Are You Listening to Your Customers?
It is becoming increasingly apparent to businesses of all different sizes that social media is an essential marketing tool in the tech-focused world of today. The vast majority of businesses now have Twitter and Facebook accounts and use them every day to engage with their current, and more importantly, potential customers. Other, less obvious commercial social media platforms, including Instagram and Pinterest, are also being used to expand brand awareness.
But as well as sharing information with customers, businesses are beginning to see the potential of using social media as a customer service tool and expanding the reach of their customer care.
The Big Mistake
One of the biggest mistakes that companies make when it comes to using social media is that they think they need to keep talking. Updates, information, tips and news will fill their page – but they may be failing to listen. Listening to customers and hearing their concerns is a much more valuable tool than just flooding them with information. The ability to offer customer care through social media by engaging with people directly will enable a business to grow with its customers by offering them what they need.
Although a relatively new concept, using Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms as a customer service tool is already reaping great rewards. Currently, we know that 1 in 3 users would prefer to contact a company using social media, sooner than calling them on the phone. And with over 1 million users viewing tweets relating to customer service each week, businesses are now able to show their viewers just how good they are at looking after their customers.
So what are the benefits of this type of online customer service?
- The immediate response that consumers can receive through social media will show a loyal audience of followers just how much they value their customers.
- Not only can a query or complaint be dealt with quickly, a marketing opportunity can be created by recommending an alternative product or service.
- Direct contact with customers offers a huge platform upon which to test new ideas and products.
- Businesses are given the opportunity to turn a customer’s negative brand experience into a positive one whilst at the same time, gaining valuable commercial exposure.
How to Achieve a Top Class Service
Now that the benefits of using social media as a customer service tool are becoming more apparent, how can you be sure to get the most out of it?
It is vital that you keep on top of the posts coming in on your various platforms; an ignored complaint or unanswered query may count against you in the long-term. Make sure you respond, sincerely and through the same medium that they contacted you. Asking them to phone or e-mail your company (unless you are dealing with confidential information) will often exacerbate a negative situation.
Looking and acting like an understanding and customer focused business will win favour among viewers and most importantly, keep in touch and keep on track. It is estimated that by 2018, over 2.44 billion people will be using social media. So now is the time to start making the most of your following.
By: Alireza Ajam