Are you screaming at your customers?

As a parent of two teens, I can tell you the most effective types of communications that produce results, and the types that inspire eyeball rolling.  Generally: engaging, asking, listening, affirming = good; shouting, screaming, nagging = not good.

The best leadership in your family is not so different from the leaders we need to be in the business realm with customers, whether face-to-face or online. We need to use words that are clear, concise, and matter-of-fact. And just as important, we need to do a lot more listening and a lot less nagging.

Does your social media communications do that? Are your customers engaging with you in meaningful ways, or have you noticed rolling eyeballs?

In her article, Stop Screaming at Your Customers, public relations leader Brittany Elizabeth has some great tips to help you maximize your customer engagement:

  1. ALL CAPS = SCREAMING. No one likes to be screamed at. Don’t use all capital letters unless you want your target market to think that you are screaming at them.
  2. Edit, because you can: Unlike in face-to-face conversation, you get to go back and edit your content before it reaches your audience. This allows you to be what has been known as hyper-personal; so take the time before you press send to read, edit and re-read your content. Furthermore, don’t make the mistake of treating blog  content like a speech – once it’s out there, you can still edit it, so if you find a typo – fix it!
  3. Make sure that you explain yourself: Research has shown that communicating via mediated channels can be just as effective as communicating face-to-face, but it takes longer. When crafting your online messages, be sure to explain yourself in order to compensate for the missing nonverbals. Don’t just assume that your audience knows what you’re talking about, because if they don’t then they will be left offended or confused – which will not lead to positive engagement.
  4. Use video: There’s a reason why video logs (blogs with video), YouTubeSkype and video-email are becoming increasingly more popular – it’s those nonverbals! Try to incorporate video in to your blogs and use Skype or WebEx when conducting e-meetings. But don’t forget – you can still edit! Just because you recorded the video doesn’t mean you can’t go back and do it over.

Social media is nothing without engagement, and engagement is executed most effectively when incorporating this basic knowledge of CMC. Think about your messages as you compose them, be clear and succinct, don’t be afraid to edit, and STOP SCREAMING AT YOUR CUSTOMERS.

Enjoy the rest of the article here.


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2 Responses to Are you screaming at your customers?

  1. Extreme John June 5, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    Ahh nice! I didn’t think that using all caps can mean screaming at the customers. Thank you so much for this post. Now I can be more careful and become better in engaging with my customers. 

  2. Brittany E Richter June 7, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Thank you so much for featuring my article. I also really enjoyed how you tied in your teens’ rolling eyeballs 😉

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