Show Your Customers Some Love! Chat summary from May 4, 2010.

We chatted about Customer Relationships. How do you show your customer love?

  • We’re on every Tuesday from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on March 30, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
sbbuzz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me w/o hashtag 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun!
sbbuzz: Start off w/an INTRO: 1 message about you and your business and whatever else we need to know. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Howdy y’all – I am a small biz blogger and I also help small biz create their own blogs. Looking fwd to the chat! #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Hey everyone! I’m Mike & I do social media consulting for companies & small biz. How about u? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: I help coaches & other small biz owners write masterful content for newsletters, blogs, etc. http://snipr.com/t1pw5 (Intro for #sbbuzz)
ginabee: Good evening buzz friends! Gina w/ WriteyTidy joining the group. I create written content for the web. Glad to be here tonight! #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Susan here from Selah Synergy, Strategic Innovation Partner to Small Business. Nice to be with you tonight. #sbbuzz
urbanamulets: Deandra, developing a new small business, artsy handcrafted jewelry. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Hello everyone! Pamela here from @batchblue and the host of #sbbuzz. Looking forward to a great discussion of miy favorite topic tonight!
stellel: Christelle here, Customer Experience for @batchblue … where we show the customers love… ❤ #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Happy Tuesday – Scott, customer experience @batchblue, blogger, music lover, and chief dandelion ignorer. #sbbuzz
jpwint: Hey there! I run a web maketing consultancy in La Verne, CA #sbbuzz
mikestenger: @scoblitz “chief dandelion ignorer” Love that! #sbbuzz
cjservia: Chris Servia, CBCP with Lighthouse Continuity Partners, LLC. We provide business protection services. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @scoblitz To my kids, dandelions are wishes. So my yard is just full of wishes. Isn’t that nice? #sbbuzz
ginabee: @scoblitz At least you noticed that you’re ignoring them! #sbbuzz
stellel: @ginabee hi Gina! See you soon! #sbbuzz
ginabee: @bradfordshimp Yeah, I *wish* the dandelions would go away! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Tonight’s topic is customer relationships. Not talking about tools, yet – just goals. Send me ?s you want discussed with the group #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: We’ll use tonight’s chat re: goals for improving customer relationships to shape the discussion agenda for rest of the month. #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Evening #sbbuzz – I’ll be hanging out here for a while to say howdy!
scoblitz: @mikestenger I’m quite dedicated to the task! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @ginabee My neighbor’s yard is dandelion free, so I always feel bad that I have so many. Ah well! #sbbuzz
rzazueta: I’m with VerticalResponse these days – self-service email marketing for small to mid-sized businesses. We rock. #sbbuzz
amyaddventure: When it comes to relationships in business, “care like you mean it”…overheard at #sobcon #sbbuzz #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q1 What do you enjoy most about your relationships with your customers? #sbbuzz
ginabee: @bradfordshimp Your neighbor – too much time on his hands? Life’s to short to sweat the d-lions. #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Q1: The fact that they allow me to do what it is I do. They write the checks & I love helping them! #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q1 One thing I enjoy about working with my customers is that the thing I love doing the most is the thing they hate doing the most. #sbbuzz
JodyPadarCPA: Their success #sbbuzz
cjservia: #sbbuzz Q1 – Personalization. One on one time resulting in the feeling I’ve helped someone.
