This morning I got a call from a subscription based service I’ve used off and on over the past few years and recently cancelled with. The called opened as telemarketers so often do with a quick intro and an immediate before-you-can-say-hello lead into his pitch… But then the rep said something which just struck me wrong: we’re sorry to have lost your business. Right before he started into the next line of the script.
Now let’s step back and look at the other side of the picture: Just about every major brand has caught on to the idea of “engagement”, everyone wants to “have a conversation”, to “be authentic” and “get connected”. But authenticity remains a tactic relegated to a channel; it’s still social media vs marketing vs retention vs business.
This company already had a dialogue with me on Facebook that was actually pretty useful — they responded quickly, other customers even chimed in some agreeing and some suggesting that I had the wrong expectation, awesome [note: social to CRM still = huge opportunity ]. But why would they then call me and read a script to try and jam an offer down my throat?
It’s not that we should abandon every sales technique to simple have a casual chat with people but rather that we have to really accept that we’re making this shift in social channels because people have changed. No one cares if their interaction is via a Facebook post, a tweet, a cashier at the retail store or the retention team, in every case the expectation for what we as marketers call transparency is the same. Good business is good business.
So when we talk about bring social to the entire organization it doesn’t just mean get everyone a Twitter account. It’s about looking at the transformation in consumer expectations that’s happening and addressing that across the entire company because it impacts the entire process.
Had this rep opened with the same intro but asked me why I left I probably would have told him. Had he been given flexibility by his supervisors and autonomy to decide how to respond to my answer – to see if I was right to upsell now or simply file a note for later instead of being tasked with trying to close everyone no matter what into a reactivation his brand could have built goodwill and been the subject of this post in an inverse context.
Reputation isn’t made on a social network; it’s built by the product, by the service, by the value of the entire chain. Improving perception, getting reviews, driving sharing and all those related benefits that so desperately want from social means taking a social approach far outside the marketing cubes… otherwise we just fall flat on our face: one channel on its own is not change.