How Getting Social With Customers Can Pay Off for Retailers

Take an interest in your best customers’ social media posts and they’ll return the favor

It’s an old business adage that “the customer is always right.” And it’s true: In the long-term interests of your jewelry store, it doesn’t pay to pick a fight with a customer. You may win the battle, but you’ll lose the war.

Although we fully agree with this, some customers may be more right than others. Giving good service to every customer is important, of course; but some deserve better than good.

The top 50 customers in your store may be providing you with more than 5 percent of your sales. Now, 5 percent may not sound like a lot, but given that (in most cases) they are being treated the same as everyone else, what would happen if you really looked after them?

Today there are more opportunities than ever to relate to, and converse with, your top 30–50 customers. You are no doubt keen to have them follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, etc. But do you follow them?

We recently heard a great story of how an airline really listened to a customer. A businesswoman, whose flight was delayed due to weather, discovered she had forgotten her laptop power cord. In frustration, she tweeted her predicament, then got back to using her dwindling power supply to send some urgent emails.

About 30 minutes later, the woman was paged to the information desk, where a suitable power cord was waiting. The airline’s marketing department had seen the tweet and contacted the airport. Needless to say, she was quick to tweet about her good fortune!

If you followed your best customers, would it be so difficult to respond to their posts and provide assistance in similar situations? Opportunities like this present themselves on a regular basis—and it’s not just about reaching out to help. Interacting with your clients builds a relationship that will pay off when buying decisions are made. So make a decision to start today:

  1. Use your database to identify your top 30 customers.
  2. Seek them out on Facebook or Twitter. Chances are if they are your best customers you already have a rapport with them. If you don’t, then don’t seek to befriend them for the sake of it—it needs to be genuine.
  3. Spend five minutes a day following their posts (you don’t need a full-time employee like the airline) and comment when appropriate.
  4. Don’t use this as a crass attempt to market yourself by plugging your store or deals you may have.

As Dale Carnegie said, the best way to have someone take an interest in you is to take a genuine interest in them.

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