Social Media + Customer Service = Social Care

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Social Media + Customer Service = Social Care

Social media + customer service = SOCIAL CARE. And social care is more than customer service. It’s marketing. And, inexpensive marketing, compared to other marketing strategies.

Delivering an amazing customer experience gets customers to come back, as well as refer their friends, colleagues and family members, and it attracts new customers. Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful brand strategy, and customer service is the way to get customers talking.

One of your best assets is having satisfied customers who are willing to say good things about your company and their experience with you. So, get on social media and interact with them. Respond to their comments, complaints and questions.

Make the conversations public and show the world that you are the kitchen designer to do business with.

When angry consumers vent on social media, current and potential customers are watching. They weigh your response to the complaint and how you treat the customer.

In the dark days before social media, consumers shared a poor customer service experience with a few family members, close friends, and co-workers. Now, thanks to Twitter and Facebook, angry customers can broadcast stories of terrible (real or perceived) customer service to an infinite audience.

When a customer posts a comment, good or bad, the world can see it. They can also see how you respond. It’s not a question of if your business needs to listen to your customers on social media. It’s a question of how you listen, and how you respond.

The reality is that customer service expectations are rising year over year and consumers are looking to businesses to create a seamless experience that extends from the showroom floor to  Facebook. 

Here’s a few suggestions for ways you can take full advantage of social media to provide the best possible “social care”.

Be Active On The Social Media Sites Where Your Customers Are. 

What you learn about where your customers spend their time might surprise you. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that Twitter or Facebook is the best fit for your audience just because you might spend the most time on them.

Use Software That Monitors Every Mention Of Your Brand On The Internet.

You need to know when people are talking about you so you can respond. There are some useful tools that will alert you when you get mentioned anywhere on the web. They range from free search tools like Social Mention to full-featured, paid products like Mention.

Respond to Every Comment or Mention.

A big social media mistake is to ignore social posts, comments and reviews. Your prospects are watching to see how you respond to comments, especially complaints. All comments should be acknowledged. This is one of the biggest social media customer service best practices.

It’s simple: a customer wants to be heard. Not replying is the same as ignoring a customer. Just as you wouldn’t ignore a customer in your showroom, you shouldn’t leave a comment unanswered online.

Respond Quickly.

If not responding to a social post is the #1 biggest social care mistake, then not responding quickly is a close second. The fast-paced world of social media creates expectations that are different from email, where a 24-hour response time is OK.

Facebook actually posts your response times on your business page.

Avoid Canned Responses. 

Be authentic, empathetic, sincere. Make your answers personal. Don’t just copy and paste messages.

Be Proactive.

Don’t just react to social comments from customers; put out your own valuable posts. Not self-promotional posts, but good information with value to your customer community. Post content such as answers to frequently asked questions and the ways customers are using your products for starters. While some people might view this as content marketing, others see it as a valuable part of the customer experience.

The statistics tell a story of their own, and as a business, it’s one that you want to be on the right side of.

  • 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. (Oracle)
  • 45% of consumers share bad customer service experiences via social media. (Dimensional Research)
  • 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. (BrightLocal)
  • Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals (Hubspot)
  • When companies engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company. (Bain & Company)

Your customers have more power and influence than they ever have before, thanks to social media. If you fail to treat social media as more than just a promotional platform, you could find your business left in your competitors’ dust.

By delivering great support on the social platforms where your customers are, you can build stronger relationships with them and in turn, create more loyal customers. And ultimately, loyal customers are the easiest way to grow your business.