It is safe to say that social media has taken over (almost) everyone’s life. Approximately 4.7 billion users use various social media platforms with 74 percent of global marketers continuing to invest in social media marketing. One of the key benefits of having a strong social media presence is the opportunity to connect with customers and clients directly. With this connection, many companies now use and commit to social media for customer service as a way to address complaints, answer questions, provide guidance, and respond to online reviews.
I have many years of experience in customer service. I have held many positions and leadership roles in veterinary sciences, hospital administration, and business operations. Now, I own my own business and with that, all my customer service experience will be tested on the social media platforms I use to market my business. The more that I can show I care about them, the more they’ll likely want to continue working with me and the services that I provide. With that in mind, providing good customer service to my clients should naturally be a major priority in my day-to-day schedule. Accountability, communication, customer loyalty and trust will go a long way in generating a positive word-of-mouth about my business as I continue to grow. Providing customer service directly should also apply on the social media platforms or sites I use for my business.
Brand using Social Media Customer Service in the RIGHT WAY
Starbucks’ social media accounts are filled with aesthetically pleasing images and videos of their drinks, and people enjoying their drinks. Starbucks’ Twitter account is built for interacting with their audience. They try to connect with their followers on a personal level, building relationships and increasing their audience engagement. Starbucks’ Facebook account is designed for providing information. Starbucks informs customers that these social media sites are a place where people from all over the world can come together for conversation and great coffee.
From a social media customer service standpoint, Starbucks welcomes ideas, feedback, and constructive criticism. Starbucks embraces all kinds of feedback and consistently engages with their customers, especially on Twitter. Their personalized replies and friendly-tone show they listen to and care about their customers. By being willing to take customer suggestions and ideas, they build their user’s confidence in their company. Starbucks seems to make it a point to respond to as many followers as possible, which is probably one of the reasons why they’re so successful at engaging with their audience. If issues and challenges arise, Starbucks encourages their patrons to discuss specific issues regarding individual store service with the store’s manager in their respective local areas.
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time”Starbucks Mission Statement – The recurrence on their social media platforms generates major buzz with their audience.
Brand using Social Media Customer Service in the WRONG WAY
Users who have had a negative experience with a brand may seek out and or leave a bad review on a brand’s social media platform or site. Not responding to negative reviews can give the impression that your business offers poor customer service and is uninterested in resolving any disputes that may arise. Not responding to a response is a response. It’s a response that says, ‘I don’t care about you’!
Responding late can also be a sign that you simply do not care. Don’t let negative comments linger. The more time you let them go unanswered, the more time others have to see that someone has complained and you haven’t responded. Addressing negative comments as quickly as possible prevents them from bubbling up into something potentially more damaging. For my business, a negative post on my Facebook or Instagram account, responding quickly will show I am listening, and that I care. It will also alert others of my dedication to my customers and clients.
“Haters are not your problem. Ignoring them is.“Hug Your Haters, How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers” by Jay Baer
Social media customer service is the practice of using social tools to resolve customer questions or concerns. Social customer support is highly effective because it allows customers to reach your company on the platforms they already use. Being proactive to your customers needs and answering all questions on your social channels shows that you have responsive customer service. This proves to potential customers that you care about your clients’ needs.
The customer experience is more than just what happens inside your store. Social media is the tool that extends the reach of your business and enables you to build stronger connections with your customers. We all want to do business with people we “know” and brands we feel a connection to. Social media practices and engagement give you the means. The goal is to create a natural two-way conversation with customers and prospective customers.