Social Media: The neglected customer service department
Charlie Luck, Display and Instagram Marketer at Cisco
In today’s perpetually connected world it is more natural to contact a brand via social media than the traditional phone call. The instant nature of all social media platforms beats email and sometimes even phone calls. No customer enjoys being put on hold!
Knowing that they can tweet a query or complaint and receive a reply or resolution a few minutes later will give customers plenty of peace of mind.
1. Address the Complaints Quickly!
When a customer complains about you on social media, it’s important that you respond, and respond promptly. Even if you can’t immediately fix the issue, it’s great to acknowledge the customer and their problem. A simple “thanks for the feedback, we will work to resolve this issue as soon as possible” can go a long way with a disappointed client.
Customers love to feel seen and heard. There is nothing worse than waiting forever for a response from a company when you have a problem with a product that you bought from them. People get angry when they feel that they have wasted their hard-earned money. If you respond quickly and positively to complaints on social media, you may be able to turn a disgruntled customer into a loyal and raving one with just a minute of your time.
A customer willing to take their time to bash a company through social media also has great potential to gush about that very same company if their experience is turned into a positive one. Turning a sour customer situation around is easy when a company is regularly active in responding to their customers’ complaints on social media. The company also can showcase their superb customer service skills to the rest of the world when quickly addressing customer complaints.
2. Entertain or Inform!
Social media should be eye-catching, and overall, fun. Scrolling mindlessly down the timeline is a difficult reflex to break for most social media users. You need to arrest that mindless, endless scrolling of the Instagram or Twitter feed with interesting, challenging or even controversial content. The more creative you are with advertising, the better.
Funny pictures, interesting quotes, even relevant video links can capture attention from your potential customers. Posting unique messages on social media will set your brand apart from other companies that offer similar products.
A customer will remember a funny picture advertisement that made them laugh for far longer than they would a boring sales slogan. Don’t forget the power of the share. They will also be more likely to spread that funny ad and tag their friends in it--creating, even more, potential customers.
For instance, “going live” is a newer social media feature that many companies can utilize to engage their customer audience. This feature could be used to show sales in real time, to introduce members of a store team, or to showcase an event and create buzz.
Using creative hashtags or employing instagram influencers on social media to start contests can also be an effective way of getting an audience’s attention. Involving customers and starting a conversation with them online generates more views which lead to more business. Companies need to be ahead of their competition by displaying an online presence that makes their product or service more exciting and engaging.
3. Use Social Media to Educate
Using social media as an educational tool and not just for advertising can bring you more customers while also answering questions that many potential customers might have about your product before they decide to purchase it.
Businesses can creatively post facts about their company as well as answers to frequently asked questions on their social media accounts. By using this strategy, you are proactively providing customer service before a customer might individually come seeking help.
Social media helps to reach a wider audience in less time than one-on-one customer service may take. Lens.com created a customer knowledge database which compiled answers to a plethora of common questions that many customers had. This proactive educational step brought them a significant increase in customer satisfaction ratings. Giving the customer more information right up front could also lead to an increase in sales (knowledge is power, after all).
4. Take Customer Suggestions
While customer complaints might seem discouraging, they are a great tool for businesses to build on. A complaint is feedback that you can use to better your product. No one can improve unless they know what it is that they are doing wrong in the first place. The only way to grow as a business is to listen to what the consumer wants, and to then give them what they asked for.
When a customer posts on social media that the ice cream shop was out of their favorite flavor, the owner of that shop can apologize, and now knows to keep more of that particular flavor in stock since it’s obviously become more popular than he/she knew. Social media provides the opportunity to connect with the consumer in an immediate and convenient way.
There is hardly anyone left in the world that doesn’t own a smartphone or tablet, and everyone checks their devices on a daily basis. Checking into social media several (and sometimes hundreds) of times a day has become the normal routine for more than 50% of the human population. By building an eye-catching and substantial social media presence, you can make your brand indispensable to the daily lives of customers in a friendly, memorable, and non-invading way that they will appreciate.
Today, most social media platforms are interactive with one another, so it is best for businesses to keep all of their social media accounts linked. Some customers may prefer Instagram to Facebook, and if a business’s posts are shared among multiple social media platforms, they will have a higher chance of reaching a larger customer base. If brands fail to recognize the marketing tool that social media has become, they will miss out on the most impactful (and often, the most cost efficient) form of advertising and customer service that is available in this day and age.
About the Author
Three decades in sales and experiential marketing led me to my passion for digital marketing. My scope of work currently focuses on display and Instagram marketing. I am constantly in search of the next ad or video idea that could go viral and the psychology behind it. I am Charlie Luck and I am all about marketing.
Charlie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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