There are many great moments in the movie Jerry Maguire, some of them romantic, some of them funny, and some of them heart-warming. One of the most thought-provoking scenes from the film involves a discussion between Jerry, a sports agent played by Tom Cruise, and Rod, a football player, about how an agent-client relationship should work. It was from this scene that we get that incredibly memorable line “Help me, help you.” And just like that, we have words that resonate with every person who’s ever tried their hardest to help others who don’t think they need help.
Given the popular origins of this well-known quote, it’s easy to assume that this only applies to people who offer other people a service. But the truth is that it can apply to people who are trying to help their favorite brands improve their products and services. Sadly, many businesses miss these cues and end up alienating even the most dedicated patrons.
So how do you help your customers, help you?
Give them communication channels through which they can actually comment
The number one reason for missing constructive comments from buyers is the lack of effective feedback channels.
Sure, you can have the most advanced enterprise phone system (at the moment, it looks like RingCentral is holding the title for this) with everything from business voicemail to touch tech capabilities. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re using it to listen to people’s observations about your brand has to offer. Most customer service lines are used to either try to sell upgrades to existing clients or to contain a disaster.
Meanwhile, you’ve also decided to set up social media accounts on sites like Twitter and Facebook, where you can create more awareness for your products and offerings. You can optimize all you want to attract people to your page, and that’s good. But that doesn’t mean that you’re opening yourself to a complete connection with your customers. For some businesses out there, their social media accounts are only there to help them sell products to more people than ever before. They either don’t fully interact with everyone on their fan page or downright delete comments perceived as “negative”.
Don’t ignore what they have to say
One of the main problems that businesses tend to have is their general attitude towards after-sales communication with their customers. Let’s look at the channels we brought up earlier in this article.
You have customer service phone lines that help people troubleshoot their issues with the product or service you’re offering. It’s great, but it also makes you think that every call that comes in is a complaint or attack against your product. What happens then is that you go on defensive mode for your product.
In the case of social networks, it’s a little bit different. Because you are using those “accounts” to promote your brand, it’s perfectly normal to be deathly afraid of negative comments on your page that can prevent new customers from engaging with you. This is why you might be tempted to either delete or disable comments from certain accounts.
It will only protect your brand for a short while. In the long run, customers will realize that you are unwilling to have the kind of relationship they want with you. Not only will this lose you customers, it will also prevent you from offering the products and services that your market really wants.
So help your customers help you. At the end of the day, it won’t really hurt.