Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Customer Service and Social Media – What You Need to Know


Social media has made it possible for businesses to directly connect with their target audience and customers on a constant basis. Because of the ease of communication, your business will get a lot of valuable feedback from fans that you might not have otherwise. More people will speak up, and some of those people will have customer service requests for you. Here are some things you need to consider when it comes to customer service and social media.

Speed

When your customers contact you via social media with customer service-related issues, it’s because it’s easy and because they want a quick response. If they don’t get a speedy reply they might feel ignored. When you have more than one customer service issue to attend to, this doesn’t mean you always have to prioritize social media requests. You should, however, always respond as soon as possible if only to let the customer know that you’ve seen their post or received their message and are working on it.

Public vs. Private

Customer service requests that are posted onto your Facebook wall for all to see need to be taken very seriously, even the smallest. There is more at stake than just the satisfaction of that one customer. All of your fans will see your response. It will reflect on your brand and can potentially change public opinion about it. Remember that it’s crucial to show off exceptional customer service. Anything less can be off-putting and have negative consequences for your reputation.

Traditional Service

No matter how tech savvy your business is, you should never entirely replace traditional customer service channels with social media. There will always be some people who prefer to make a phone call to customer service rather than logging on to contact you. Traditional customer service channels should be treated just as importantly as social media, and social media shouldn’t necessarily be the priority. The urgency of the request, whether it was given via telephone or social media, should always be evaluated.

Fan Assistance

A great thing about social media is that your fans can help you with customer service. If someone posts a question, it’s likely that another fan will try to answer it for them (if they can). Even if a customer answers a question, you still need to respond, too. When you see fans responding to customer service inquiries, it’s a good sign that you have fans that are loyal to your brand. To boost engagement all around, encourage customers to collaborate with each other via social media.

FAQs

Every business has certain questions that they hear over and over again, and that’s why Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) lists exist. You could post a FAQ list on your Facebook page for easy reference, but you don’t necessarily have to. For engagement and marketing, it’s preferable for a fan to comment on your page. If they get their answers from a FAQ list, they’re less likely to engage with you directly. Fans can also view your Timeline and see past comments, and FAQs may already be answered there.



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