As more and more people use social media for more and more time each day, improving customer service has become a goal of marketing to those users. Companies trying to leverage social media to increase their business can no longer simply focus on promoting their own content and specials. They have to be able to respond and engage with their customers.
According to a study done by JD Power and Associates, 67% of consumers now tap Facebook and Twitter for customer service. Your customers have access to their social media channels all the time. Now, they’re using those platforms to get in touch with you. Are you responding?
Using Social Media to Improve Customer Service
A Nielson study showed that 33% of customers prefer to contact brands via social media rather than telephone. Logically, that number will continue to grow as social media becomes more ingrained in daily life and as millennials continue to influence the market.
But that doesn’t mean you can be everywhere all at once and on all the different social media platforms. The good news is that you don’t have to be, because your target audience isn’t using all of the channels either. To find out where your customers are, search the different social media networks for mentions of your company. Start developing a strategy based on S.M.A.R.T. goals on those platforms focused on engaging with your customers and your target audience.
Remember, your customer has more influence over your brand’s social media image than you do. To steer the conversation, you need to be active and engaged with your social media accounts and with your community of followers and connections. The most important aspect, is you need to respond, and quickly.
When it comes to customer service on social media, time is of the essence. Convince and Convert reports that 40% of your customers expect a response on social media within an hour. Social media marketing isn’t just about promoting your company, products, and services. It’s about being an active and engaged member of a community. Now, if your company isn’t using social media to improve your customer service, you’re missing one of the biggest components of a social media marketing strategy.
In fact, 66% of global consumers stopped doing business with a provider and switched to another in the past year due to a poor customer service experience. That means you don’t just have to be quick, you have to provide solutions to your customers’ problems. Once a purchase is made, the conversation isn’t over. By providing strong customer service, you’re creating loyal customers who will tell others about your heroics.
Benefits of Using Social Media to Improve Customer Service
- Immediate Communication
- Encourages Brand Mentions
- More Personal Brand Experience
- Social Users are More Likely to Share Experience
- Transparent Conversation
Value of Improving Customer Service on Social Media
Most companies don’t use social media for customer service because they’re afraid of complaints and questions. But that’s a shortsighted approach to social media marketing. Your customers are out there talking about your brand either way. The question is, are you part of that conversation? A better question is, don’t you want to be?
Instead of worrying about what your customers are complaining about on social media, view it as an opportunity to see what’s really going on with your company. Bain and Company reports that when companies respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers end up spending 20-40% more with company.
Your never going to be perfect all the time and your customers don’t expect you to be. However, when they do have a complaint, they expect you to respond. If you handle the complaint well, you may create a loyal customer. More than likely, that loyalty will show by increased engagement and promotion of your brand on social media.
And if you’re worried about your customers asking questions about your products and services on social media, then you have bigger concerns than improving your customer service. If one person asks a question on social media, there are probably plenty more with the same question that simply didn’t ask. Respond to these concerns and questions in a timely manner by helping your customers. The benefits of increased social media engagement is increasing your chances of promoting your company and brand image by helping customers in need. That’s why you need to be an active member of your community.
However, don’t only focus on the negative. Respond to praises customers have about your company as well. This is the perfect opportunity for free advertising. Use it!
Your customers are out there talking about your company, creating your social media image with or without you. That doesn’t mean all of it’s going to be good. However, by using a social media dashboard you’ll be able to provide feedback and improve your customer service to your customers.
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