The economic recession has hit us all hard, business are struggling with high costs and low returns. So what happens in companies when numbers starts to look bad? What’s the strategy to be climbing back to the top of the Totem pole?
Unfortunately you look at how to quickly squeeze more money out of your transacting customers instead of making a calculated investment yielding long term return. If that’s you, as we’re in the social media age, I think you’ve just entered the point of no return.
When you squeeze money out your customers for short term gains
Regardless if you’re a restaurant, a shop or an e-commerce, the story looks the same; a moderate product just got lousy.
Here’s how it looks industry by industry:
- The lunch menu at your local restaurant just got 10% more expensive and the food is no longer quality stuff but that cheaper thing that just meets the legal requirement of meat content to be allowed carrying the name “sausage”.
- Your bank tries to sell you stuff they know you don’t need but will be stupid enough buying anyway. Believe it or not but your bank man is actually bonused on how much crap he can sell you.
- Your webshop cuts down on customer service staff replacing it with cheaper robotic self-service tools. Whilst these can be great, they are in no way a replacement but merely a compliment. Oh by the way, forget about free shipping. You are just a number in their excel sheets, in fact you don’t even exist as an individual.
Shareholder love story
All of the above stems from what I call the “Shareholder love story”. Shareholders demands measures to be taken to fix the numbers. The objective? Well, to please the shareholders of course.
But what about the customers? What will they say? Will the obey, understand and remain silent? I don’t think today’s iPhone equipped “Instagrammers” agree. They’ll happily share their discontent with the rest of the social web.
So what’s worse, unhappy customers or unhappy shareholders?
How about this: Please your customers first and shareholders’ smiles will shortly follow…
Business in a social media connected world
Take a look at the below video from HootSuite, a leading Social media management vendor, which in very simplified terms illustrates the impact of social media usage. Forget for a second about the sales pitch in this video for Hootsuite, and look at the behavior illustrated. Works great if your set to please your customers no?
Works terrible if you’re out to cut costs to please shareholders.
Social media tools & technologies can only work as enablers, not as substitutes for doing bad business.