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Posted on 07.07.2011

Hardware Store Bill Hears a Tweet

A friend of mine and I were discussing social media the other day over lunch at a local pub. My friend's name is Bill and he isn't a fan of any of the new media services. Bill runs a nearby hardware store that is trying to offer better customer service to beat the big name wholesalers. He asked me to join him to discuss some of his marketing options and, of course, I brought up social media. Why Monitor Social Media Bill said, "Scott, I just don't see the point of it and I don't have the time or resources unless I can see what the return on investment will be." I responded with, "Bill, it's not the return on investment you should be worried about but the return on ignorance. Your customers are online, they are talking, and if you want to provide the best customer service possible, you should be listening to what they are saying." Bill took a sip of his beer and sat back slowly in his chair with his arms crossed. He pondered what I said for a moment before shaking his head and saying, "Nope, I just don't see the value." Just then, a married couple came in talking loudly and took a seat at the table next to us. They were a bit upset as they discussed what seemed to be a bad experience they had just had while searching a hardware store for the right part for a house project. Bill perked up and started listening intently. He smiled at me as he assumed they had gotten lost in one of the big name stores. Then the wife mentioned Bill's store. Bill looked stunned. He quickly turned around in his chair and introduced himself as the store’s owner. Bill asked about what happened and listened intently as they discussed their experience. Bill told the couple that if they revisited the store, he would personally help them locate the part and offer them a large discount. Their attitude changed and they immediately looked relieved.  They thanked Bill and said they would be happy to return that afternoon. Bill turned around to me and said, "Wow, lucky we were here or I would have never caught that." I said, "Caught what?" Bill replied, "Caught that couple talking… Those are important customers, if I hadn’t heard what they were saying I wouldn't have been able to fix their problem." I just sat back and smiled. Bill looked at me puzzled for a moment until his expression changed like the light bulb turned on in his head. He replied, "Ok, so tell me about this Twitter thing." (This is a fictional story but hopefully a fun way to show some basic benefits of social media monitoring. If you'd like to learn how to monitor social media for your business, we'll have an article going out this month in our email newsletter which you can receive by clicking here.)  

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