Many businesses are recognising that social media and customers”voting with their tweet” can cause a tsunami of negative feedback but it’s interesting that some of them, although they’ve established teams of problem handlers to engage with complainants in the twittersphere, still make some fundamental mistakes.
I’ve been intrigued by a number of debates and discussions recently around the value of endorsements on Linked-In. You’ve probably notice that you’re offered photos of four of your contacts and asked to confirm their skills in Strategy or CRM or sales or morris dancing for all I know. I confess my tendency is to simply click those I agree with until I’m left with four that I feel don’t have the appropriate skill or expertise, It’s like playing Candy Crush with your chums skill-sets.
Lucy Kellaway in the FT recently criticised this process as a dumbing-down of the value of the recommendation process and I tend to side with her on the value of a well-crafted, genuine Linked-In recommendation, particularly when delivered freely by a client showing their appreciation for real value delivered.
The debates on Linked-In itself have mostly taken the easy target and harangued the easy click-ability and the resultant like-for-like behaviours this can generate, they’ve posited a scenario of a shifting Linked-in, sliding away from a genuine business networking tool to a wasteland devoid of value, haunted by recruiters and those who enjoy the Facebook-like culture.
I’m seeing some potential value though, it’s that nudge thing again, if you see that “N.E.Other has endorsed you for your skills in Morris Dancing”, don’t just blindly endorse them back, or worse, ignore them, have a look at their profile, ring them back, catch up, see how they’re doing, what triggered them to click on your visage.
It’s a reason to re-connect, to start a conversation, and that’s where the business is, don’t click, think and talk, what do you think?
Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody.
There’s a lot to be said for familiarity. There’s a reason why we miss the little corner shop and the grocer who knew everyone’s name. There’s a reason we’re generally loyal to our favoured supermarket chain, websites and restaurants. We know them, we know what we’re getting, we’ve a history of mostly being happy with what we’ve got and in some excellent cases we’ve either got a relationship or the sense of one (buy a few things from Wiggle.com or Virgin Wines to understand a great customer experience).
It’s no different in the B-B space. Clients with whom you’re working, who know your qualities, who know your capabilities are much easier to sell to, easier to work with.
So, we’ve been surprised, saddened and frankly, disappointed recently when requested to carry out independent, objective reviews of customer engagements, to find out just how buried “in the project” account managers can become.
How quickly do your wonderful, broad and multifaceted offerings come to be seen as a thin slice of commodity value by customers who may feel abandoned, ignored and taken for granted by your account managers. Account Managers, who assume rather than question, who miss the opportunity to hand-deliver the invoice along with an interested and interesting conversation, who assume you’ll be in the frame for the xyz project without ever checking that the client knows you can do xyz.
No matter how good your work is your client’s perception of you is driven by their world, not yours, and the only way to understand that is to spend time with them, talk with them, give them a really good listening to.
If you’re any good at account management you’ll be a part of their world, you’ll know where the opportunities are for you to help them and you’ll know who you should be talking with to grow the account.
But objectivity is tough when you’re at the coalface and you might need a little objective help to find out exactly what you don’t know that you don’t know, (that was the moment you might wonder if we might be able to help, yes, we might).
“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted”