The Undeniable Power of the Social Customer

In the competitive field of the Food & Beverage Industry, restaurants used to focus on producing delectable foods but getting the word around is now equally paramount. Cafes, restaurants and even hawker stalls are being ranked and it is a constant battle of who is better. As the world of technology rapidly advances, people are more actively spreading word-of-mouth recommendations. We have entered into a digital age where even hawker stalls have their own social media accounts.

Gone were the days, where whenever a customer is unhappy about a customer service experience, they would tell only their close circle of peers. Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, have millions of users worldwide and now a single bad experience would gravely affect your business with a click of a button on the internet.

Revolution of the Internet

A social customer has the potential to reach out to nearly every corner of the globe. There are at least 2 billion internet users in the world and more than half of which are users of social media. As technology advances, goods are produced and processed quicker, and even responses to customer inquiries are now almost instantaneous. 66% of consumers expect a response on the same day and over 40% expect a response within an hour.

Social customers are no longer focusing on product advertising, but instead, prioritises peer recommendation. It is essential to evolve and businesses should acknowledge the undeniable strength of word-of-mouth.

WORD-OF-MOUTH (WOM) – Double Edged Sword

WOM – An effective and one of the most inexpensive ways business should market their products and services. Seen as a double edged sword, it is as destructive as how it can also grow one’s business.

For example, Ocean Marketing learnt that not all publicity is good publicity. They showed that the rude behaviour from their Public Relations professional triggered the customer and spark anger that drove him to share negative feedback about Ocean Marketing on the internet. No one would want to be seen as a walking advertisement, which is the reason that people tend to share their experience through storytelling instead. Thus, WOM is 10 times more effective than traditional marketing, that influences up to 50% of a purchaser’s decision. For this reason, customer experience is the main focus in many businesses today.

Efficiency is Key

Ultimately it begins from the moment the customer enters the restaurant. To give an example, if restaurants are able to work efficiently, not by simply hiring more staff, but rather, assigning employees to task that they are more inclined towards. By assigning tasks more efficiently, restaurants would be able to entertain and tend to customers more quickly and eventually becoming a better service provider.