This is a guest post from Gary Vaynerchuk — well-known entrepreneur, social media innovator, and author of “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on his blog.
Scenario: Your company is growing. Quickly.
Let’s say you started out as a five-to-ten person team, but with business increasing, you’re going to have to double, maybe even triple, the team members just to get all the work done.
Well, first off: that’s tremendous news. Congratulations. But if you were a small company, you’re probably experiencing something that I’m sure many people who started companies from the bottom up understand: the fear of losing intimate customer experiences.
The good news?
You have all the tools you need to maintain that intimacy. You do not have to sacrifice interacting on a very close basis with customers to become a big company. I promise. Here’s what you do.
At this point you’re either making more money, or you raised some. What you’re going to do is take some of that money and apply it to hiring more human beings dedicated solely to engaging and customer interactions. Seriously.
People think engagement doesn’t scale.
They’re wrong. The only situation in which it doesn’t scale if if you’re trying to answer every complaint, question or comment yourself. But it does scale when you’re a logo. A thing.
It can feel weird to pass off something you created to other people, and to allow them to speak for you. But you have to do it if you want customers to continue to feel cared for.
Ask yourself: Are you willing to allocate the dollars to put into actual human beings who will act as the fact of your company? If you’re serious about one on one interactions, the answer better be yes.
Now, maybe you think a whole team of people doing nothing but engaging feels a bit funny.
But the truth is, there are so many ways to make yourself available to consumers these days that it is, in fact, necessary. Be active on Twitter, first and foremost. Make sure consumers can contact you through your handle. Reply to reviews, especially the bad ones. Read Facebook comments and reply to those as well. Join conversations and answer comments on Instagram.
These are things that need to be done to let your fans know the experience they grew to love won’t be lost, and show new customers this is what they will get. But they aren’t things you can do alone.
The fact of the matter is, to scale engagement, delegate. Being a leader means learning to do that effectively. Empower people with the tools they need to move forward and make it happen.