rzazueta: Q1: I *LOVE* working with small businesses because they are BRIMMING with ideas and excitement. Best part of my job. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @bradfordshimp My 5yo told me w/every dandelion she wishes a princess would come to our house. Anyone have a princess costume? #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q1 to quote Mother Teresa “I served and I saw that all service is joy”…JOY to help them succeed! #sbbuzz
amyaddventure: Q1. Their problems are our opportunities and assisting them is what we’re passionate about. #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q1: These days, I get to help innovative companies do really cool development. Geek heaven. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q1 Another thing I enjoy about my customers is that most are coaches and so we have a common viewpoint plus they’re NICE people!! #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Hi guys, Michelle from @batchblue joining a bit late. Q1: I love pretty much everything about our customers. I’m smitten! #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q1 – That they respect my talent, abilities & time. Nice to be treated like a professional! #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q1 What I love most about our customers is hearing their stories. They are doing such amazing things. It’s really inspiring. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @rzazueta So true! Isn’t it awesome to observe the genius of entrepreneurs? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q1 – I love that my customers want to improve their businesses. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q1) I love how passionate our customers are about their work – it’s contagious! I also love when I can learn from them. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @ginabee Nice, yes, one of the qualities of my “ideal client” is that they value me and my work – so important to feel that. #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Q1: The enjoyment of helping them reach their desired result. That’s TRUE satisfaction #sbbuzz
amyaddventure: Q1.Our Customers are authentic,hard-working,dedicated folks who R pursuing their passion in their own way.They’re inspiring. #sbbuzz #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q1 I think especially helping folks figure out how tech can help them succeed. They’re doing such awesome stuff out there. #sbbuzz
rzazueta: @selahsynergy It is. I love the creative spirit and the can-do attitude that comes with. It’s infectious. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @lindadessau Amen. Appreciation is often as good as $. #sbbuzz
jpwint: Q1 The mutual respect and desire to acheive a common goal. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @amyaddventure @selahsynergy @rzazueta Agree whole-heartedly! We thinks small biz folks are super heroes, truly. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 What is most challenging about keeping good relationships with your customers? #sbbuzz
amyaddventure: @mriggen I like that, super heroes. Totally! #sbbuzz #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @ginabee Yeah, but money’s good, too 🙂 Makes it much easier to keep showing up. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @pmohara I agree. Small biz is full of amazing, creative and inspiring people. U don’t have a pulse if u can’t catch the spirit #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q2 – Communication. Communication. And don’t forget communication. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q2 – I think it is challenging when customers don’t communicate the same way you do – ie. phone vs. email / text vs. twitter #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q2: For me, it’s always been communicating back. I get so caught up in the work that I sometimes drop off. CRM tools help #sbbuzz
ginabee: @lindadessau Well, I wouldn’t take it in lieu of $ of course, but it’s nice nonetheless. #sbbuzz
amyaddventure: Q2. The increasing demands on our time and resources. It is good but it’s hard until systems are ready to facilitate realtionships #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q2: I also find that setting future dates to return calls and emails or reminder task lists help me stay on top of things. #sbbuzz
JodyPadarCPA: #sbbuzz sometimes I feel like I let them down. Even when not in my control.
mikestenger: Q2: I think it’s simply being in consistent communication but there are LOTS of tools to help do so #sbbuzz
amyaddventure: @rzazueta yep. I know what you mean #sbbuzz #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Ditto – clarity & communication are key to good relationships – I haven’t always gotten it right but I’ve learned each time. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @amyaddventure http://batchblue.com/super-heroes.html Planning this year’s contest…coming soon! 😉 #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q2 Clarifying expectations and requirements is the necessary evil of the job – getting communication structure in place #sbbuzz
amyaddventure: @mriggen Awesome. Keep me posted! #sbbuzz
rzazueta: @lindadessau Yeah, I’m constantly improving the process. Better now than ever before, but LOTS of room to grow. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @rzazueta Great! #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Q2: I agree w/@selahsynergy & @lindadessau. Being clear & making sure both sides are on the same page. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q2 – I tend to worry more than I need to about details & consequently feel I’ve performed poorly when client is actually thrilled. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q2 #sbbuzz Most challenging is finding the time to just talk to customers (not customer service – just learning their goals & aspirations).
bradfordshimp: I always feel like I am not doing enough. How do you find that out if the customer doesn’t come out and tell you? #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q2: Tracking conversation in so many places, making sure folks are getting heard. You can’t be everywhere, but you can try! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @ginabee Right there with you! #sbbuzz
jpwint: Q2 Managing expectations. Things change. Sometimes the result desired is not the result delivered. A good relationship must last #sbbuzz
BizMoneySaver: Q2 – Trying to anticipate my customers’ needs to be proactive instead of reactive to better serve them . #sbbuzz #sbbuzz
mikestenger: @bradfordshimp I think it helps to ask questions when you maybe feel uncertain. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @ginabee That’s happened to me as well. It’s dangerous when I start thinking I can read minds! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @bradfordshimp SO true. And often silence it the real warning bell, but hard to listen for that. #sbbuzz
jpwint: @ginabee I can sympathize. It’s so important to have clear metrics for success #sbbuzz
ginabee: @lindadessau Drawback of being a perfectionist with my clients, I guess… #sbbuzz
JodyPadarCPA: #sbbuzz. How do you transition. Work and still have that intimate relationshp
sbbuzz: Q3 How has social media affected your relationships with your customers? #sbbuzz
ginabee: @jpwint Yeah, it comes back to that simple communication thing. Gotta spell it out so I know I met (or exceeded) expectiation #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @ginabee Don’t be so hard on yourself – nothing wrong with being committed to delivering customer satisfaction! #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Is it possible to have relationships w/customers without social media? Ha ha ha, I kid. Sort of. #sbbuzz
cjservia: Q3 I feel better able to more broadly provide customers information to help them. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q3 – They know more about the “real” me than they would in a strictly business setting. Let my hair down & be real. #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Q3: It’s really allowed me to keep more up-to-date with them & to answer quick questions. #sbbuzz
jpwint: Q3 Absolutely. Clients see we are engaged with the community. Not the best lead generation tool for us though. #sbbuzz #socialmedia
lindadessau: Q3 There’s a casual, informal rapport with people I’ve met via Twitter that warms up the relationship before we even talk business. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q3 – Social media makes it easier to have deeper and wider relationships with customers in many ways. #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q3: It’s a new line of communication that helps keep your message from being missed. It’s improved my comm. with customers. #sbbuzz
JodyPadarCPA: #sbbuzz filter always on. Don’t know who’s watching. But much more touch points. Good/bad
selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q3 SM opens new markets for new customers, opens new communication channels with existing customers #sbbuzz
leoraw: Some clients I try to teach to use social media. Newer clients I’ve gotten because of social media. Different situations. #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q3: But I don;t find it as appropriate for one-to-one communication. For that, nothing beats email or the phone. #sbbuzz.
