5 ways to leverage the social web for customer service

People are growing increasingly frustrated with customer service and businesses are starting to feel the heat. With social media at many consumers’ fingertips, people are able to share their service experiences quickly and with significantly more people than ever before. In a recent survey by the American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer, it was found that nine in ten Americans said that companies failed to exceed their expectation, and one out of two respondents walked away from an intended purchase in the past year because of a poor customer service experience.

I’m sure you’re scratching your head wondering how you can prevent that from happening, right? Well, the answer to that question is easy – provide the best customer service possible!

While the social web makes it easier for customers to share their experiences, it can also make it easier for businesses to respond and create deeper relationships with their customers. Show how much you love and value the relationship that you’ve built with your customers. And always make sure to put them first!

So here are 5 ways in which you can use the web to boost your customer service for today’s consumers.

1. Provide Social Media Recognition

What better way to connect with a brand, store, or company than their Facebook or Twitter page. I have a friend who frequently shops at a local Giant Food Store and took to Facebook to ask about some of the construction that was occurring within the store. Instead of having to ask for management and waiting in line to speak to a representative, he got a response later that day telling him exactly what was being done with the store. It also allowed for other fans and followers to respond directly and interact with the brand, providing a greater amount of feedback both to the customer and to the organization.

Social media is a great way to share the love! Responding directly to customer inquiries on Facebook and tweeting about things they care about can help increase your brand awareness as well as improve your customer service interaction. Using this tool to recognize customer successes, happiness, interests, and even to respond directly to criticisms will prove that you are personable to a customer. And we can promise you that if you aren’t interacting online, your customers are…so why not get on board with this trend and talk directly to your fans and followers!

2. Feature Customer Successes in Case Studies and Testimonials

Talk about how your product or service changed the lives of your customers either in case studies or testimonials directly on your website or in social media. Highlighting happy customers not only gives them a boost, but it also contributes to positive brand image. Use your case studies to tell stories about how people have bettered themselves and their business by using your product. You can read more about the importance of testimonials in our previous blog post.

 

3. Show Some Personality

Sometimes it is hard to love a business, but it is a heck of a lot easier to love the people behind the business. Let your business’ personality shine through with every social media update, blog post, e-mail newsletter and customer communication. Be personal, relatable and, most importantly, be fun! Show them that you care about them by taking an interest in their values, lifestyle and interests.; show them that you care.

Take Old Spice for example. Old Spice just launched a brand new line of scents and in doing so, launched a whole new marketing campaign. Known for their already quirky advertising with the Old Spice Guy, check out their new campaign featuring a character by the name of Mr. Wolfdog. Believe it or not, Mr. Wolfdog  also has a blog and a Twitter.

Weird, right? But I bet you remembered it (and probably even laughed a little).

4. Provide Stellar Customer Service/Support

So what should you do when you receive feedback from your customers that your customer service/support could use some support of its own. Jump on that opportunity to improve upon it! Perhaps you set up an awesome training program, or work to decrease turnaround times and hire an extra person or two as support reps. This not only helps you out, but it also shows that you are taking the initiative in what your customers have to say. As mentioned before, jumping on the social media bandwagon to respond directly to customer inquiries can deliver high quality customer service. A great customer service experience can take your business far!

5. Say “Thank You!”

This one is so simple yet so often overlooked. Take every opportunity to thank customers for their business. They chose to give it to you over your competitors, and you should be grateful. Use marketing automation tools to send customers a thank you note after they’ve made a purchase. Create a dedicated email campaign or even a video to thank your customers for their loyalty.

Do you remember the Instagram snafu where they decided to use people’s pictures for advertising? Well, let’s just say that didn’t end well for Instagram and users began boycotting the service. Instagram paid attention and took to their blog to thank their users for the feedback and also provided excellent customer service on how they were going to rectify the situation.
Photo by n.karim

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