I have to admit I do really like social media – but you probably knew that already. I relish the medium and how it touches all parts and all people and actually is really good for business. But you probably knew that too.
What’s that you say? you didn’t know that?
Let me tell you why social media is great for business – if you let it. You see, today I had a great customer experience whilst buying a toilet. I’m upgrading the old unit in my downstairs loo and so needed a sink/toilet/towelrail with assorted valves, cysterns and gubbins. I should look like a grand or so to a plumber’s merchant so I struck out for a few showrooms and this was what I encountered.
Homebase: (I only went there ’cause it’s nearby – I have to say it’s a soul-less place and I was depressed before I got out of the car). Showroom upstairs, no-one available to talk, waited patiently for seated consultant to acknowledge me and was told nothing can be delivered for 6 weeks. Back to the car park then.
Local Plumbers merchant: Counter staff greeting: “What are you after sir?” (what did he think? a short back and sides?). After I shared my brief he reached under the counter for not one but five massive brochures which he gave me, advising me to choose what I wanted and get back to him. I felt like I’d been given difficult homework. Back to the car.
Then Travis Perkins loomed like a white knight (well, green and gold) and the earnest Barry from Rickmansworth branch rode forth to solve all my problems. No queue (tick), sensible recommendations, not a mountain of brochures (tick), £500 cheaper than what I had in mind (tick), check with all three suppliers if it’s all available in three days (tick), free delivery (tick), here’s a local plumber (tick), would I like a holiday in barbados with Lucy the Daybreak weather girl? Actually I made up that last bit but you get my drift and so he got the order.
So chuffed was I with my experience I tweeted it and sought TP on the twitstream. Interestingly, @travisperkinsco has one lonely tweet but 495 followers! So being a good Freelance Social Media consultant I phoned them, and spoke to the office of the MD of the Southern region to share my excellent customer experience and slid in a pitch for some consultancy.
It may come to nothing but if it rings true, which I felt it did, I’ll land a tidy consultancy with a willing client poised to get onto the social media ladder. They’ll start to follow local businesses, local media and local plumbers. They’ll develop regional twitterers, share info about deals and happy customers and build loyalty, brand awareness and get more business.
And it’ll all be down to a bloke called Barry.