Upon reading Dave Kerpen’s Book Likeable Business: Why Today’s Consumers Demand More and How Leaders Can Deliver. I have a new found passion for social media. Mainly due to the fact that I don’t need to worry about what content to publish I can listen to my customers and they will tell me what they want to see more of. Dave says “It’s important to listen to your customers everywhere, it’s important to be responsive to customers everywhere.” Your customers are on all social media networks, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, you need to be listening to and engaging with your customers on the networks that bring you the best ROI.
When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. – Ernest Hemingway
Dave challenges traditional approaches, in chapter 1 he describes how he conducted a 1 hour long management team meeting without saying a word. Anyone striving to become a more likeable leader should read this book, and apply the action items below.
eCommerce Social Listening Action Items:
- Think about what words or expressions you should be listening for in your conversations with customers, prospects, and colleagues. Write down a list of 10 things worth listening for.
- Write down three ways you can better listen in face-to-face conversations and three ways you can better listen using social media.
- Research potential vendors and tools for listening at scale using social media
- Write own five potential pitfalls of not listening better than you do today in your business.
- Practice active listening. Start by spending one meeting listening more than you talk; next spend a meeting talking 10 percent or less; then try to talk 10 percent or less for a full day. Take notes along the way, since you’ll be talking less.
- Practice the art of listening with a prospect or partner: research, feeling, intimacy, and mirroring.
Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today. – Robert McAfee Brown
Tell a story to humanize your eCommerce company. This can be done with a phenomenal about us page, great social media and personalized email marketing. Telling a story it humanizes you and makes you real, not a robot. When a great story is told , people connect with you emotionally and feel like they understand you. As Dave Kerpen says You Become Likeable. Stories cannot be challenged because they are always an undeniable experience. At the end of the day if you want to tell a great story, you have to identify with your product, organization or brand. If you do, you won’t be able to resist telling your story and neither will your customers. “Stories make us matter to each other” Look to your most passionate customers or the ones who have had a significant interaction with your company. After you’ve found, give them motivation, tools and opportunity to share their stories.
Stories are Social Currency
And below are the action items from Kerpen’s book that can guide you into achieving more eCommerce sales.
- Determine your brand’s own stories. Ask yourself questions such as, how did your company originate?
For us it was a need in the eCommerce industry, working with the top eCommerce companies we realized that eTailers were struggling to aquire repeat buyers, many investing thousands of dollars on ineffective advertising campaigns. Thus eCommerce Cosmos started helping eCommerce stores utilize eCommerce automation technology to mitigate shopping cart abandonment and increase the lifetime value of their shoppers.
- Why do you do the work you do?
We do what we do because we simply love it. How often do you receive an email you enjoy opening and that you like to share with friends? Almost never right? We strive to change that by sending emails that eCommerce customers love to open.
- What kind of funny or interesting things have happened involving your customers over the years?
Though we are a startup just over 1 year old, we have seen amazing things happen with our customers. Tripleling traffic with email marketing and engaging their best customers with one to 1 personalized messages has led to amazing results.
- Among your employees, who have had their lives changed in some way by working at your company?
We embrace a distributed workplace, learning from top organizations including Github, employees are happiest when they are working with a company not for one. Your company needs digital nomads, cultural advocates that want to change the world.
- What Charitable organizations or causes does your company support?
We are lucky enough to pick the clients we work with, so we look for sound business models and companies who give back. Working with AFR Clothing and Fancy Fixtures allows us to contribute back to Amani Hope, and Habitat for Humanity, respectively.
Continue asking questions
- How can you inspire and encourage customers to tell their stories? Brainstorm three ways you could make it easier for them to share stories about you.
- How can you create new stories for your business? Write down three stories you’d like to be able to tell you about your organization in three years.
If you are doing something great, find a way to share it, if you are doing something you’re not entirely happy with, admit it and be open about how you’re working to change it.
Action Items that Increase Employee Engagement
- Write down three things about your business or personal life that you haven’t ever shared with your team. Share one of those things at an upcoming meeting.
- Develop a system whereby you can open up the lines of communication within your company, especially between you and your employees.
- Start a Facebook group, closed LinkedIn group, or Yammer network for your company or team, and set the bar for encouraging the practice of openly sharing information by being the first to share sensitive information in the group.
