The digital era in which we live is revolutionizing almost every area of life. From the way we shop, to the way we communicate, to the way we watch television, to the way we date even, our fondness for our mobile devices and our unlimited access to the World Wide Web is transforming our very way of life.
Customer service is no exception.
The rise of social media in the past few decades has majorly influenced how companies approach customer service. Why is this, you might ask? Why should something as seemingly trivial as social media affect our outlook on customer service?
It’s simple, really. More and more customers are taking to social media to discuss, interact with, and give feedback on the companies they are doing business with. These customers want their voice to be heard. They want you to know what you are doing right, and what you could be doing better. They want you to know when they are satisfied, and they most certainly want you to know when they are dissatisfied.
If you, as a business, fail to acknowledge and address your customers’ input, you are basically announcing your decision to ignore the opinions your customers are voicing through social media. Companies that fail to evolve with the times and jump on the social media train will slowly be left in the dust and grow increasingly irrelevant in this digital age. Your social media presence could make or break your company.
“You must treat your social media presence as you treat your storefront -be there!”Pulse Marketing Agency
Okay, so social media presence is crucial to good customer service. But now that we are aware of this information, what do we do with it? How do we apply this knowledge to our companies and start reaping the rewards of good social media presence?
Here are a few tips to help you achieve top-notch customer service through social media:
- Respond to ALL feedback.
Acknowledge every post, every review, every question, and every comment. Remember, not replying is the same thing as ignoring… and no customer wants to be ignored!
- Reply quickly. According to freshsparks.com, 56% of customers who have a negative experience with poor response time will never use the company again.
So reply quickly. Respond to customer reviews, complaints, and inquiries as soon as possible in order to keep customers happy and coming back.
“Remember: Just as no business would ignore a customer in their store, no business should leave a social media comment unattended online!”FreshSparks
- Be transparent.
Feel free to greet the customer by name if a name is given, and close any social media responses with a first name or initials.
Not only does this humanize the response, it also creates accountability.
- Combat negativity with positivity.
Be sure to express how much you value the customer’s opinion, negative or not. By demonstrating empathy through your responses, you’ll often be able to spin a negative situation into a positive one.
These are just a few of the many ways your company can pursue an outstanding social media presence that will empower your customers and make them feel both heard and appreciated. For a more in-depth exploration into the topic of customer service and social media, Hootsuite’s article titled “Social Media Customer Service: Everything You Need to Do it Well” is an excellent resource if you wish to dive a little deeper.
Basically it all boils down to this: Customer service is crucial to a company’s success, and social media -when executed well- is an excellent channel for pursuing good customer service. Social media gives our customers a voice, and it’s our job to make sure that voice is heard. A customer that feels heard and appreciated is a customer that keeps coming back.
On the contrary, a customer that feels ignored and overlooked is not likely to return. In fact, such a disgruntled customer will often complain of their negative experience to their friends and family, and to anyone willing to listen. Failing to provide good customer service through social media won’t just cost you the one customer, it will cost you countless potential customers in the future.
Good customer service through social media, then, ought to be a priority for any company looking to succeed. After all, social media has the power to make or break a company.
So will social media make or break you? The decision is yours. Either develop an outstanding social media presence, or watch your company suffer the consequences.