Should you use social media to provide customer service?
I work for a talent agency and we find most of our clients online through social sharing and search. Is it professional to respond to customer service requests and gripes on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram? One negative I see is that it draws attention to a bad customer experience if there was one.
You need to be available on those social platforms. You also need to be smart about what issues you handle that way and how far you carry them. If you need details to troubleshoot a problem, don't spend a week collecting them in a slow online back-and-forth when a five minute phone call will get it done. And tell them that so it's there for all to see, "We need to get some details to get what you need. It should take 5-10 minutes on the phone. When is a good time to call you?" If something comes of it that you think might save calls in the future, go back and update online.
Be careful about how proactive you want to be, though. For example, Comcast has constant searches out for keywords and anytime somebody says "Comcast" or "Xfinity" or "pig licker" online, they answer back and as a consumer I find that so much more enraging. I want to freak out. "If I wanted to talk to you online, Pig-Licker, Inc., I would have @-mentioned you. You had a chance to fix my problem over the phone and instead chose to lie to me and transfer-hangup on me six times. Now, I'm just telling people about your wonderful customer service and you can all go set fire to every one of your offices for all I care."
I agree with Alea: transparency is the name of the game now, so being upfront on your social platforms is a must. However, social media by definition is brief, and rapid. I'd recommend going deeper with a follow-up email, or possibly even a phone call, if the issue is serious. This shows your agency cares and will do its best to rectify a bad experience.
Also, in terms of great customer service, nothing endears you to a customer's heart more than personal attention. Whether the experience you're addressing is positive or negative, a thoughtful email and/or call will likely go a long way to restoring/maintaining a good customer relationship — and you might even find some leads in the process as well.
I get asked this question from our clients all the time! Each case can be a little different depending on the nature of the request or gripe. For FAQs I always recommend to post the answer for everyone to see. This not only shows that you care about your community but you want to provide them with solutions. Often times, there are other people with the same question who will find value in your answer.
For negative feedback, it is still good to respond publicly. With negative feedback and responses, I try to take it offline and invite the person to DM or send an email. Be ready to pick up the phone to resolve any issues as well.
Showing that you are involved with your customers either way is very valuable for return business and company transparency.
Best of luck and I hope there is no bad feedback!
Founder & CEO of Chipperfield Media LLC.
Absolutely address it on the social platforms! Transparency in business is the age we live in. Addressing client concerns on social platforms is a golden opporunity to turn the whole thing around and retain that business. It also shows current and potential clients that your agency meets people where they're at and that you are proactive in client care. Businesses are made up of people and sometimes people make mistakes. Each situation will be unique and require different actions. Just keep in mind to approach each situation with a "customer is always right" attitude and that will shine through for all to see.
Bad news travels Faster than good news. News itself travels fast. You should reply directly and Post Good News as well as Bad to the Social Media. If you are going to use it, it has to be used to solve Problems, not just post about them. If you get hit with a bad comment or issue, focus on Addressing it Positively- not being defensive, just addressing it and being Positive about going forward.
You build more credibility being transparent for both good or bad service requests. It'd be totally in your favor to handle it on social media, especially if the request came from some social network. How you respond, how fast you respond and being sensitive to the time when it's appropriate to take it offline makes all the difference.
In todays digital age, its a must to respond to service your clients requests.
However, your agency should have a formal process in place, and you should educate your clients to communicate the requests there.
Answer every customer's question in a blog post and share the post across your social networks. This provides information of value for customers, prospects, great content for your website as well as grassroots SEO.
What i do design has grat visual richness by different processes in manual art , are unique designs . I do need a good website , The truth not be how to deal with my designs with social networks .
You do not have control over social media, they can drop you at will. Things like Facebook Fanpages and Groups can be helpful but you will be back-peddling if they decide to remove our account. Also, being "public" with your support means you can be exposed to some very abhorrent communications that may disturb otherwise "happy" customers.
One (half) upside is the concept of group support, where other people share their thoughts and solutions and these mediums create community through the interactions. I said "half" because letting customer help customers on your behalf can mean even more "fixing" and "resolving" than a direct business to customer relationship.
If you do it, remember, you are managing multiple things at the same time: your customer service function and that service in public display as your brand. So, beware.
100% yes. You can learn a ton from Jay Baer on this (he recently wrote a book called "Hug Your Haters". Here is a link and if you dig around his site and articles, you should get all your questions answered by the best in the biz on this >>> http://www.jaybaer.com/hug-haters/.
Best of luck!
If the feedback came in through social media you need to provide the initial contact response back through the same channel for two reasons: 1. That's where the contacter will be expecting the response and 2. the larger community will see your level of responsiveness and judge you accordingly. You don't need to hash out the entire issue in social media, just use it to make the connection and then go from there.
My business is customized to the needs and interests of the client. Therefore, I don't use social media for client concerns or interactions. I use e-mails, SMS or phone calls to address customer service issues. In my business privacy is essential whether the client is a performer, lawyer, teacher or an individual with an accent or complex voice or speech problem. I agree with Amara Rose, the respondent below. The best customer service is personal attention.
Great question Cynthia! Social media can and should absolutely be leveraged as a customer service tool. The bottom line, the worst thing you can do, if someone reaches out to you publicly on social media about customer service request, is not respond. It shows that the company doesn't care enough to follow up with that person and can mean bad news bears for its reputation. To everyone else who sees that the company didn't respond, it will mean bad press. That said, it doesn't always behoove you to divulge details publicly in your response. Depending the request, you could follow up publicly and ask to take the conversation offline. Multiple airlines have learned the hard way from consumers who have publicly acknowledged them online with a negative experience. Instead, companies have an opportunity to improve their brand's online reputation by responding publicly, acknowledge the customer has been heard, and take care of the issue in a timely manner. Good luck and great question!
Before you think about the Tool.
Ask yourselve these questions:
1. WHY are you in business, what is your purpose? To make people feel happy, empowered, helped, confident....so on
2. WHAT medium are you most drawn to....Visuals, TEXT, Video, Chat
Once you answer that, then you know which tool to pick. I am Visual person so I use Pinterest or Trello
Believe it or not but trying to avoid customer service on social media will backfire more than engaging in it.
Be open and honest - this will help people see that your business wants to help your clients. If you do get negative feedback, you can show that the business wants to improve and help them - no one is perfect after all. Companies like Tesco Mobile have found that their very open and honest approach to customer service on Twitter has built up a lot of positive attention and turned angry customers into brand ambassadors from the level of help and support. They now have a lot of people reaching out to them and giving them more and more examples of great reviews and quotes from customers that they can share to gain more customers.
With all my clients I show them the importance of an emergency plan - this covers what to do when it comes to various bad reviews, technical or PR issues and how to best deal with them. It might be worth reaching out to a specialist in creating one if you are worried as they will be able to provide a clear direction to what will be best for you to do.
My professional opinion is opening up this channel to include customer service will help strengthen the brand whether through great feedback that will help develop the business or positive reviews to share.
I hope that helps!