As I continue to do more and more speaking to business leaders and in academic circles about social networking, I always try and focus more on concrete examples of SocMed in action, rather than have abstract theoretical discussions. I learn better this way, and my hope is that it helps bring the message home a bit more effectively.
I took my son to the orthodontist the other day and had a great “social media in the wild” experience.
When we first walked into the office, I signed in on a computer terminal located two steps from the front door. No more waiting, trying to see through that sliding frosted glass window. (Why does EVERY doctor’s office have that???) Efficiency points- 10
There’s a sign on the desk (see picture below) offering e-mail or text reminders about your appointments. I got my first e-mail today and registered on their website. You can check your balance, pay your bill, see the pictures or x-rays they’ve taken, refer a friend and provide feedback, among other things. Convenience points- 10
Finally, the office is run with a Swiss-like efficiency that is largely absent from most medical offices. (Granted, it was our first visit, and there’s no guarantee that every visit will go this way, but they’ve certainly gone a long way towards building up a reservoir of good will.)
Parents have to shuttle our kids around to all sorts of commitments and appointments these days, so little conveniences like this go a long way. Staying present in the minds of your customers/clients can be a tricky balancing act, but ANYTHING that eliminates minor inconvenience and is not spammy is always going to be welcomed.
Social networking does not always have to fall into the Facebook/Twitter/blog bag. Connections and conversations are what it’s all about.
Now if only they offered free wi-fi…