More and more brands are using social media to provide another tool and method of communicating with their customers and offering customer support.
By the end of the 2012 it is predicted that 80% of companies will be using or planning to use social media for customer service. On the consumer side, 62% of customers have already used social media for customer service issues. We would love to hear from you if you have?
Gartner predicts one billion users will be on social networks by the end of 2012.
The service regularly updates customers on what to expect, explains why there are delays and often answers questions before they are asked. The twitter profile itself is another excellent example of ‘what to expect’ the bio explains what the twitter account is for, and puts the people behind the service, with names of who manages the account.
This service enhancement has led to substantial changes in the way the company is viewed by its customers. Do you follow London Midland?
Seth Godin, author of Permission Marketing, strongly believes customer service is one of the best forms of marketing and I would have to agree. The adoption of social media by services and brands to better engage customers is a great way to start down this path.
A great response strategy can convert angry and upset customers into loyal, raving fans. The rule of thumb is that while unhappy customers talk to 5 people, formerly unhappy customers you win back talk to 10.
Here are some tips for brands to better use social media as customer service tool.
1. Integrate it
Integrate social media into your existing customer service function. Allow social media to influence all business functions to become a more responsive customer-centric business.
2. Be Human
Create humanised response models to engender and build customer loyalty and build relationships. Create a voice your audience can relate to and don’t be afraid to change your voice if one way isn’t working.
Honesty is the best policy.
Monitor social interaction to spot issues and solve problems before they become crises. Social customer service delivery involves dealing with criticism and complaints from your public, often in front of an audience of millions. Negative comments always hang around a lot longer than positive ones. There are also several forums for many brands which are full of dis-gruntled customers but don’t feel tempted to start getting defensive on such forums.
If you’re going to prevent a small problem growing into something worse, you need to have a detailed understanding of what you need to respond to, a path to response, and escalation policies for resolution.
4. Social Media is two-way.
Give your customers/ fans the opportunity to tell you what they think. Social media is two -way so interact.
5. Have a handover book
Have a team who interact well with each other and are kept up to date with any developments within any of your social accounts. Always highlight anything that needs attention, so it isn’t missed.
6. Never Delete
Resolve the issue online for all to see, and only delete if the post is inappropriate. Deleting messages could cause an uproar with the customer and potentially a PR crisis – which we all want to avoid!
So, fancy getting started? We would love to help!
Sarah Michelle Willis MCIPR, PR & Social Media Consultant at 2Communicate offers a full service social media management for you and your business.
At 2Communicate our goal is to help your company reach your social media goals using our tested and proven social media services. Whether you are looking to increase your online presence, drive more traffic to your website, or increase brand recognition, we are here to help you do just that!
Let us develop a social media strategy customised to your company, industry, and brand and let us build fans & followers, share useful and shareable content, determine optimal posting times, develop viral social media content, run successful Facebook Ad campaigns, run successful Facebook contests, and more.
Email us for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org / Sarah@2Communicate.co.uk
Talk to us: 07958 490263 / 01905 356778
- New Study Shows 20% of People Turn to Social Media for Customer Service Complaints (prweb.com)
- Why Social Media Makes Customer Service Better (mashable.com)
- Social Media and Customer Service: How They Work Together (findyourtippingpoint.com)
- Black Box Social Media Releases Twitter Customer Service Tips (prweb.com)
- The 3 main expectations customers have for social companies (socialfresh.com)
- How Customer Service and Social Media can cost you Clients and Money (assistsocialmedia.com)
- How is Social Media Affecting Your Business? (elocal.com)
- Does Your Customer Service Strategy Include Social Media? (openforum.com)
- Social Media Resources for Business: Humor, Sales, and Facebook (sproutsocial.com)
- The Need for Social Customer Services (socialcubix.com)