Social media is more than just a way to market your company; it is a platform to have a two-way conversation with your patrons and should be part of your overall customer service strategy. They ask, you answer. They complain, you explain. They thank you, and you can thank them. Building the relationship with your customers is an essential part of delivering good service, and social networking sites are the perfect place to foster that bond. Here’s why:

  1. Solidify a Personal Brand

Automation can be convenient, but it can also affect customer satisfaction. Through social networking sites, patrons know that there is a real person responding to their concern. Additionally, utilizing an online site enables you to personalize your response, humanizing your company and giving you time to put a conversational tone on your responses. In a sense, the networking sites make your help desk much more user friendly.

  1. It’s All Out There

We are all familiar with at least one faux pas large companies have made through their social accounts. The push for transparency has created a world where every interaction you have with a customer could be videotaped, recorded or captured in some way. This can actually be a good thing, as customers want to be heard in a public way, and your social accounts give them that platform. What’s more, other people will pay attention to the way you handle the situation, which gives you the opportunity to further build trust.

  1. Immediate Response Time

One of the reasons people love using social media so much is because it is instant. From a customer perspective, that means there is no listening to that annoying music while on hold. As soon as a customer posts on your site, you have the ability to respond immediately. Just make sure you are equipped to respond when you launch your social networks. A small business with limited resources may want to make a plan for how to quickly address customer service inquiries online.

  1. Easy Follow-Up

Piggy-backing on your response time is the fact that social networking makes it easy for you to follow up with a customer. Rather than putting the patron through further calls or emails, you can simply comment on a thread to see what action you can take to help the situation. As an added bonus, other people will be able to see that not only are you interacting, but that you are going back to ensure the customer is satisfied.

  1. Increase Brand Awareness

Whether they are tagging you in a post or putting a hashtag in front of your company name, customers will inherently spread the word about you through social platforms. This can enhance your search engine optimization and get your brand better visibility. When a customer has a positive experience, he or she is more likely to share that with their own networks.

  1. Get Rid of the Hoops

A customer fills out an online contact form. You respond with an email. They call you back. That’s three different mediums to accomplish one goal. Social media can put a stop to the hoop jumping. That provides the customer with a better experience because you are making the service personal, not automated.

The key to good customer support is a fast and efficient response.