We walk up to an ATM or a soda fountain and we come across the dreaded sign taped to the front of it.
Depending on the situation (desperate for cash and in a bind, or just thirsty), we groan. The sign needs no explanation; you wanted something but you aren’t going to get it.
What if you have a small business and something at your store is “out of order?”
What if you have planned server maintenance and everything’s going to be down for a while?
How about this one; what if you run an athletic club and the hot tub is broken?
Wouldn’t it be nice to give your customers a heads up, saving them the trip to the club? Wouldn’t it be nice if they trusted your brand to keep you in the loop, knowing you’ll always have up to date information for them on their mobile device?
Things break. Servers go down. Soda machines won’t dispense. No one will be mad at you for that.
They want to trust you to let them know in advance, or as soon as possible. Their disappointment at not being able to soak will be balanced with appreciation that you cared enough to share this relevant content with them.
Mistakes and accidents happen. It’s how you deal with them publicly that makes or breaks your reputation. There’s a saying – “If all you do is answer complaints, that’s all you’re going to get!”
Let’s change the situation. You get a call from a recruiter about a job. You were referred by a good friend for it. The recruiter asks if s/he can see your credentials/portfolio/website, etc.
You hadn’t updated them in a year.
Now you, dear reader, are out of order.
You stammer to the recruiter, “Um, yeah, I have all of those things. Let me get back to you in a day…”
Surprises, good and bad, are a part of life. How will you restore order? How will you anticipate that surprise email or tweet? How will you save your customer’s time?
Checking a number of job listings around North America this morning I found 31,000 openings for “Social Media Manager.”
This is a full-time job. Those that are good at it are rare. So many are not good at all. That’s why it’s a job desperately in demand. The talented people who can find a voice for a brand or business will have more work than they can possibly handle.
Our careers and aspirations are also a full-time job. When we don’t make learning, connecting and personal brand management a top priority, we can find ourselves out of order when someone wants to connect with us…now.
John Scott is the Career Services Manager and an instructor at the School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University, San Francisco. His latest eBook “You. Employed: why winners get jobs” is in the Amazon book store.