looking to make a quick buck or that is looking at marketing in a vacuum. Where can you really create leverage and increase net profit? What should you do first?”

And while other firms have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to assist their small business clients in adopting the use of social media for marketing and PR purposes, C7group is the first consulting firm in Sacramento to offer an end-to-end package that covers employee collaboration and document management to workflow and process improvements and, of course, social media marketing.

“What we’re really taking about is social technology and related practices, not just social media marketing,” Marmins states. “We can show you that the difference is bigger than you might think.”

Get more information about the new Small Business Digital Services Suiterequest a consultation with a C7 Group social business expert or call (916) 538-3767.

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