‘Consumers today don’t call, they just go on Facebook and rant’-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Monday, September 9, 2013
AS consumers prefer to check the activities on social media rather than call customer service numbers, a marketing expert said companies need to know how to capitalize on this.
Dr. Donald Patrick Lim, chief digital officer of ABS-CBN and managing director of McCann’s digital arm, said companies today need to be able to converge creativity, technology and performance. All three, he said, are needed to create the desired marketing results, retain talents, become more profitable and become a commercial success.
“Consumers today are very wired. They don’t call. They just go on Facebook and rant there,” said Lim, considered by the industry as a true student of management having finished programs at Ateneo de Manila, Murdoch University and University of Phoenix.
Even with most people connected on social media, Lim noted that not many have adjusted to shape their businesses around the Internet and all its possibilities.
He said companies need to realize that the market of the future is becoming more tech-savvy and that some technologies can disrupt the way businesses are traditionally done.
Some examples he cited are the teller-less banks in Germany, which resemble coffee shops. Long distance services are nearly obsolete with free services like Skype while boarding passes can be downloaded to smartphones.
To capitalize on this, he noted some companies using the Internet to better engage their customers. PC maker Lenovo has an online message board while air carrier Virgin Atlantic posts questions online regarding changes they wish to make to see what their customers prefer.
He warned, though, that some things can happen that need counteraction and that it only takes one person to speak up before something can turn into a public relations crisis.
He cited the case for a fastfood chain where a customer posted a photo of a caterpillar cooked with the food. The customer posted the photo because she was unhappy with how her complaint was handled by the restaurant manager. In another case, what started out as a campaign to get a company to make a contribution to disaster victims drew flak when one person made a comment criticizing the scheme to make a donation for every item sold as a marketing stunt.
However, he said there are some positive things that companies can do in terms of customer relations management.
Beyond answering questions, Lim said companies can find out the demographics of those who post, tweet or mention their company and find out if they can influence others to listen.
Lim said that the number of fans or followers is not a gauge for success but the response time.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 10, 2013.