Just about 3 days ago I had an appointment with a potential client at a Starbucks outlet in town. Being one that frequents Starbucks quite often especially for discussions, I walked into this particular outlet without any expectations – already with a drink in mind.
I opened the door, stepped into the outlet and the baristas on duty turned and welcomed me. Nothing special here, most Starbucks outlets do that. It’s also a common sight in many cafes around the area.
I continued walking to the counter into the queue and something caught my attention. The barista introduced herself to the customer in front of me, got the customer’s name and began conversing with the customer by name. She eventually wrote the customer’s name on the cup and have been addressing the customer by name ever since.
I was impressed. Even after I got my drink I stood to observe just a little longer and all the baristas were doing the same – something totally different from the other outlets I’ve been to.
What’s the deal over here?
I can’t help but to think that businesses and individuals can learn a great deal from the situation above in their social media endeavors.
Here are 4 lessons I’ve learnt from this visit:
#1: A Warm Welcome – Welcomes are no longer a ‘good to have’ today. It is now a ‘must have’. Customers have grown to expect a welcome as it also makes them feel important and recognized.
#2: Personalization – This is the tricky part. On social media platforms such as Twitter, many are seen to be using automated tools to do the welcoming (auto DMs, anyone?). The least you can do is to take a few minutes to look at your new followers’ Twitter profile or blog and to address them by name. I usually try my best to give my new followers a shout out on Twitter to create an opportunity to get to know them better.
#3: Be Genuine – “Be yourself. People can sense when something is forced” @BrandonPDuncan. Take genuine interest in your followers by getting to know them first. There are plenty of ways to do this – read their blog, check out their Facebook page or their tweets. You can never pretend to know them.
#4: Consistency – The last thing you would want to be is to be inconsistent. Whether as a brand or an individual, consistency is key to build your presence and a lasting perception. I would say that you shouldn’t start off anything if you doubt you can stick with it. It may do you more harm than good.