ginabee: @selahsynergy Never ashamed to do that! I just makes things difficult for me. #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q3: Having said that, it opens a conversation to everyone who happens to be listening, and that’s where the value is in SM. #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Q3: It’s allowed me to build deeper relationships at a much more rapid level. Lots of communication. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q3 #sbbuzz Social media has done so much – real time conversations, new insights into people, uhm, meet you fine people. 🙂
ginabee: @bradfordshimp Exactly! Multi-dimensional relationships can be formed thru SM. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @rzazueta I think it provides doors for further communication, like you said, via email or phone or in-person. #sbbuzz
rzazueta: @bradfordshimp Excellent way to put it, I totally agree. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @JodyPadarCPA Because SM is well, social, I don’t say anything that I wouldn’t say in any public forum. Just more natural convos. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q3 #sbbuzz Back to time issue, quick interactions on Twitter mean I stay in touch w/more folks. But e-mail better for real communications.
mikestenger: @ginabee Good point. We already have conversations, SM is just another place we do so. #sbbuzz
stellel: Twitter is more fun, friendlier… #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q4 from @JodyPadarCPA How do you maintain your relationships as you grow? #sbbuzz
BizMoneySaver: Q3: Has helped me share info that can sometimes lead to faster responses and future conversations #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q4 – Great question. One big problem is ignoring customers in search for new ones. #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q4: There’s the struggle. If you’re growing to the point of hiring, make sure EVERYONE has good customer relationship skills. #sbbuzz
jpwint: Q4 A documented system for maintaining relationships is critical. You cannot rely on your brain. This is a good use of CRM. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q4 – I would say that you need to put a premium on current customers. Do something every day for them, blog, email, new service, etc #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q4: I tend to think everyone you hire should be customer facing and be able to represent your company well in person. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4 My earliest clients hold a very special place in my heart. I never forget that they put their trust in me when I was new at this. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q4 Communications plan in place to match my biz plan. I organize, weed, prune contact lists, nurture by priority. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q4) That’s the million dollar question there. There are only so many hours, only so much time you can spend. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q4 – Also, always add a future task when you finish one for a customer (with your CRM (Batchbook, for instance)) – Maintain contact. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 #sbbuzz Can be harder to keep same level of personal interaction, so just hire amazing people who are equally awesome and personal.
ginabee: @bradfordshimp Yeah, there’s that “loyalty factor” you can’t turn your back on, even if you’ve moved on to bigger clients. #sbbuzz
BizMoneySaver: Q4: Schedule a set amount of time (1 hr) everyday to work on and improve relationships with customers. Additional training also. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Am I allowed to say the same thing as @pmohara? #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Q4: Have a plan to keep in consistent contact. Keep track. Hire those w/ur same relationship ideals. #sbbuzz
pmohara: #sbbuzz Hmm, I think I just called myself awesome. I actually hire people MUCH awesomer than me. That is the real secret.
