What would you think if you visited your favorite store and they were closed?

Over time customers develop expectations, and one of them is that your business is open, ready, and willing to serve.

If you operate a small business you understand this. You open and close on time, and follow a number of other standard business practices.

A new expectation is that your business is friendly. It’s a by-product of our social media influenced world.

Small businesses take pride in being open even during challenging times. It’s a mark of professionalism. Now being friendlier and socially engaged is part of that equation.

When the owner personally answers your call you are honored, and that ensures your loyalty. Today, those calls are not arriving so much be telephone as from the social networks.

Is your business answering the call? It’s an expectation that must now be built into the fabric of your business.

When social is integrated into your business structure, it becomes more relevant for the customers you serve.

Social Customer Expectations

Expectations are the result of your good actions. When you commit to managing them they build your business.

Marketing makes promises and production delivers on them. If you establish a Facebook page you have to commit to responding to each and every comment. It’s no different from being open for business.

Times have changed. Normal and accepted practices are being redefined.

Getting work these days is one of showing that you want the work, that you appreciate the work, and that you are easy to work with – friendlier, more accommodating, and always gracious.

Remember the days when businesses boasted about firing troublesome customers. We don’t hear much about that in these challenging times. This is true in virtually every industry, including those that are prospering, such as technology.

Free trials are everywhere. No credit cards in advance. And good customers are being rewarded with extra benefits.

I’ll be the first to admit that I took some of my customers for granted in my earlier businesses. It’s not that I treated them poorly, just that they didn’t get quite the attention that every customer now expects.

Social is First Class Service

How about you?

What are you doing to provide first class service – to ALL of your customers? We naturally give first class service to our best customers, but now every customer expects the white glove treatment.

This is what built-in social is all about. It honors the fact that social media is democratizing business by creating the expectation that every customer will receive first class service.

Here’s my simple formula for honoring the new expectations of my customers.

#1 – Be predictable. Show up.

#2 – Be relevant. Push the limits to go beyond solutions that previously worked.

#3 – Deliver more. Be the one that is prepared to go deeper and wider.

#4 – Keep your customers informed. They will love you for this.

#5 – Do it all with a smile. No excuses.

How are you building social into your business to meet new customer expectations?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

Until next time, Jeff

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Read more: The Only Way to Become a Social Business