Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How To Use Social Media For Customer Service

One of our clients had a potential customer find them on a Google search, but instead of calling them, they sent them a message on Twitter to schedule an appointment.  Since our team constantly monitors Twitter, we were able to respond quickly and help the customer. This got me thinking...customer service sure has changed!  Years ago, if a customer had a question or problem, they would pick up a landline phone and dial the customer service number (believe it or not, this did actually happen), wait on hold forever, then have a conversation with another person.  This evolved to using email as customer service where people could send an email request, then wait 24 to 48 hours for a response. Who has time for this in today's world? :) As a society, we want everything right now.  From our food to our answers, the faster the better!  Social media is no different.  People spend hours on online each day, so instead of picking up the phone, or even opening up an email, more and more people find it easier to send a Facebook message or a tweet to a business because they know they'll (probably) get a quicker response.  They expect this.  When a customer sends a message to a company and there is not a timely response, it's the equivalent of someone not answering the phone.  The only thing worse than not responding to a customer's question or concern is not having a Facebook page or Twitter account for them to reach out to.  Here are a few tips to wow your current and potential customers with outstanding customer service through social media.

Be easy to find:  When setting up social media accounts, be sure that your profile names are consistent with your business name so that it's easy for customers to find your accounts by searching for them.  You may need to get creative with Twitter and Pinterest as there is a character limit, but just do the best you can to make it as close as possible.  Also, be sure to include links to your social media profiles on your website so it's clear that you're active on social media.

Answer EVERY response: When someone does find you online and takes the time to send a message, direct tweet or comment, take the time to write them back. Every time, without fail.  This type of interaction will lead to creating raving fans.  The key is to also respond to negative comments and complaints.  I've seen some brands simply delete bad comments as if they didn't exist. This is a mistake because it doesn't solve the problem. It's best to respond and hit the issue head on to resolve it (keep in mind it's best to direct them to a phone number to take the conversation offline).  This shows your future and current customers that you are willing to address opportunities and improve your services instead of sweep problems under the rug. Look, we're all human and will make mistakes.  The true integrity of businesses comes out when we correct mistakes.

Be prompt: Responding to comments and messages in not enough. We must respond in a timely fashion (our team responds to all client comments within the hour unless it's in the middle of the night).  Imagine sending an email to a business and you don't get a response until a week later. Basically that's the equivalent of taking more than a few hours to respond on social media. This must be constantly monitored to give great customer service in the mind of the consumer.

Look for opportunities to help: This kills two birds with one stone;  Twitter has a search tool that we use daily, to look for opportunities to help our clients.  You would be amazed at what people tweet!  When you solve people's problems, you build trust and gain new clients.

Here's an example of a tweet found through a search for "toothache" in a 5 mile radius of McKinney,TX:

How beneficial would it be for a dentist in McKinney to stumble upon this?  Business is all about being a problem solver in your area of expertise.

Well, times sure have changed as far as how we market and attract new customers.  The way in which customers communicate with us has changed as well. Be sure you are prepared to service your customers via social media.  If you need some help, check out our small business solution here and we can manage it for you. Click here----->social media management for small business.

Thanks for reading and here's to creating raving fans with all of our businesses!

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