How social awareness can improve customer relationship management

2009_06_wk3_DSC03679Businesses grow as more customers come aboard, and that constant search for new clients is the life jacket for success. Of course building relationships with new customers are paramount; the hard part is taking the leads and transforming them into customers. One of the best ways to do that is through customer engagement; in other words having a customer relationship management strategy.

The key is to keep current customers engaged so they will want to use your services or buy your products. Ideally these customers will then refer your services or products to their friends and relatives because you have not only provided them with excellent customer service, but because you have consistently followed-up after the sale, engaged customers into interesting conversations and useful information on social media sites, updated your current clients and potential new ones with relevant emails, offered loyalty programs, and then tapped into social awareness.

Besides excellent products and outstanding customer service, customers want to make the world a better place to live. Customer engagement increases as a customer feels good that an organization gives to the less fortunate, to physical or mental health, or to social causes. Large companies normally expend more effort than midsize  companies, but smaller companies generally do more “face” and “personal one-on-one” contact – even if exclusively done in their small neighborhoods.

For big businesses we label it Corporate Social Responsibility. One can never forget the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the ravaged beaches and heart wrenching photographs of wild life covered in black, gooey oil. Communities and individuals expect organizations that make massive profits to give back to their community, employees, and to the environment. BP spent billions on damage control while cleaning up the environment to regain customer loyalty.

Large corporations like Microsoft use social awareness campaigns. The philanthropic action Bill Gates has taken through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is world renown. PeopleSoft and Workday founder, Dave Duffield and his wife Cheryl created Maddie’s Fund which aims to create a no-kill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed loving homes. Starbucks ensures fair pay and health care for bean growers.

Even mom and pop stores like our local deli have pitched in to paint a needy family’s home, raise money for an injured fireman, or spent the mornings cleaning up debris left on our usually pristine beaches. Just get involved and make our world a better place for humans and animals to live. You’ll meet more people, find more customers, and serve them better.

photo credit: gwydionwilliams