Use Social Media as Customer Service Channel
Thursday, May 31, 2012 • 6:17pm
With the rise of social media, more small businesses are forced to look for innovative ways to market themselves online, drive sales, build their brand image, and more recently, to provide outstanding customer service. Social media is no longer just an option for customer service; it's a strategic imperative, one that can be a great advantage to your business.
Every small business needs a social-media–based customer service function. This group should be responsible for monitoring the organization's brands and protecting its reputation. It should also be responsible for building and enhancing the company's image by using social media for its intended purpose: communicating with a large group of interested people.
These steps are necessary in order to properly execute an effective customer service strategy:
- Create a dedicated customer service page that serves as a platform for customers to voice their concerns, in a monitored and appropriate arena. Many companies have already developed Facebook and Twitter support pages dedicated entirely to customer-service needs.
- Use this location as a place to engage with customers regarding complaints, feedback and questions. Be sure that your customers can easily send messages to a dedicated team member.
- Small businesses can also use social networking sites as an outlet to address significant problems. By acknowledging a problem in a timely and consistent fashion, you can quickly diffuse the situation and keep your customers satisfied.
FAQs, support forms, and emails are also great tools for providing customer support:
- Including FAQs on your social page is one of the easiest ways to provide community support and direct the conversation away from the general comments. Take this approach one step further and build out a robust answer center.
- Use customer complaints and suggestions and apply them to improving your current product or service. This shows your customers that you are listening, engaged, and committed to taking action.
- Add a customer support form that includes personal fields, required information, and a comment section. Support forms will allow users to submit important details on themselves, helping your business determine who is best to provide support.
- Provide your customers with multiple ways to contact your business to avoid customer frustration. Some customers want immediate attention and often, these are the customers who are the most upset.
Social media has amazing potential for small businesses that use it proactively to get their message out to the public and with the implementation of a social-media–based customer service you can boost your business to new heights!
I would like to thank Kymberly Sheckleford for preparing this article with me. Kymberly is a Marketing Analyst at C2G Resourcing a subsidiary of Consultants 2 Go, LLC. Don’t forget, you can email me at Peggy@Consultants2Go.com with any questions you might have and I’ll be glad to answer them. You can also follow me and my business on Twitter @peggymchale and @consultants2go.
Peggy is the co-founder of Consultants 2 Go® (C2G), a consulting firm that provides marketing solutions to Fortune 500 companies in the Financial Services, Telecom, Life Sciences and other industries. Consultants 2 Go was just named to the Inc. 500/5000 List as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Prior to starting C2G, Peggy was a Vice President at American Express. She holds an MBA from St. John’s University and a BA from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. She recently served as a member of the Advisory Board for The Academy of Our Lady of Peace, New Providence, NJ.
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