Customer service is evolving to match the rapid growth and development of new communication media, and today’s most popular social media platforms are the perfect opportunity to capitalize on that trend. There are a number of reasons why it’s possible and advantageous to get started with it now.
• Reason 1: Communication Is Immediate
One of the most beautiful elements of social media is its immediacy. The minute somebody makes a post on your Facebook wall or a post mentioning your brand, your admin will receive a notification to take action. If you can respond within minutes of the original post, you’ll be able to make your customer very happy. This is especially effective for customers dealing with an urgent problem, such as a flight delay or a technological malfunction before a presentation.
• Reason 2: You Give People a More Personal Brand Experience
People tend to favor dealing with other people rather than corporations. People will immediately recognize and call out to your brand, but it will be a person reaching out in response. There won’t be any automatically generated emails. Social media also allows you to think carefully about your response and present it in a more casual, conversational tone. This way, you can retain your brand voice while writing and communicating like a human, thus humanizing your brand.
• Reason 3: The Conversation Is Transparent
This works both ways. For the customer, transparency is all about vindication. When customers are upset, they want to be heard. By allowing your customers to make their complaints or questions public in this way, you’re giving them an immediate outlet. They feel in control, and appreciate the urgency companies feel to respond when the issue is made public. For companies, transparency means that other potential customers get to see how well you handle the situation. If you can answer a customer’s concerns quickly, nicely, and effectively, you’ll instantly leave all of your followers with a good feeling.
• Reason 4: You’re Encouraging More Brand Mentions
More interactions on social media means you have more opportunities to point back to your own brand. Your customers will mention your brand in their posts, making you visible to all their contacts. When relevant, you can also post links to your site for more information. No matter how you handle questions and comments, you’ll be encouraging more activity and more brand mentions, which can help your SEO rankings.
• Reason 5: Follow-up Is Easy
Depending on how long it takes for the problem to be resolved, following up with your customer is fast and easy. If you manage to resolve the problem with a quick answer, you can immediately ask whether or not the interaction was helpful. If it wasn’t, you have an opportunity to take further action—rather than forcing the customer through another round of calling or emailing. If it was helpful, you have a publicly visible follow-up interaction that ends on a positive note. You can also make a note to follow up a few days later with a private message to make sure the customer is still satisfied.
• Reason 6: Social Users Are More Likely to Talk About Their Experience
This is a selfish reason, but it’s an extraordinarily advantageous one. Intuitively, the people most likely to use social media are the people who like to socialize. How you respond to these people is significant, because they are more likely to tell others about their experience with your brand. If you treat them well, they’ll share a positive experience with their extended social network—and you’ll get access to new potential fans and customers. Harness their popularity by giving them an unforgettably positive interaction.
• Reason 7: You Eliminate the Funnel
Customers hate the funnel. When customers reach out to you, they want to be responded to in the same medium. Many major companies make the mistake of ushering people through one dedicated communication channel, usually a phone number or an email address, and isolating customers who reach out in any other method. For example, if a customer reaches out on Facebook, they want to be responded to on Facebook. They don’t want to see a formulaic welcome message with instructions to call an 800 number. Eliminate the “funnel” by having dynamic customer interactions on every platform.
Jayson DeMers – Source: Forbes