Here at the K9000 Dog Wash we have a great experience with social media. We have a wonderful following on both our Facebook page and our Instagram channel. Really, we couldn’t ask for more as far as customer engagement goes. Simply put, we have a great bunch of customers who love sharing comments, photographs and videos of their dogs.
Image: Screen grab from our Instagram feed
We are fortunate that there is rarely any issues with our dog wash machines breaking down (they just don’t). We have sold over 800+ dog washes in Australia and our customers who own and operate K9000 Dog Washes look after them really well to ensure that their customers have a great experience. And in turn, that great experience translates to really positive comments and recommendations on social media. So, we can easily say that social media is our friend.
However, some times little things do go wrong with the dog washes, the machine may have run out of shampoo, or the machine may have been left dirty or, the machine may take a customers $10 and not delivered. In these situations, customers of that dog wash are quick to let us know about the issue via our Facebook page either as a private message or a public post. Even though we are the manufacturers of the machines and not the owner/operators of the machines, end customers contact us because we have our Facebook sticker on most of the K9000 Dog Washes and because the owner has not left their details on the machine. We respond to these complaints as quickly as possible to avoid further frustration on the part of the customer.
Failure to provide contact details, such as a mobile phone number to ring, on the machines can be a mistake because rather than the issue being resolved quickly and quietly, the issue may be splashed on social media, bringing that business into disrepute.
Image: Screen grab from our Facebook feed
Many businesses are slow on the uptake of social media and may not believe they need to create a Facebook or website page. However, these days to be found or contacted, a business needs an online presence. So many people use mobile technology to search for what they want online and also, they rely on customer recommendations before they will use the services of a business.
Unfortunately, if you do have a Facebook page, disgruntled customers may create one under your business name in which they can write (nasty) reviews about your business (and you might not know anything about it because you are not on Facebook yourself.) This may a good reason to get on Facebook and create a page for your business, if any. Your Facebook page is the one that you want customers find when they go looking on Facebook for your business.
Image: Screen grab from someone else's Facebook feed
The ability of the public to write reviews about businesses has been a game changer. Mobile technology is so accessible and instant. Whether or not someone writes a nasty comment in a deliberate calculated way or does it in frustrated spur-of-the-moment rage, the impacts on businesses can be really bad…a scathing Facebook comment is just a click away, and may be the decider for a new customer researching your business whether or not they use your service.
Businesses no longer have complete control over the way they are being publicly represented. The messages are now being created by public in the way of ‘Word-of-Mouth’ recommendations (or condemnations) on social media.
But, it is not all doom and gloom! It is really quite easy to keep your customers happy. You just need to make yourself contactable, accessible and responsive to their needs.
So, how can we as Dog Wash businesses make social media our friend?