Stop thinking of yourself as an employee of any organization. In reality, you can never be. You are what you are: a living, thinking, caring human. This is exactly you must convey to your customers, that “hey, I am not a robot, wanting all the money in your pocket.”
Work on your very own “Me Model.” Ask yourself, what does this model deliver? A profitable business, new strategies, new market acquisitions, commitment or something above the norm?
Here, I bring for you five new-age mantras to kick-start Social CEO-ing:
- Empower Customer Representatives
As a CEO, you build the rules of your land. Infuse the spirit of openness into your work culture. Do away with meetings. Plan out issue-based, social-gatherings with your employees, if possible, away from the office. Listen to them, understand their hurdles and work out the solutions as a team. After all, they are steering your boat; you can’t just let them burn in the sun.
When you pour your heart out to them, they would be more than willing to share constructive ideas and feedback, because they are actually dealing with the customers. Use their first-hand experience to devise new customer satisfaction methods for your business. Achieve them together.
- Measure Customer Delight
A study conducted by IBM states that 57 percent of CEOs will soon take up social media in their business practices, as opposed to just 16 percent now. Does this mean that we are done with phone calls and e-mails to get in touch with customers? No, absolutely not. The study indicates that launching your agenda on social media channels multiplies opportunities of engagement with customers.
As a matter of fact, customers are searching for you on the mobile. They want to know more about you, interact with you and even bash you for not fulfilling their hopes. Social media is generating meaningful insights into customer data. CEOs have a great chance here to align their customers’ mindsets with their business message and build resourceful collaborations.
- Reward your Customers
It’s just not enough to engage with users; you must reward them for all their genuine feedback, new feature requests, criticism and, of course, loyalty in your brand and you. The best way to get started is to appoint a Customer-Loyalty Officer. He or she must look into every interaction a customer makes with your brand, whether online or offline (and not just statistically).
Next is to reward those customers who have shown consistent loyalty to the company via thoughtful appreciation, and not just in discounts or reward points. Ask them to contribute a write-up about their experience with your brand. Invite them to your campus and let them experience the who, what, why, when and where of the business. Add them to an official chat (for instance, Skype) to better understand brand perception and improve it for others.
- Win your Customers
If you really want to be the rock-star CEO, you must not lose any chance to talk to your customer. Answer their e-mails personally. You may not have the time to do so for everyone, but you can make room for ones who are not happy with your brand, who have suggestions or who write to you consistently. You may not want to disappoint them further.
Don’t play defensive all the time. If you find your company has committed a blunder, ask for pardon and assure improvement. Make sure to deliver the next time. Convey to your customer that you are into this as they are and that you will do everything it takes to win and hold their trust.
- Connect with your Customers
Roll out a cool blog and a dedicated website, just about you as a person. Share your dreams, aspirations, challenges, promises, gives, takes, frustrations, opinions and even rants. Tell your customers that you may fail sometimes, but you won’t give up on them.
No matter how busy you maybe, don’t hire someone else to update your blog posts. Do it yourself. Show them your true personality. With time, you will develop regular followers with whom you can brainstorm issues, discuss hot topics or simply share feedback. Remember, it’s about inviting the right customer(s) and socializing with them in a personalized way.
What makes you Stand Out?
What makes leaders like Winston Churchill, Jack Welch, Abraham Lincoln and others stand out? It’s their ability to efficiently read people, for instance, employees and customers.
In the tech-driven times of today, you have an array of options to easily and quickly leverage the power of human-communication to drive results.
What makes you stand out as a leader? It’s not the company you work for or your designation. It’s the real you that makes you unique for the role. Customers are more than willing to connect and contribute to brands that are responsive, honest, committed and open; brands that are human-led and not run by customer statistics, sales targets and market sizes.
Reach out to your customers, and see them do the same.
Pratik Kanada is Founder & CEO of 360 Degree Technosoft. His vision to re-innovate and re-set the technological trends. He likes to blog about ‘tech that touches life’. An avid reader, he loves interacting with bright spirited technocrats, in his spare time.
Image credit: CC by Beverly & Pack