When your customers have a problem, they don’t want to wait a few days or even 12-hours to get an answer: they want an answer now. Why shouldn’t they? In an era of instant gratification, it’s easier than ever to get an instant response from family and friends, so why shouldn’t customer service be the same? It can be – and it should be!
It’s all thanks to social media.
Stop placing an emphasis on your customers reaching out to you via telephone or e-mail, and emphasize they can reach you instantly (or, within an hour at least) via social media. Almost everyone is using it, the vast majority of your customers have at least one social media account, and chances are they browse social media consistently throughout the day.
It’s the best resource you may not be using when it comes to customer service. Below are a few of the best practices you need to implement into your customer service game plan today. By doing so, customer satisfaction and brand loyalty just might skyrocket!
Where are your customers?
Chances are, the majority of them are on Facebook and Twitter (you need a presence on these two social networks anyway, so this isn’t a big deal). Depending on your particular niche though, a substantial amount of them may be on other social media networks such as Pinterest and LinkedIn. While your mileage may vary, find where your customers are located and create a presence on said network. Entice them to follow you on these networks to let them know they have an opportunity to learn additional information about your brand.
Let them know you’re available to chat
It’s essential to drive home this point. You need to let your customers know that if they have any concerns, all they have to do is reach out to you on social media and ask you a question – be it privately (such as via a Facebook Message or Direct Message on Twitter) or publicly (e.g. your wall or by publicly tweeting). Whichever method they use, let them know they will get a response!
Be quick to respond
The faster your response time, the better. Facebook knows this, and they have actually begun to measure the average amount of time it takes for brands to reply to inquiries. Essentially, they are publicly displaying how competent your customer service actually is. It’s also a great way to win over potential customers who may be ‘on the fence’ about choosing your brand. Because the quality of a brand’s customer service is one of the most important aspects to customers, showing that you respond quickly is a great way to win new customers.
Social media is a fickle mistress: it can destroy your customer base in an afternoon or help you to gain credibility faster than ever. Transparency is the word of the day when it comes to making customer service work for you on social media, as it allows you to publicly respond to all types of feedback – both negative and positive. The great thing about using social media as a customer service tool is that it allows you to turn anything into a positive. Did a customer leave a bad review about your restaurant? Reach out to them publicly and let them know you’re taking their remarks very seriously. Did someone dislike the service you provided? Use the opportunity to publicly talk to them so you can learn how to fix the problem. Not only does potentially salvage your relationship with your customer, but it will show other potential/current customers that you actually care.