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Make Your Social CRM Customers Feel Loved!

Everyone is vying for your Social CRM customers’ attention. Make them feel loved! Online ads, videos, points programs, and free samples are available everywhere. If you can think of ways to create a memorable experience for your customer, the rewards will be great. If you can do something extraordinary for a customer, you will cut through the clutter.

A great example of this is the experience Peter Shankman of HARO had with Morton’s The Steakhouse in Hackensack, NJ. Shankman reports that in August 2011 he was on a business trip that would end back at his home airport at a late hour. He was a regular customer of Morton’s across the country when he traveled. He hadn’t eaten much that day, so food was on his mind.

As a joke, he tweeted, “Hey @Mortons – can you meet me at Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :)” Much to his amazement when he landed, a Morton’s employee in a tuxedo was waiting for him with a bag that included a 24-ounce porterhouse steak.

Needless to say, he experienced shock and amazement. He tweeted a picture of himself with the employee and expressed his uncontrolled joy. Even his dog was going to eat steak that night.

The great thing about this for Morton’s was that not only did Shankman tweet his amazement, but his followers on Twitter went wild with tweets about it. (He had over 100,000 Twitter followers at the time.) In addition, Morton’s got free TV coverage and great PR. All for the price of a steak dinner and a trip to the Newark airport.

In retrospect, you can look at that experience and see how Morton’s would benefit, but remember, they took quick action in real time. They didn’t have time to plan and execute over several days. They had two hours.

What can you learn from this? Think about the following when you’re trying to develop incredible experiences that create customers for life:

  • Follow your social networks in real time as often as possible. Morton’s had an employee watching its Twitter stream for mentions of their brand. If they didn’t see the tweet right away, the opportunity would’ve been lost.

  • Take bold action to stand out. The rewards are great if you’re willing to break out of the “business as usual” category. A unique story often catches the eye of the media, as it did in this case.

  • Think about the visual potential of the experience. Morton’s sent an employee in a tuxedo to present the steak. When Shankman took the inevitable picture and put it on Twitter, it made a huge impression on customers (as well as potential customers).

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  • Give your employees the authority to make customers happy. If your employees have to request permission for every unique experience they want to provide, the spontaneity will be lost. Let your employees know that you value their deep commitment to customers and reward them for it. If you don’t walk the walk, they will be afraid to take the initiative.

There are many ways to reward loyal customers. The type of loyalty program you employ should depend on the types of rewards that customers find valuable. For example, loyalists are rewarded with perks that give them extra value. In the Twitter example, a loyalist is rewarded for mentioning a business on Twitter. The publicity of that tweet had great value to the company as well as the tweeter.

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