Why Strong Customer Service Culture is Critical Part of Social Media?
Posted by Alirio Pirela on February 24th 2012 @ 4:26 pm
Customers have tremendous interest in using social media channels for customer support, so brands should invest time in getting innovative and use this to its full potential. The key is building a strong customer service culture in social media. When talking about the percentage of customers using social media tools not only comes down to their ability of use, but also because it turns customer service on their favor and put them in charge. As a customer I was once at the pity of the enterprise, basically powerless, but now you can send a public message to any company, and because of the public updates attributed to the process you can freely let your friends and followers know how things are going. Alarming for brands, but it’s also good news once companies begin to engage in this arena, the more they find the importance in engaging in social channels.
Customer service is where your brand becomes tangible to prospects and buyers by engaging with the public and showing your company is real and cares. The brands that will get notice are those that react and answer to customer’s problems right away and take their time to learn about them, managing social media crisis with authority. We need to see social media being used to change the whole customer service process, instead of essentially being a fancy form of email.
Is time for brands to begin catching up, discover what issues may your customers have and understand that social media isn’t just about the fun, sexy side of marketing but there is a real job to be done, to bring customer service up to date to retain and engage new ones.
According to Zendesk, 62% of customers are looking for more support through social media. Compare that to research by MarketTools at the end of 2011, which shows only 23% of US companies provide customer service via Facebook and 12% provide support via Twitter. This eye- catching stats show the ongoing divide between what customers are expecting and companies are giving.
Companies need to stop hiding behind “I don’t have time to learn about social media” because social media is how your customers talk with one another and with you about your company. Therefore you need to know enough to set adequate policies, what to look for in a consultant or how to integrate social media into your company’s way of doing business.
How customer service culture in social media is evolving:
- Creating dedicated customer service communities, a place to resolve conflicts away from their main social channels. Using trained staff to make decisions and resolve problems via Twitter, Facebook or support forums. Where customer can find service updates, report issues or get help from other people with the same problems.
- Use of technologies to support customer service and ‘self-serve’ customer communities. Creating apps to address specific customer situations, keep them informed about any brand updates and monitor other latest related issues.
- Advances in monitoring customer segmentation and geo-targeting to allow brands to respond quickly and locally to resolve customer issues. Putting in use Google + circles concept as a tool for customer segmentation on the basis of demographics, interest, location, etc..
You might benefit from someone teaching your company how to improve its real-time communication with customers. You don’t have to learn how to update your timeline on Facebook or what is this new boom about Pinterest. You don’t necessarily have to know every specific tactic. What you have to understand is the overall strategy.
Easy ways to build a Strong Customer Service Culture using social media:
- When using any social media network be real and show that you care, make your business personable and emotional. Transparency builds customer trust and humanize your business.
- Always listens to what customers are saying. Less talking, pay good attention to what they are saying and you will conquer.
- Constantly engages with prospects and customers. Answer their questions rapidly and with respect. Ask them how are they doing or even make a healthy joke. Interaction shows that your company care.
- Use social media to show customers what your company is like. Use your blog, pictures, videos, presentations, e-books, etc. And let them be part of it.
- Provide a channel where customers can to talk to each other. Can be on your website or on any social media platform. Create a customer-to-customer conversations ecosystem.
- Social media networks offer real-time conversations and your company can benefit from it, customers can respond to other customer with a direct answer about related problems. Helping to reduce your customer service department’s workload.
Technology and social media have empowered customers. Like it or not, they can give us feedback both privately and publicly. Providing customer service that will generate loyalty and profits in our high-tech world that is not different than it was a decade ago, but it’s faster and more transparent. When companies foul up, customers are unforgiving, word spreads virally and the consequences are magnified. Customers expect that any size business will be easy to contact and respect their comments, so be mindful and reply thoughtfully and promptly.
What tips on customer service can you share? How are you connecting with your customers?
Alirio Pirela is Founder of Pirela Creative Solutions, Creative, Love Analytics, Blogger, Designer, Art Director and Content Marketing Strategist working as a Community Manager for several small businesses, providing tools and advice for social pros and business owners.
Post filed under customer loyalty, Customer Service, Facebook, Google+, Marketing, marketing strategy, Social Media Marketing, Trends in Social Media, Twitter and tagged Customer Service, Customer Service Culture, marketing strategy, social media, Social Media Marketing, strategy.