5 Ways Social Media Can Improve Customer Service
As Facebook and Twitter begin to play a bigger part in the customer experience, it’s important to understand how these mediums can affect your business. Gone are the days when customer comments or complaints were limited to product or service reviews on their website. With social media’s reach extending even further into the customer experience, companies and brands need to ensure that their service and support are up to par.
With that being said, it’s never been as important as it is now to understand the ways in which your brand can effectively use social media to improve customer service.
The most important thing social media can do for your company is allow it to monitor what’s being said about your product or service. Fans and followers now take to their Facebook and Twitter accounts to either sing your company’s praises or to bring up a problem.
Social media has made the aspect of listening a little easier by providing filters.
Twitter allows for a quick keyword search to bring up recent tweets containing the search terms. You have the option to filter the search by general tweets, tweets with links or tweets near you. This way, you’re able to see what your followers are saying even if they don’t directly mention (@username) your company.
After you hear what your customers are saying, it’s important to proactively interact with them. There are different levels of interaction that can occur. If you see that a customer has left a comment on your Facebook Fan Page about how great the service was at your restaurant during her last visit, you can thank her and invite her to return. Add incentive by inviting her to return during a time when a special for drinks might be occurring.
On the other hand, you may have found that a customer recently tweeted about a problem with your product or service. At this point in time, the level of engagement may involve directly messaging that user to inquire more about the issue.
With active engagement should come prioritization. While it’s important to try and interact with all customers, it’s also important to understand which customers are most influential when it comes to your brand. A tweet taking issue with bad customer service might fall on a higher level of importance than a tweet that tells of a good happy hour deal at a bar. As said before, it’s important to respond to as many customer comments as possible, but time may be an understandable factor.
Twitters allows for a user to ‘favorite’ tweets and then return to them immediately, instead of doing another keyword search or scrolling through a timeline. By marking tweets as ‘favorites,’ your company can go through and respond to comments or concerns in a manner in which they feel is best.
Social media sites make engaging in authentic conversations possible. This opportunity opens the door for transparency. Transparency is very important for Facebook and Twitter. It helps to set your company apart from others. Customers prefer to interact with a company that is real and honest. Transparency ultimately creates stronger connections with fans and followers.
Wow the Customer
If your company can effectively listen, engage and prioritize, social media can ultimately open doors to plenty of opportunities to wow your customer. Listening and engaging goes beyond seeing what your customers are saying about you or your service. It allows for better anticipation of customer needs.
If, when searching for mentions of your restaurant, you come across a tweet from a follower asking for dining suggestions – reply to him with drink or menu specials for that evening.