Customer Service and Social Media – A Match Made In Heaven?

by Square One Web Solutions

social media and customer service

Whatever you do, don't ignore the chirping! CC image courtesy of ivanpw

Was reading an interesting post over at Rev Media Marketing about how social media and customer service go hand in hand and it got me thinking about my personal interactions with companies through social media. I have had terrible experiences turn into positive ones through the personal interaction of a business owner, and I have had a simple question turn into a business relationship ender. As a business owner you want to communicate with customers where they are, and they are on social media. Here are the three  points that Rev Media make in the post, along with my thoughts on each.

1. Customers expect you to monitor your Facebook and Twitter accounts and respond quickly.

It your business has a Facebook and/or a Twitter account, customers are going to find them. If they find them, they are going to assume that you opened the account in order to better communicate with customers, so they will use them to communicate with you (this is especially true of millennial customers who view the internet as their main communication platform). What this means is that if you have Twitter and Facebook, you better monitor them, because to customers, this is the same as calling and leaving a message – only they expect a response much faster. I’ve seen business pages on Facebook that were littered with posts from a customer trying (with increasing desperation) to get into contact with the business. Because the business did not respond in few minutes, he posted again. An hour later, he posted again, and again, and again. Let’s just say that he wasn’t happy, and now that interaction is there for any other customer to see. So make sure that you regularly check Facebook and Twitter and respond accordingly.

2. Social media has made communication with customers a 2 way street.

In the “good old days”, advertising and marketing were definitely a one sided conversation. Advertisers could present their message over the radio, on the television, in newspapers, and in magazines. Customers however were not allowed into the conversation. So even if a customer was not satisfied, he had little recourse other than to write a letter, tell a few friends, or maybe, if he was incredibly lucky, catch the attention of a news story that would feature the story on television, the radio, or in the newspaper. So there was really no recourse for the wronged customer other than to complain privately to the company and hope that they would do the right thing.

Now, that has swung completely in the other direction, and the customer has a voice online. Now, if he “tells a few friends” about his bad experience online, the whole world can see it. Companies have to be vigilant about watching for negative reviews and trying to fix any problems publicly. I have seen some restaurants that do an amazing job of this on yelp in particular, offering a free meal to diners who were less than satisfied. And it often leads to the once disgruntled customer having a much better experience and telling the world about it.

3. This new two way communication is not without its challenges.

Big companies with big staffs do not have this problem, but local businesses are tapped for time as it is. Do you have time to constantly monitor all of your social media accounts and to respond to any customers? Probably not. But your customers expect it. So, while social media gives you the incredible opportunity to interact with your customers and to hear back from them (sometimes I think we take for granted how powerful this is!) it also means that your customers expect to hear back from you. If you want to better your customer service, not to mention increase customer loyalty and satisfaction, you need to keep up with your social media accounts and respond daily. Take every opportunity to give customers the attention that they want, treat them personally (you know, like you actually care about them…) and you will see great results from your social media campaigns. Or, leave them unmonitored and see how much your customer service suffers.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: