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I’m sorry…I couldn’t hear you while I was talking

December 6, 2012

thank the economyGary Vaynerchuk, marketing guru and online entrepreneur, writes in his book The Thank You Economy, “If your organization’s intentions transcend the mere act of selling a product or service, and it is brave enough to expose its heart and soul, people will respond. They will connect. They will like you. They will talk. They will buy.” Think about the last negative customer service interaction you experienced. What should that organization have done to make you feel valued as a customer? Chances are all your answers boil down to one key element: listening.

Listening to your customers is easier than ever if you adopt some new strategies. Vaynerchuk writes that your business must be willing to join the conversation online.  In order to evolve, using social media as a culture, rather than a platform, is essential.

Consider this when deciding to join the conversation:

 1. It’s not just about putting out fires.

Creating a Twitter or Facebook account to manage customer complaints is only a sidebar of the whole conversation. Rather, collecting “emotional data” can shape the way you interact with your customers. By monitoring when your followers experience a milestone in their business or family or seem to be going through a rough time, creates the opportunity to show you are in the business of caring, not selling.

 2. Talk less, listen more.

TalkingIn Vaynerchuk’s presentations, he describes the story of how he had his team track the tweets of one of his top clients. They found the majority of the client’s posts related to his passion for the Chicago Bears, especially his love for quarterback Jay Cutler. Rather than sending a thank you note after this client’s recent order, Vaynerchuk purchased an autographed Cutler jersey and had it delivered to his customer’s doorstep. His client graciously responded “but how did you know?”  Social media tactics are less about the messages you are trying to push and more about the ones you can pull in.

3. Quality, not quantity.

Joining the conversation is not a numbers game. It’s about enhancing relationships with your loyal, and evolving, fan base. If your organization only has a few followers, use this as an opportunity to provide an intimate experience for that group. News of your positive interactions will spread quickly, and subsequently, increase your number of followers.

Incorporating these tactics can turn your “for now” customers into life-long engagements. 

How are you listening to your customers?

For more ideas on how to break the commodity trap connect with Beyond Insurance on:

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Ashley CorrellThe author, Ashley Correll is the Director of Events and Communications at Addis Intellectual Capital, LLC (AIC). AIC is a coaching and consulting company whose purpose is to transform the process that insurance agents, brokers and carriers use when working with clients.  Ashley can be reached at or (610) 742-4533. The author’s opinions and posts in no way reflect the Beyond Insurance brand or any other affiliate within Addis Intellectual Capital.

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