Australia: How your service and product is reflected online

Last Updated: 17 September 2017
Article by Rita Khodeir

When many of us start a business we're immersed in the daily grind that goes hand-in-hand with a new venture but what many don't give enough thought to is the customer experience. Your business is only viable as long as it keeps delivering the goods – by which I mean, the whole experience including the way your customers feel about their interactions with you.

It's not enough these days to have a service or a product. We all have competitors so the experience that we deliver is ultimately what not only keeps people coming back, but also brings in more business.

Kmart has a legion of online influencers – none of which has been paid to advertise. Customers rave about the products and brand online because they genuinely love it and it has become a highly successful form of organic advertising.

Instagram account @kmartlovers has a whopping 143,000 followers while the facebook page has over 180,000 Likes – and counting. That's a massive audience for positive online promotion, thanks to some highly devoted fans.

While setting up entire accounts dedicated to your brand may not be something that your customers are doing, even a positive post mentioning you or on your social media channels can have a huge effect.

Woolworths experienced the benefits of a happy customer waxing lyrical about "Dreamy Choc" cookies in a facebook post. Customer, Peter Seehusen, posted what some may deem an essay, about the texture, taste and ability of the cookies to keep it together when faced with a dreaded tea dunk test. The cookies were also credited with changing "casual Friday into one of the best days we have ever had. Period."

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It's a pretty big call for five cookies on a Friday afternoon at work but the post has received over 23,000 Likes, more than 6,200 comments and 319 shares proving that making a cracker cookie can give your online profile a massive boost. The proof is in the pudding...or cookie as the case may be –and yes, in case you're wondering, we will be seeking these little "life altering" cookies out ourselves.

Small businesses can also reap rewards by doing the right thing, as demonstrated by a food delivery business in the US. Mark sent a text message to a new competitor opening up in the area, congratulating him on his new business and wishing him luck with the new venture. The small, thoughtful gesture was tweeted by the competitor's wife and has had spread as far as Australia (of course, we spotted it!).

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It pays to remember that everything your business does in the real world can translate very easily into the digital world. While these companies were lucky enough to receive significant coverage from happy customers, people are generally much quicker to complain. In person, studies show that happy customers will tell 2-3 people. Unhappy ones will talk to 8-10. If someone really has cause to complain (or thinks that they do) they can tell as many as 20. Social media has the power to magnify these numbers to become a dream, or nightmare, depending on the promotion.

Put your social media strategies into place but remember that a key part of this is making sure that employees understand the power of the customer experience that they are delivering and just how easily word can spread.

If you'll excuse me, I have a date with my local Woolies. It's almost time for a tea and I've had my eye out for a perfect dunking cookie...

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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