- At a meeting, offsite event or retreat, tell your employees one personal insight and encourage them to share the same.
- Write down three things your company could be doing better and one way you can communicate this to your employess and customers. Share the information with employees, customers and other stakeholders.
- Dave talks about “all-ins” and how 99designs comes together every month to ensure the team strategy and mission is aligned.
When praised a great leader credits his or her success to the work of others and maybe a little luck.
Action Items that Develop a Sense of Community
- Hold a team meeting and brainstorm activities your employees would enjoy as a team. Choose three favorite and write down a plan to make one of those activities part of your culture.
- Write down the rules -official and unofficial- of your company. Are there any that don’t contribute to your culture. If so, get rid of them!
- Writer down three inexpensive or free ways you can engender a better sense of team within your company or department.
- Write down eight key values for your company and its culture, and have your team do the same. Do they align? If not, hold a team meeting to establish a value system for your organization.
“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” – Charles R Swindoll
Action Items for Customer Feedback
- Develop a system to take feedback into consideration and allow your customers to have a say in your company. Write a list of five ways you can respond to negative feedback and constructively use it to improve your business.
- Take inventory of your available resources and your system for responding efficiently across a wide variety of communication channels: Facebook, Twitter, email, telephone, and yes even snail mail.
When you’re finished changing, you’re finished. – Ben Franklin
Action Items for eCommerce Innovation and Disruption
- Brainstorm and write down five things you could be doing for your customers that you’re not doing today.
- Write down one risk you can take that might significantly benefit your company.
- Hold a meeting with your team. Go around the room and have everyone offer one way you can improve the company. Write the suggestions down, pick one and make it happen!
- If you have a passion for your business and the problems you’re solving for your customers, that will be contagious.
Eli Horowitz “Never having done something before is a bad reason not to do it”
Action Items to drive Passion into your Work
- Write down five things you’re passionate about in life and business. If you died doing what you live, what would that be?
- Determine three ways you can inject more passion into your work today then do it
- Determine three ways you can inspire more passion in your company
“Customers shouldn’t be surprised by a delightful moment with your company; they should come to expect it from you”
Action Items to Delight Your Customers:
- Think of three delightful customer service experiences you’ve had recently. What do they all have in common? Create a plan to implement those elements into your business.
- Write down five ways you can surprise your customers by going above and beyond their expectations.
- Brainstorm ways you can surprise and delight your employees this year. Write down a plan to make one of them happen.
- Write down one way you can be remarkable in an interaction with a customer today and one way you can be remarkable in an interaction with a colleague today. Then go be remarkable.
Determine the biggest problem you’re solving for customers and cut out everything that doesn’t contribute to solving that one problem.
What does your company do?
- Write down your company’s core values. Be able to articulate who you are as a company, in the simplest terms, to your employees and customers.
- Write down in the simplest form possible what you do, in no more than 140 characters. This is how simply you should be able to express yourself to your audience.
- Figure out what you do best. Start by asking your customers and employees what their favorite aspect of your company is. Then focus on just that one thing.
- Hit your company with the “simple stick” wherever you can. Ask yourself, What’s unnecessary? What can we get rid of? How can we make this simpler?
- Identify a champion of simplicity at your company. Who is your Marissa Mayer or your Steve Jobs? If you don’t have one step into that role.
- Make simplicity part of your corporate culture. Otherwise, it’s ineffective, just for show and not a true value of your company.
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder” Gilbert K Chesterton
The more good you do, the more good there is in the world, the more good will come back to you.
Action Items for Gratitude
- Write down 10 people and things you’re grateful for in your life right now.
- The next time you are about to send a thank you email to a client or colleagues write a thank you note and mail it. Send thank you notes to 10 people in your life you’re grateful for: customers, coworkers, employees, spouses, children, siblings, parents, friends, neighbors, etc. Commit yourself to writing a certain number of thank you notes daily or weekly. Begin with one per day to keep it manageable.
In summary abide by the 11 principles of a likeable business and your eCommerce social media strategy will succeed:
- Team Playing
- Surprise and Delight
We also have a monthly eCommerce social media content calendar to keep you organized. Download the 2014 Content Calendar free.
“How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable” -Seth Godin