Social Media Case Studies, Social Media Strategy, Facebook, Social Media Marketing

Optimizing the Impact of Please and Thanks

social media thank you1 300x171 Optimizing the Impact of Please and ThanksWhen was the last time you applauded a company?

On a Southwest Airlines flight to Austin for South by Southwest a couple weeks ago, our plane was delayed due to a flat tire. The tire was changed in about 30 minutes, and we were on our way.

The flight landed late in Austin of course, but as we were landing the senior flight attendant made a full-blown, four minute apology that recognized that times were tough, we have choices when we fly, that Southwest values us as customers, that we are all (employees and passengers) part of the Southwest team, and that on behalf of the entire airline, they were very, very, very sorry.

…and the passengers broke out into applause.

It wasn’t thunderous, standing ovation applause, but more like stunned gratitude in the “I can’t believe I just heard that, but I sure like how it sounded” vein.

In this economy, where it might just be smarter to focus ONLY on your current customers and not worry as much about finding new ones, let’s commit to new methods of saying thank you.

Here are 3 powerful options:

1. Be Public
Tony Hsieh from Zappos.com emphasized at his South by Southwest keynote address that customer service should be conducted in a public forum wherever possible, because it’s a reminder that you care about all customers, and it helps set norms within your customer community.

Use Web-based support, FAQs, and other tools to capture customer feedback and make it viewable. Link to blogs posts or reviews that mention your company.

Ask your customers for permission (to avoid spoiling any secrets) if you can use their names as a customer, and if they agree have a “Thank you to today’s customers” page or scrolling ticker on your Web site or blog.

2. Be Unexpected
Instead of the boring email confirmation that says the order has been received, why not use triggers to send your e-commerce customers a full-color postcard the next day that includes a photo of the product(s) they purchased, a thank you note from the CEO, and a discount for a future order?

3. Be Personal
Three days after the order ships (or after your Webinar or conference), use triggered messaging (my client ExactTarget offers this service) and automatically send voice mail messages from your CEO making sure that satisfaction was high and asking for feedback via phone, email, twitter, etc.

The Game of Sorry

If you mess up somehow and have to apologize to customers, consider doing so in as broad a forum as possible. Remember, trying counts in social media and even although it’s paradoxical spotlighting a problem (and how you solved it) can be more beneficial than trying to keep the problem quiet. Don’t delete negative comments on your blog or Facebook page, address them.

The Southwest flight attendant didn’t apologize individually on our way out the door, he apologized over a microphone. Are you ready to go public?

(photo by psd)

Related
  • http://www.jasonegan.net/?ecamp=BL0001 Jason Egan

    Great post, Jason. I especially like the point about being public. I have seen many companies remove forums from their sites, or just stop forums from allowing new posts when an event is over, or negative news surfaces. This is a pointless effort. If you think that killing a forum on your site is going to do anything to stop public discussion about you or your brand, you are sorely mistaken. With outlets such as local new forums, Facebook and especially Twitter, you can guarantee that the public discussion is continuing. Companies need to be open and proactive in participating with the communities that already exist (good or bad) out there.

    Jason Egan’s last blog post..Site Optimization and Targeting

  • http://www.jasonegan.net/?ecamp=BL0001 Jason Egan

    Great post, Jason. I especially like the point about being public. I have seen many companies remove forums from their sites, or just stop forums from allowing new posts when an event is over, or negative news surfaces. This is a pointless effort. If you think that killing a forum on your site is going to do anything to stop public discussion about you or your brand, you are sorely mistaken. With outlets such as local new forums, Facebook and especially Twitter, you can guarantee that the public discussion is continuing. Companies need to be open and proactive in participating with the communities that already exist (good or bad) out there.

    Jason Egan’s last blog post..Site Optimization and Targeting

  • http://twitter.com/michaeljbarber Michael Barber

    Great post Jason.

    At its very core, social media is social. Inherently, the same principles that apply to our social lives will apply to social media. In this case, it is good manners from our social lives that apply. Parents, like mine, who taught us the power of please, thank you and sorry should be applauded.

    Michael Barber’s last blog post..michaeljbarber: @twitter formatting issues are starting to get a bit annoying. In other news, @sitorsquat = awesome. http://twitpic.com/2n52g

  • http://twitter.com/michaeljbarber Michael Barber

    Great post Jason.

    At its very core, social media is social. Inherently, the same principles that apply to our social lives will apply to social media. In this case, it is good manners from our social lives that apply. Parents, like mine, who taught us the power of please, thank you and sorry should be applauded.