jpwint: @bradfordshimp re: future task. Great recommendation. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @mriggen I try to repackage what she says – makes me look smart. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @jpwint Thanks. You also might want to assign certain days for certain tasks, so they don’t all go on one day. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @bradfordshimp Ah, so that’s your secret to success! Good to know 😉 #sbbuzz
JodyPadarCPA: @pmohara Hard to find in Accountants 😉 #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @mriggen Actually, I do that w/ every smart person I know. That IS my secret, now that you mention it!! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @JodyPadarCPA Not for me. 😀 #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Q4: Remember that relationships are ongoing. No “set & forget”. More like “communicate & keep at it”. #sbbuzz
JodyPadarCPA: @CASUDI #sbbuzz so how do you incentivize(pay) that skill?
sbbuzz: Q5 What would you like to learn more about to help you with customer relationships? #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q5: Where to find awesome summer interns! Let me know if anyone knows anyone 🙂 #sbbuzz
CASUDI: @JodyPadarCPA Make projects /work fun (even accounting)~ organize so there are many wins (accomplishments) your ppl wil do you well #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: @mriggen @bradfordshimp You guys are making me blush. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @mriggen Paid or unpaid? Virtual? I am surrounded by college kids. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q5 – Mind reading! (Ha!) But seriously, I’d like to learn more about how to gauge client expectation & communication style. #sbbuzz
JodyPadarCPA: @mriggen #sbbuzz Try your community college…usually great but talk to professor and have them hand picked. I can find you a chicago one.
bradfordshimp: @sbbuzz That is why you wear the bee mask. #sbbuzz
CASUDI: @sbbuzz Q5: When is it time to cut your losses ~ no longer try & make an employee work (who will never work:-) #sbbuzz
pmohara: @bradfordshimp Yep. If only I could remember to take it off. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: And now it is what we affectionately call Pitch Time. Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
BizMoneySaver: Q5: More systems in addition to CRM (i.e. live chats via website, etc) that can help improve customer relationships. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: On the topic of customers, Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit is a great read. Review: http://tinyurl.com/esepreview #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder of #sbbuzz (including the topic) sign up at http://sbbuzz.net #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @ginabee Yes – a good assessment, pre-selection process that helps everyone start on the same page. #sbbuzz
CASUDI: @pmohara So agree ~ build a team of players more talented & accomplished then you are #sbbuzz
cjservia: Solidify disaster plans for your small business. Follow @cjservia to learn more. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: I’m taking a stand for the quality of your content! http://bit.ly/content-creation-manifesto (pitch time on #sbbuzz
CASUDI: @bradfordshimp I’d like to add speed of response ~ quick makes clients/ customers feel important ~ slow the opposite #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Read my small biz advice at http://www.allbizanswers.com #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @CASUDI Good point. That is something I have been working on, slowly… #sbbuzz
JodyPadarCPA: #sbbuzz I am your friendly customer service based accountant. We do Tax and Payroll and QB consulting http://ow.ly/1H3js
ginabee: I write your web content so you don’t have to! http://www.writeytidy.com (Sorry – I don’t do dandelions!) #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: If you are interested in blogging for your biz, I can help. Design, coaching, and a course coming soon. #sbbuzz
BizMoneySaver: For dollar stretching & money-saving biz tips tune in to my show on Blogtalkradio, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stretchingadollar #sbbuzz
pmohara: Pamela here from @batchblue – the social CRM that hosts this chat. Great, great discussion tonight. My favorite topic! #sbbuzz
JodyPadarCPA: @CASUDI But sometime they have not timely requests and are just itchy! How do you balance from your own work needs #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Thanks to everyone for all the great discussion! We’ll get the #sbbuzz summary posted on the site soon at http://sbbuzz.biz
CASUDI: Designing Success for Start Up companies ~ and having a lot of fun doing it esp. the team building #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz I’m Michelle from BatchBlue and I try to put three year-olds to bed during SBBUZZ. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @bradfordshimp Oh, & here’s the “o” I owe you from an earlier “to” instead of “too!” Hate when I do that! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz is a small business Twitter chat hosted each Tuesday night by the folks from @batchblue Come again soon!
bradfordshimp: @BizMoneySaver Cool, I am going to check it out. If you do guest posts, that would be a great topic on http://www.allbizanswers.com #sbbuzz
CASUDI: @JodyPadarCPA My clients expect 24/7 response ~ even get back to you later works (always time for that via iphone 🙂 #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @ginabee I was feeling an “o” short. #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Social media consulting, minus the self proclaimed expert or guru status? That’s me. http://www.mikestenger.com #sbbuzz
BizMoneySaver: @bradfordshimp Thanks! I love guest posts and will definitely check it out :>) ! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @BizMoneySaver Wonderful, just Tweet me! Working on putting up a formal guest posting page, but not there yet. #sbbuzz
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