Ver y interesting article I’ve found this morning about the anatomy of a social customer and what make them different towards the traditional customer.
* They are hyper-connected – The smartphone or internet-ready device is the constant companion of this audience. The Social Customer treats a smartphone more like a pocket computer then a phone.
* They readily reach out to peers and influencers – Social media give customers wide spread access to the opinions and experiences of their family and friends, people they trust. Let’s be honest, people care about what others think and certainly like to draw upon the past experiences of those they know. So if three of their friends tell the Social Customer they love a particular product, the customer may be a bit more inclined to buy it.
* They are constantly researching – Review sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google Places, etc., offer customers the opportunity to voice their praises and complaints of a product, service or business for future customers to read and evaluate. The good, the bad and the ugly about past customers’ experiences is available for research and review.
* They are share what they think of you – It’s not uncommon for Social Customers to use the very sites where they researched your business to also trumpet their thoughts about your business. The beauty of many of these tools is the fact that you can respond to these questions, comments and concerns quite expediently. If a Social Customer lodges a complaint via social networks and review sites, you can respond accordingly, too.
* They expect brands to engage them – Due to the real-time nature of social media and the precedent set by many businesses of near instant response to customer feedback, many Social Customers are expecting the same of all brands they patron. They want the information and response they desire when they want it.
* They control the purchasing cycle – The business no longer tells the customer when it’s time to buy, the customer tells the business when they’re ready to buy. When groups of Social Customers have the ability to band together online in favor of or against a product or service, that collective voice has strong influence over a their extended network of influence. If a large enough group finds disfavor with your product or service, watch out! It could be catastrophic to the life cycle of that product or service.