Using Social Media for Customer Service
Reputation Management and Customer Engagement in the Social Age
Social media isn’t just a bullhorn for broadcasting your message. It’s a way to interact and engage with your customers, and through this interaction promote your brand. But one-sided, canned conversations aren’t enough. When your followers have questions, they want real answers from real people. In other words, they want customer service. And though many feel that by simply having a social media presence they’re providing an excellent extra level of customer service, few of their customers would agree with this approach. Fortunately, you can turn things around by employing a few simple strategies.
Nip problems in the bud. Use hashtag searches on Twitter or other social media platforms to stay a step ahead of potential customer service issues. Search for your company name and common keywords that you and your target audience use. This will not only help you weed out any growing customer concerns, but it can have the added benefit of capturing new leads along the way.
Answer every question. No one wants to be left out in the cold, so be sure to address every issue that comes to you via social media. This engages your audience and gives them confidence in your company. It is an important step in nurturing loyal customers.
Respond as quickly as possible. Using social media for customer service is all about convenience. Digital audiences don’t want to take a number and stand in line; they want quick responses to their issues, which is what brought them to your social media channels in the first place. These interactions can happen at any time, so establish routines that take a consistent, “around-the-clock” approach and always be on the lookout for ways to improve on response times.
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Honesty really is the best policy. Your audience wants answers, but they’ll see right through generic replies to problems they feel are very specific to them. A huge part of the customer experience is based on how they feel you are treating them, so be sure to get off on the right foot by being straightforward. Come clean if you’ve messed something up. If you have an immediate solution, great! But if you don’t, let your customer know and stay in touch until you have an answer.
Social media brings you closer to your audience, but you have to hold up your end of the bargain, not just by promoting yourself, but by solving their problems, keeping them informed of the latest product and service information, soliciting feedback, and just plain letting them know how important they are to you. The end result will be a community of satisfied customers and zealous ambassadors of your brand.
Get some more strategies to expand your visibility, attract your target audience, and grow your business in our free report. You can download it here.