Throughout our life, we all have had various situations where we have been "ghosted." Went on a date, had great conversation, connection and banter then, ghosted. Applied for a job, had a great interview and conversation about my experience and the role then, ghosted. Toured an amazing house with all the amenities I could ever wanted, submitted an offer above asking price then, ghosted.
On the off chance you are one of a very few people in the world who have never experienced this, let me explain quickly what it is. Being ghosted is when one person cuts off communication from another person without any reason or communication, just... silence.
Ghosting Within Customer Experience
Let me be blunt, getting ghosted happens, man, and let me say this — it’s annoying. We all have been ghosted or have ghosted ourselves in various situations. But have you thought about this — how does ghosting work within the realm of customer experience?
You might be thinking, “Dang Justin, you’re right — we have a ton of customers who are ghosting us and not purchasing with us anymore, why is that?” My response to these questions is this: “Are you sure you didn’t ghost them first?”
Wait, what?! Yes, that’s right, I said it — Did you ghost your customer first?
More now than ever before, consumers are looking to have conversations with brands on deeper levels than just "transactional." Consumers are looking to DM brands on Instagram and receive replies. Consumers are looking to leave reviews on your products and receive feedback directly from your brand. Consumers are looking to create a TikTok with your brand's product and receive recognition.
Thanks to social media, we as humans desire this interaction not only with our friends, but with the products and brands we love.
Here are four ways to ensure your brand isn’t ghosting customers and losing revenue:
Assess, Align and Assign Customer Interactions
The first step in determining if you’re ghosting your customer or not is to look at the historical conversations, posts and content that your brand has shared over the last few months. How are customers' interaction with this content? Are they asking you questions? Are you responding?
Once you determine your baselines, the next step is it align and assign employees to have coverage areas around social content. Do you have someone managing this today? If so, are they replying to your customers messages and requests? The answer to these questions will give you the foundational elements you need to determine which course corrections you might need to make.
Related Article: We Listen to Our Customers. Really?
Invest in Technology to Manage Customer Conversations
After you’ve assessed your current social conversation state, you’ll need to look at any pieces of technology that you’re leveraging to manage customer conversations. There are various social media management software platforms that can help your brand manage customer conversations as they happen.
If you’re using one currently, look at the toolsets the platform offers and assess if it aligns to your brand and customer needs. If you’re not using one, you likely need to explore investing in this technology as it will help your employees best manage content and conversations.
Transcend Brand Personality
Arguably the most important element is to accurately represent who your brand is through your social channels and conversations with customers. Is your brand a bit cheeky? Great, so should your interactions with customers. Is your brand popular with younger generations? Great, look to leverage language and slang that is familiar to this group.
It’s all about opening up the human-like characteristics that make your brand so desirable to the customers that purchase from you. When done correctly, your brand will create connections with customers through these social channels that feel more like a conversation between a friend vs. a company that customers buy from. This creates stickiness and loyalty with will keep customers coming back.
Related Article: Only Brands With Purpose Can Achieve Lifestyle Brand Status
Listen to Your Customers
Nobody likes to be ghosted — especially your customers. If your customers are actively trying to interact with your brand and aren’t seeing any response — that’s not going to keep them engaged.
Let me clarify: of course you can’t respond to EVERY customer post, right? That’s OK, even by just responding to some of the conversations your customers are having will help create an interactive community mindset with ALL customers and will encourage future customers to feel comfortable sharing, communicating and interacting with your brand.As Charles Dickens once said, “The worst of all listeners is the man who does nothing but listen.” — Yes, listen to your customers, but don’t just stop there — have conversations back with them and create this community of dialogue between your brand, and I promise, your customers won’t even think about ghosting you.