    Michael Barber’s last blog post..michaeljbarber: @twitter formatting issues are starting to get a bit annoying. In other news, @sitorsquat = awesome. http://twitpic.com/2n52g

  • Karthik S

    Truly, WOW! http://tr.im/i2D4, Optimizing the Impact of Please and Thanks.

  • http://www.sonnygill.com/ Sonny Gill

    It really is the little things that count. A smile, a thank you, the honest apology – an acknowledgment of my presence as an individual and not just another customer that you could otherwise easily brush off.

    That bit of care put into the relationship can supersede the good and bad of a product. You won’t be remembered for your cheap prices or the free mint on the pillow. People will remember you for that honesty & little extra you put into making that one (or flight full) of customers, feel wanted and cared about.

    Great reminders here, Jason.

    Sonny Gill’s last blog post..Too Much Transparency or Lack of Common Sense?

  • http://www.sonnygill.com Sonny Gill

    It really is the little things that count. A smile, a thank you, the honest apology – an acknowledgment of my presence as an individual and not just another customer that you could otherwise easily brush off.

    That bit of care put into the relationship can supersede the good and bad of a product. You won’t be remembered for your cheap prices or the free mint on the pillow. People will remember you for that honesty & little extra you put into making that one (or flight full) of customers, feel wanted and cared about.

    Great reminders here, Jason.

    Sonny Gill’s last blog post..Too Much Transparency or Lack of Common Sense?

  • http://twitter.com/Narciso17/status/ Narciso17

    @jaybaer Has a TRULY GREAT Post About ‘Optimizing the Impact of Please & Thanks’ http://bit.ly/qvBGI

  • http://www.twitter.com/ScottHepburn Scott Hepburn

    Amazing what a small “Thank You” can do, isn’t it?

    Another one we forget to say too often is “Good Job.” I love that scene from Hancock (an otherwise awful movie) where Jason Bateman’s character coaches Will Smith’s curmudgeon superhero to acknowledge others for a job well-done.

    Scott Hepburn’s last blog post..ScottHepburn: Facebook to issue IPO and go public?http://is.gd/pWXL

  • http://www.twitter.com/ScottHepburn Scott Hepburn

    Amazing what a small “Thank You” can do, isn’t it?

    Another one we forget to say too often is “Good Job.” I love that scene from Hancock (an otherwise awful movie) where Jason Bateman’s character coaches Will Smith’s curmudgeon superhero to acknowledge others for a job well-done.

    Scott Hepburn’s last blog post..ScottHepburn: Facebook to issue IPO and go public?http://is.gd/pWXL

  • http://twitter.com/ann_michaels/status/1426187321 Ann Michaels & A

    RT @kickofftopic A MUST READ: Optimizing the impact of Please and Thanks http://bit.ly/qvBGI

  • http://twitter.com/lisahoffmann/status/1426385223 Lisa Hoffmann

    Optimizing the impact of please and thanks, from the always insightful @jaybaer – http://snurl.com/ey7ru

  • http://twitter.com/dustinkeefer/status/1426467461 dustinkeefer

    RT @LisaHoffmann: Optimizing the impact of please and thanks, from the always insightful @jaybaer – http://snurl.com/ey7ru

  • http://twitter.com/missmo_atl/status/1426631397 Maureen Streett

    awesome post by @jaybaer – Optimizing the Impact of Please & Thank You: http://is.gd/pVVJ

  • http://twitter.com/erikg1/status/1426737273 Erik Goldhar

    Does your company use skillful please and thanks? – http://twurl.nl/u405d2

  • http://twitter.com/taannews/status/1426926738 TAAN

    @jaybaer Good thoughts on your blog — http://tinyurl.com/ddll3n

  • http://twitter.com/caliens/status/1426949989 CalienS

    RT @bduverneuil: Reading: Optimizing the Impact of Please and Thanks http://ow.ly/1LjL

  • http://twitter.com/chuckreynolds/status/1427620366 Chuck Reynolds

    Optimizing the Impact of Please and Thanks: I like the “be public” part of thanks http://tinyurl.com/ddll3n

  • http://insightsandingenuity.com/ Heather Rast

    So at the heart, you’re suggesting that the interpersonal and social graces that our parents and grandparents taught (hopefully) us have a place in the business world too. Be considerate, respectful of others’ needs and concerns, demonstrate appreciation, acknowledge others actions and efforts. Yes, I’d definitely say these niceities will add up to greater retention, acceptance of the occasional burp (as you were re: Southwest), and pass-along value (again, as you did here”).

    At my company, we’re doing a couple of interesting things to demonstrate ‘thanks’ too. Sending new clients nice glossy still highlights from their digital media library, and flash files of the content that they can post on their website if they like. Also issuing a comp copy of “Get Content, Get Customers” as we work through their content strategy during the planning phase.

