How to Improve Customer Service with Social Media
What Social Media Really Means For Businesses
We live in a world where a person's thoughts, emotions and experiences can be shared real time and seen by millions in seconds. A world of transparency where the main currency for businesses lies solely on their reputation.
Customer service has always been of great importance to all businesses since the beginning, however the conditions that exist now make it a vital necessity to pursue actively. Businesses need to adapt to the world of social media or cease to exist altogether.
Social Media Video 2013
Where to start?
The vast world of social media can be a little bit of a minefield for businesses who aren't really sure where to tread yet. However the main two platforms that you need to worry about is Facebook and Twitter. These are the power houses that you should always be thinking about and acting on.
Social media should be seen as a great asset to your business. It acts as a platform that you can communicate with your customers, getting a real insight into how and why they think. It therefore can be used effectively to grow your business, however if not managed properly it can do serious harm as well.
In order to improve customer service with social media you should consider the following three things that I will outline in further detail. These can be implemented on both Twitter and Facebook but I will be using Facebook as the primary example.
1- Listen and respond
2- Don't cover up
4- Going above and beyond expectations
Listen and Listen, then Respond (Quickly)
Social media is above everything else a listening tool that you should utilize. Your customers and clients will inevitably be talking and discussing your business. What they like. What they don't like. What they love. What they want. What they hate. Their experience. You get the idea. It's all about their voice and their opinions.
So what can you do?
To start with you should set up a facebook business page that you can use as your hub where people can discuss and send messages to you. Once you have done this you need to keep it updated with the latest information that you think your customers and clients might value. I use the word 'value' because it doesn't necessarily have to be about your company. People love to interact with other people about everyday occurrences, and if they are doing on your facebook business page all the better. You can always find inspiration from the news if your lacking in ideas. (Try not to overdo it though people don't want a constant stream of updates)
Then watch it like a hawk and wait for people to get interactive. As soon as people do start to communicate with you try to get back to them as quickly as possible with thoughtful and useful pieces of information. Remember everything you write is always visible and therefore will have an impact on other peoples opinions, and ultimately your reputation. Always be polite even if a customer or client is being rude. You need to win the vote of the public and being rude yourself will only show everyone else your unprofessionalism.
Good use of Social Media
Don't Cover Up
You have just logged into your facebook business account and someone has posted an extremely rude and derogatory post. You think that it is completely wrong and are worried that it might cause some damage you your reputation. What are you going to do?
The delete button has probably become a lot more likeable all of a sudden.
But don't do it as tempting as it might be. By deleting someones post you might think you have solved your problem, but in reality you have made it a lot worse. The likelihood is that if you have seen it, so has everyone else. Deleting it says 'we don't know how to deal with this so we are just going to get rid of it'. It also sends out alarm bells to your customers and clients. They might be thinking 'why did they delete it, is it true?'
Going Above And Beyond Expectations
People love to be delighted, and social media allows you to do this. Try to give your customers something extra that they didn't expect. This can come in a lot of forms. Discounts always go down well, but so do other things...
See what Harrods did below.
Harrods Customer Service
Really Investing Time Into Social Media
Social media is not something that you can quickly do or complete. It's ongoing and always changing, you need to really invest time into it if you want to see positive results. (Like most things in life!)