15 December 2014 0 Comments

How to identify A Community, brand with legacy in the social age

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps 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) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

customer service, brand and customer engagement, customer service in NigeriaThose who still think the strategies of the ‘big boss’ theory will still help them move forward faster need a rethink. The social age is putting power in the hands of everyone. The use of the power though has issues, but must be respected. Many with social power,  opportunities keep mismanaging their potential.

The customer of today is far ahead of most brands and communities chasing their attention. The challenge with many is inability to tune in into the new rhythm of doing business and placing a priority on the customer. Even the B2B who feel they have enough knowledge have forgotten they do not know as much as Google know. The knowledge economy is here for good. The more you share, respect and help the better for your brand.

The age of command and control is gone for good. The possibility of its resurrection is very very slim. The changes we must make at the personal and corporate level are enormous. Hoping the pendulum will  always swing in our direction without doing anything concrete to secure this will lead to high level heartache. There is  a pattern one can expects any successful community or brand in this age to follow. While there is not only one way, success principles are always there as pointer to great future.

The only thing we can do now with the current level of disruptions is to keep the law of change and necessity to adapt in view as mirror or windshield. This will help us keep a clear front view with good examination as well as assessment of the rear. The force of change the social age is making daily is enough to keep many off balance. A strong community,  brand will need a high level of fortification, adaptation, knowledge to remain on the right path. Because there is no sign yet that Millennia generation which is becoming the real power block will reduce the tempo at which it is going. Despite this, a focus must not be taken off completely from other generations who are adjusting strategically to the changes. A brand or community that will enjoy and leave behind great legacies must therefore be up and doing  ensuring it watches closely the following points.

Daily action :many claim they are making the real change the social age demands, but their daily action, which is a great pointer, has not shown any serious improvement in the way things should be done. They still rely heavily on phone calls as means of communicating with the customers. Their best form of strategy is centred on face to face communication without a thought on other available means.  They also put a lot of energy on paper work instead of technology. Letter needs a formal hard signature of the officer in charge instead of scanning for soft use. We do know there are challenges to this, but life itself is a risk. Ability to manage the in between makes a great community thick.

Leadership process : some online communities, brands are still following the stereotype of only the grand commander, community owner, CEO has the final say. It is top down mode. Nothing can change that style no matter how hard one tries to change the oligarchy or bureaucracy.  Yet in speech, they make a claim to be an organization that is always listening. Every strong brand, community needs a level of order to excel. But when there is a focus only on the grand commander of the jury while every other persons must wait until further instruction, the other guys would have gone away with the very impatient customers who want to be part of the decisions which will eventually affect them anyway.

operations: one other way to assess a legacy community or brand is to put a search light in its operational process. We still hear of organization where if an officer is not on seat, the whole process stop until such an officer returns. Many claim they do not allow this,  but a cursory look at the process will show you the other side of the claim.

Profit: the place of profit is another way of knowing which organization is going somewhere.  I went to a bookstore yesterday to check out some latest published editions in the field and see if I could buy something. The inscription on the door and around the store walls put me off. ‘Items purchased are not returnable, refunds are not given after payment etc”. This is a bookstore and not clothes or shoe store, I queried in my mind?. People do not quickly wear and return books.  Unlike clothes or shoes. More importantly, this store is not  the manufacturer but a retailer or at best a whole saler.  What if there is a factory fault and the pages start pulling off within few days of purchase?.

Make your profit and do not pay attention to  what happens to the buyer after purchase attitude will not help your community or brand gain better engagement. What if the store has been  diplomatic, put a human face on the warnings and wrote ‘while we make every effort to satisfy our customers, we may not be responsible for  personal carelessness of our esteemed customers after purchase’. Even with this, I guess the store should in few occasions show some empathy by replacing damaged item. By this they may gain word of mouth advertisement from satisfied customers. The store’s reputation will also soar just by a little show of thoughtfulness and care.

What are your thoughts, do you have great experience to share? The comment column below will be a great value to you and the community at large.

Photo crefit: gettyimages

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