In 2011, researchers from the University of Michigan analyzed 1,380 phone calls and found that telemarketers with certain vocal characteristic were far more effective at persuading people to buy things. They learned that a talking speed of 3.5 words per second, little variation in pitch, and “disfluent” speech (pausing four to five times a minute) was appealing to potential customers. People across all industries took notice and some altered their manner of speaking to be more successful. VMC Engagement Manager Kris Honkola said the same philosophy applies to social communication. Organizational changes should be made to increase profitability.
To profit from social channels, an organization has to be socially responsive to customers and provide support to the employees who interact with those customers through social channels. As I said in the previous blog, this is a weighty undertaking that requires an overhaul of company culture. Skeptics think there are too many risks in doing so. But I know that the benefits outweigh the risks and sticking with the status quo is even riskier. When social communications are adopted as normal components of doing business, the organization and its customers gain tremendously.
Customer engagement increases when social interactions between organizations and their clients are supported, well-managed and encouraged. Participants who are more active tend to buy more of an organization’s products, which increases revenue. According to a 2012 study, also from the University of Michigan, customer expenditures increased by 19 percent when customers became members of an organization’s online community. It makes sense. Consumers feel good when they think companies are listening to them.
If I approach an airline with my travel issues and they fix my problems in a polite and efficient manner, I will tell my friends about my good experience and I will use the same airline in the future. It’s easier to keep existing customers loyal than it is to acquire new customers, so the costs of doing business are less likely to increase.
Beyond financial reasons, there are also intangible benefits to proper social communications, a topic I will delve into in my next blog.
Positive and consistent social interactions significantly impact profitability. What steps have you taken to make sure your customers are truly listening on the other end?