The incredible power of electronic media for recommendation or condemnation can easily make or break a business.
Being a commercial photographer based inWest Berkshire, I understand how important visual impressions are, but these are secondary to the perceptions people get from other sources about the way companies support and assist their customers.
Following my post about British Gas and how they didn’t react to my comments on Twitter, I have since discovered they do have a social media awareness and they do monitor it.
Soon after my ‘tweet’ about them not following up on telephone complaints and asking if anyone knew if British Gas were active on Twitter they ‘tweeted’ me asking how they could help and that if I followed them and sent a Direct Message (DM) with the details of my complaint they would look into it.
Bearing in mind I had waited days to no avail for a telephone call from the British Gas call centre I realised how quickly criticism launched on a public social media platform evoked a reaction.
Now, I’m delighted that with Twitter’s intervention I’ve been able to get my complaint dealt with satisfactorily and agreed a settlement for my lost time, but I have concerns that anyone in business who isn’t keeping their finger on the social media pulse could find their reputation being damaged without them knowing.
If you’re not on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin or don’t have a social media presence , you may never know what people are saying about you on the internet, yet wonder why your product or service isn’t selling and customers seem to be avoiding you.
For this reason alone it’s essential that you monitor key words about your business, even if it’s only the company name, otherwise you could be the last person to know something’s wrong.
We all love recommendation and positive reviews but we must also be aware of malicious comments that can destroy a reputation. How many restaurants and hotels have suffered as a result of bad reviews on sites like Trip Advisor?
We should never forget that as individuals all our tastes are different and what we think is good may be someone else’s worst nightmare; but without knowing what’s being said, what steps can you take to correct any problems. This is why it’s essential that any business that relies on word of mouth recommendation understands and acknowledges the power of electronic media and no matter how large or small has an active policy of monitoring what’s being said about their company.
The greatest photo in the world showing the most fantastic product or service cannot overcome negative perceptions created by words so always listen to what others are saying about you and know how any people working for you are handling complaints.
Image is not just a picture it’s all about looking after your business and caring for your customers.