Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communication specialist, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa)
Change is the most constant thing is an ageless cliché. As much as this statement seems to be reality, many brands have continued to behave as this is not true. Though everyone (brands inclusive) all lay claim to the fact that we are not change resistance, our actions and attitude betray us.
Because brand’s action speak louder than their words, many could see in-between the lines of what brands claim is and what is in reality. As we know many customers today are no longer in-tune with telephone- based customer service alone. In fact they prefer to meet with the brand at various communities and groups where they share experiences and thoughts about them. What we have noticed has made us conclude that many brands will rather invest Millions on telephone-based customer service method than building a strong community. They have stylishly avoided mingling with those who pay their bills. These customers daily throng their own ‘schools’ online. We believe it takes highly transparent brands to play that game though. It is an open truth that when you have something to hide, joining the conversation can be dangerous.
For most brands here, it is assumed that with Millions of customers out there, no one needs to go extra miles as the market is large. But my fear is that while most brands continue to take the customers for granted, they should not also forget that those who ignore the party, network, friends and fans when they do not ‘need’ them will bite their fingers as well as regret their actions when they need them.
There is change is buyers’ attitude. This should be visible to anyone. Interestingly most brands have continued to focus on their own mirrors. They keep saying they are changing in their spoken words though. How long will that style be sustainable is our concern. How many of our brands are really investing in social marketing? While in other parts of the world, the budget on this is increasing every year. Most brands have remained offline giants with big budget on regular media. While there is no evil in this, most of these brands may be playing with their tomorrow without knowing.
Our brands must realise their actions today have a great impact on the kind of influence they will and can wield tomorrow. Many are still thinking there are no strong customer hibernating centres online or that the population is minute. It will be wise to note that Nigeria population that has access internet moved from twenty three to forty three Million between January 2009 and now. The number of those who possess their access on the go through mobile broadband, Blackberry is increasing at a faster rate too.
Our Telecommunication industry that is bringing changes to the way people communicate has not really change in terms of strong policy formulation to move from telephone-based customer service to online customer service model. No wonder a customer who needs quick information on how to resolve an issue may have to stay on the customers service lines(that are tool free) for an average of thirty minutes or one hour as the case may be sometimes.
What most of them have done majorly is to invest in online advertising-which effectiveness compares to social marketing and Community building is minimal. This model has not being able to generate or spark words of mouth advantage for them. Keeping with the change require that actions are taken to show what brands claim they are doing is what they are actually doing. It is time for brands to walk their talks instead of much talk with less action. Just saying we are already doing stuff without verifiable action steps is a waste of everyone’s valuable time. When brands do it right, the customers are satisfied, happy and the brands win at last. That becomes a win-win approach.