Developing a social media customer service strategy.
Should you use social media to stay connected with your customers
Leadamo Academy has suggested processes for gaining customers. But now we asking how far you have considered a social media customer service strategy. Have you integrated social media into any customer service strategy? No? Then have a look at some reasons why you should.
In the past, people would simply phone and complain.
Today disgruntled customers are much more likely to air their annoyance, frustration or negative observations on Twitter or Facebook. Therefore every business must be alert to this possibility. It is very important to treat social media customer service as an integral part of their brand not as a n afterthought.
99% of companies have a social media customer service presence
Research completed by Simply Measured suggests that most brands – all but 1% as it goes, have a Twitter presence. Just under a third have an ‘id ‘which is dedicated to social media customer service. The idea of this is that response times will be rapid. In this technologically-driven age people want results now! Interestingly only 10% of businesses surveyed manage a response time of around an hour with most settling for within 48 hours. You need to work out just how important customer service is for your brand and what you want to become known for.
Anyone can make a mistake
Anyone can pick up the ‘last product made on a Friday afternoon’. People accept that things can vary. But it’s a business response and a dedicated social media customer service response to a problem which often marks a great company, brand or service from the run of the mill.
Business is not just about getting someone to buy.
Relationships through social media mean the connection lasts much longer. Actually the aim of business is to sell but also to develop loyal customers. Think how hard you have worked to get visitors as customers. So isn’t it great to keep them for ever? Social media customer service should become a key part of your social media presence.
So, what do you need to do to improve the social media customer experience?
- Your employees should be talking excitedly and proactively about the company they work for. Give them reasons to do that. They can help to promote your brand in all kinds of ways.
- Think about how a customer experiences your site. Walk through your site as a visitor. Ask a trusted friend to do the task with you. What feel does your site give off? Does it look like customers are important. Is it easy to make contact? Ask questions? Get answers? Do you offer reassurance and guarantees? Are you asking for opinions? Is it easy to navigate? Are customers at the very core of your business?
- How quickly do you react? How often are you pro-active? Do you anticipate change, problems, new needs? Does process and history prevent change in your company?
- Is the customer the enemy or an opportunity to have a ‘relationship’ that is mutually beneficial? If you dislike customers then either you haven’t got that relationship right. Or maybe you should be doing something else! If you just haven’t given it any consideration then now is a great time to develop your social media customer service policy.
Work to make customers feel valued.
For example. If you run a mail order business and the goods arrive at their destination beautifully presented (as appropriate; whatever the product) and safely wrapped with a thank you note for ordering, it changes the experience. It becomes a real pleasure and adventure to open the packet or box. If things are slung together and inadequately packaged and therefore damaged on arrival how important does your customer feel? How likely are they going to be to order again?
Going above and beyond is part of the new business landscape.
We may be part of a seemingly anonymous global market. Yet people want to deal with other real people not anonymous avatars. Therefore keeping track of customers, responding to their needs, queries, complaints and criticisms can keep them happy. They are also more likely to return and also improve your own products and business as a whole. Being proactive, by offering a fully integrated social media customer service philosophy, can have useful benefits. Offering incentives to leave a review ‘if you are happy with your level of service’ can benefit you and make customers feel their views count. Let’s face it they will air them on social media anyway! Get 20% discount off your next purchase if you complete our survey etc. are proven techniques.
So much can be achieved on social media…..
Not least the opportunity to maintain regular contact. This is important to keep your brand in the mind of your customers or those who have not yet made up their mind to convert. Offering useful information, sharing, re-tweeting, favouriting and generally being pro-active can do a lot to maximise the exposure of your brand. It can also help build trust and show you are around, up to date and heavily involved in what you do.