Although the inter-connected worlds of commerce, business and technology have evolved considerably in recent times, some of their individual aspects have remained unaltered. Take customer service, for example, which remains integral to the way in which brands sell their product and build long term consumer relationships.
While the importance of customer service cannot be denied, however, there has been a significant change in terms of how businesses interact with their clients. Social media has been instrumental in this transformation, as real time and remote communication now dominates both personal and professional networks.
How to Use Social Media and Improve Customer Service: Three Tips for Success
So how exactly can you embrace social media to improve your businesses customer service? Consider the following options: -
- Engage in Meaningful Conversations with Consumers: While creating a social media profile is the first step towards successfully engaging consumers, it means little if you do not commit to a long term program of interaction. The key to customer service is high quality and consistent conversation, which means that you must answer all queries that are made through social media platforms. It is also wise to be proactive and seek out new conversations with customers, so that you can intercept issues before they develop.
- Develop an Integrated Social Media Profile: Although sites such as Facebook and Twitter remain the most widely utilized social media resources, it should be remembered that there are a number of others that remain accessible to business owners. The key is to develop an integrated presence that includes a number of individual sites, including audio visual resources such as YouTube and the fast growing Pinterest. This will expose your brand to a wider consumer market, and allow you to offer online customer service to all of your users.
- Reward Consumers who Help to Promote your Brand through Social Media: Part of delivering good customer service is rewarding consumers who chose to refer or promote your brand, and social media provides an ideal platform from which to do this. An estimated 20% of consumers now recommend goods and services within their social media networks, so it is important to encourage this practice by rewarding those who refer your brand. Regardless of whether you use vouchers, discounts or a different financial incentive, the act of offering a reward can make your customers feel like a valuable part of your business.
The Bottom Line for Businesses in 2012
While making social media a central feature of your customer service is a brave move, it is ultimately one that delivers significant rewards. Given that the majority of your consumers will be active on social media, and the fact that real time interaction is key to satisfying customer queries and complaints, you can ill afford not to embrace such as Facebook as a way of enhancing your followers experience. You should also remember that social media is a freely accessible resource, which allows you to improve your level of consumer service without incurring significant costs.