Yesterday I had the opportunity of participate in a new restaurant opening. That was an interesting experience, as I didn’t know what to expect. I had no reviews about the place and also no recommendations. But as soon as the restaurant started serving us, something became very clear. It didn’t take 5 minutes since the first review was posted and rates about the food and staff were being updated.

Most of the people were taking pictures and posting photos of the food  on Instagram and tagging themselves on Facebook. That shows to me how customer experience has changed. Customers are now a part of the business playing an important role, they are a part of the business, providing the tools you need to improve and also to be ahead your competitors.

It wasn’t different with me. I can honestly say that being involved with Social Media had changed how I decide where to go. Going for dinner for example now involves reading the reviews, seeing the pictures and checking the menu. It’s no longer going out and doing whatever I feel like doing. Now I can make a little research online and choose the best option that suits me and also delivers to others what I expect. And honestly saying, I  get frustrated when I find pages not updated or don’t reply to their clients. Makes me even wonder if the establishment is still open or not.

And I don’t limit this social behaviour only for restaurants. Even before I purchase something online, I check the reviews first. I’m not saying that I’m looking for good reviews only – if they have only good reviews chances are they are made bots or not genuine. We as a client know that is impossible to make all sort of people satisfied with the same product. Reviews have to be real.

The behaviour of writing reviews, apart from the fact that people want to reward a company for receiving a good quality of service, shows me that people want to help others to have a better buying decision. What companies can do with this information? A tool to improve and be ahead of their competitors, analyzing the customers behaviours and listening what they are saying about your brand or product.

So how far Social Media had changed the way I look through online services? Well, completely. And it’s been saving me a lot of disappointments throughout the day when it comes to choosing what’s best for me. But don’t forget, it’s a mutual relationship: I’m making sure to give reciprocity.