How many times have you heard someone say “social media doesn’t apply to my business,” or “we can’t really use social media for what we do”? Are you guilty of saying that yourself? If so, this post is for you! I hope it will open your mind to new ways of working and thinking about customer service.
It all started when I was in Chicago a few days ago. My friend and fellow PRSA‘s Counselors Academy member, Lisa Gerber, offered to tweet me a cab. That’s right. Not call me a cab. Tweet me a cab. Lisa is social media hip like that.
I eagerly awaited the arrival of @ChicagoCabbie as my mind flooded with questions I wanted to ask this tweet wielding taxi driver. Based on his answers, here are my top three lessons that could apply to any business (or person) looking to create or raise a social media presence:
- Be curious. @ChicagoCabbie was an early Facebook adopter. When he heard about Twitter, he wanted to see what it was all about, too. Initially, he didn’t love Twitter, but he continued to experiment and wonder how he could use it.
- Ask yourself: What can I offer? After 13 years of driving passengers around the Windy City, @ChicagoCabbie knows a thing or two about the taxi industry. He also has a lot of general knowledge of the city and how to get around in it. People have questions. He has answers.
- Be honest about what you want out of it. And what you are getting out of it. “Are you getting more customers?” I excitedly asked, thinking I knew the answer. “There are still the same number of hours in my shift,” @ChicagoCabbie answered. True, very true. But consider this — as his last customer of the day, I was the fourth out of eight or nine passengers who requested pick-up via Twitter. Let’s just go with the easy math and say that’s 50 percent of his customers that day and think about the experience for the “Twitter half.” Qualified customers. Satisfied customers. Customers who like to tweet about his good service. And for @ChicagoCabbie, maybe it isn’t more customers, but I have to think these things ultimately mean more tips for him and I suspect increased job satisfaction.
Are you in a business that you think can’t benefit from social media? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Challenge us to help you come up with some ideas!