  • http://insightsandingenuity.com Heather Rast

    So at the heart, you’re suggesting that the interpersonal and social graces that our parents and grandparents taught (hopefully) us have a place in the business world too. Be considerate, respectful of others’ needs and concerns, demonstrate appreciation, acknowledge others actions and efforts. Yes, I’d definitely say these niceities will add up to greater retention, acceptance of the occasional burp (as you were re: Southwest), and pass-along value (again, as you did here”).

    At my company, we’re doing a couple of interesting things to demonstrate ‘thanks’ too. Sending new clients nice glossy still highlights from their digital media library, and flash files of the content that they can post on their website if they like. Also issuing a comp copy of “Get Content, Get Customers” as we work through their content strategy during the planning phase.

  • http://www.sweetleafteablog.com/ April Riggs

    Jason-I really love this post! It is the core of what I came to Sweet Leaf Tea to help with. It’s AMAZING what being genuine can do for us personally and professionally. “Please”, “thank-you” and “I’m sorry” are very powerful statements when stated from a genuine place.
    Let’s work to keep the fans we have and if we can gather more on the ride up from the recession, ALL the better.

    Thanks!
    April

    April Riggs’s last blog post..Blast Off!

  • http://www.sweetleafteablog.com April Riggs

    Jason-I really love this post! It is the core of what I came to Sweet Leaf Tea to help with. It’s AMAZING what being genuine can do for us personally and professionally. “Please”, “thank-you” and “I’m sorry” are very powerful statements when stated from a genuine place.
    Let’s work to keep the fans we have and if we can gather more on the ride up from the recession, ALL the better.

    Thanks!
    April

    April Riggs’s last blog post..Blast Off!

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

    @michael – Your parents should be commended. I know first-hand that they did a good job with you. Perhaps they’d like a marketing or customer service consulting gig with a major corporation?

    @sonny – You’re the king of making this work in real life. As I always tell people (seriously), “if you don’t like Sonny Gill, you’re the asshole” Keep making people smile. It’s noticed, and appreciated.

    @scott – You bet. Not nearly enough simple praise these days. So easy to do – especially in social media. I appreciate your kinds words about my work here at C&C.; It makes me want to keep doing this.

    @Heather – Great tactics for making a difference. Keep it up! I sure wish posts like this didn’t have to be written, but sadly the Southwest example is the exception, not the rule. I hope you’re doing great. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

    @April – You are living this every single day, and are a killer example of taking please and thank you and turning it into brand fans. Keep creating fans for Sweet Leaf Tea!

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

    @michael – Your parents should be commended. I know first-hand that they did a good job with you. Perhaps they’d like a marketing or customer service consulting gig with a major corporation?

    @sonny – You’re the king of making this work in real life. As I always tell people (seriously), “if you don’t like Sonny Gill, you’re the asshole” Keep making people smile. It’s noticed, and appreciated.

    @scott – You bet. Not nearly enough simple praise these days. So easy to do – especially in social media. I appreciate your kinds words about my work here at C&C. It makes me want to keep doing this.

    @Heather – Great tactics for making a difference. Keep it up! I sure wish posts like this didn’t have to be written, but sadly the Southwest example is the exception, not the rule. I hope you’re doing great. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

    @April – You are living this every single day, and are a killer example of taking please and thank you and turning it into brand fans. Keep creating fans for Sweet Leaf Tea!

  • http://twitter.com/hkremer/status/1433671467 hkremer

    RT @jaybaer Optimizing the Impact of Please and Thanks http://hub.tm/?GJHHC

  • http://twitter.com/iconic88/status/1457034703 Iconic88

    Optimizing the Impact of Please and Thanks http://bit.ly/qvBGI

  • http://twitter.com/boa_ideia/status/14251280584 Boa Ideia

    RT @AXN_Br: #AXN Hoje às 23h no ACTION!: Dois vencedores do Oscar, Kevin Spacey e Kate Winslet em A VIDA DE DAVID GALE http://ow.ly/1M42

  • http://twitter.com/boa_ideia/status/14251280584 Boa Ideia

    RT @AXN_Br: #AXN Hoje às 23h no ACTION!: Dois vencedores do Oscar, Kevin Spacey e Kate Winslet em A VIDA DE DAVID GALE http://ow.ly/1M42

  • letstalkandchat

    I just found a great company that builds websites for info products. To keep your costs low, they’ll mentor you on how to create your site, design a marketing funnel (one of the guys works in Hollywood and makes really slick videos), and the other guy programmed Myspace. If you’re looking to have professional web design for your small business and not waste any time or money then check their site out. Check them out: http://www.mikelmurphy.com/easy-info-product-site-system/