When we think customer service, many of us have this image of walking up to a service counter or reaching someone in a call center or the service that we receive when visiting a department store.
The world is changing, and so are expectations, ways of communications and ways to deliver a stellar customer experience. Because of these reasons, social media has become a powerful customer care and service tool.
Social media is a force to be reckoned with, not only to build a brand and advertise your products and services but also to leverage its power for your customer service efforts. So how do we use social media for our customer care/service efforts? Here are a few tips!
Use video marketing to give your audience the answers to their questions before they even have to ask!
What? How do we even do that? You can do this by being pro-active, knowing your buyer persona (ideal client) and using resources already available to you. You likely have a set of frequently asked questions that both your prospective clients/customers and your current clients/customers may have! Use these questions to create Facebook Lives, LinkedIn videos, or Youtube videos discussing these various topics on a regular basis.
By sharing this information on social media, you'll help your audience in their buyers' journey without them even having to ask these questions. You are making the information available to them by leveraging social media. There are many ways to be creative here, you could also create a poll on Facebook asking your audience what topics/products they would love to learn about next and you'll easily have your next video topic. You could take a private message received on social media and do a spontaneous live video discussing the topic. With video marketing, the sky is the limit and it's a great way to be proactive and provide an excellent service to your audience.
Nurture your audience and they'll become brand ambassadors!
You have a social media strategy in place in which you attract, nurture, and eventually, convert leads and RETAIN those clients. Social customer care/service plays a BIG role here! A client retention strategy starts even before someone says "Yes, I want in."
Your client retention strategy begins when you nurture your leads. Once you secure that client, you should continue to nurture that relationship by providing value and offering various client incentives. Not only will this turn them into loyal customers but also brand ambassadors.
Brand ambassadors don’t have to be “official.” When someone constantly raves about you or your brand and the services that you offer, guess what? They are brand ambassadors!
This happens with proper nurturing. I see it repeatedly all over social media; someone looking for specific services or programs and the same individual or companies are being mentioned over and over again. That’s priceless!
You can use social media to proactively engage with your audience and provide them with ongoing value. Try incorporating the following simple steps into your strategy. Create a client-only Facebook group where you provide ongoing incentives, tips, and guidance to your clients. Use social media to thank your team members; your audience will love a glimpse of what it's like on the inside!
Use social media to create stellar first impressions.
First impressions are everything and word of mouth is still a thing, and with social media, news travels even FASTER! The previous two points discussed can help us with our first impressions, but there are other key points we need to consider.
If you have a Facebook page, always respond to your reviews. Getting a less than perfect review is never fun, however in most cases than not it isn't the review itself that will turn a prospective customer away but rather the way we handle the review. Always leave a reply to your reviews, thank your customer for leaving their stellar review and be empathetic for the less than perfect reviews.
I'm not saying that the customer is always right, and we all know that this isn't the case; nonetheless, they still need to be addressed. I always recommend that my clients respond with something like "We are sorry to hear about this recent experience, we've sent you a private message to discuss further.", "We're sorry to hear that you were not satisfied, customer satisfaction is our number one priority, we've sent you a message to discuss."
Use your social media strategy to fix a problem.
Leverage social media to complement your internal customer care/service efforts by solving a problem you may be dealing with internally.
Example, if you've have been receiving a high volume of calls or emails that you cannot handle due to staff limitations or your team being overwhelmed, see how you can use social media to answer these questions. Use video marketing or create simple posts to provide answers to these questions. Create an email auto-responder letting your audience know to visit a specific blog or video if they are looking for help with XYZ.
Example: "Hello, thank you for your email. We've been receiving a higher than normal amount of emails and should get back to you within [enter time frame], in the meantime, if you're inquiry is about our recently launched [enter product name] please visit our video here: [enter link]. If your inquiry is about the steps required to set up your new [enter product name] visit our new blog post here. Thanks again for contacting us and we'll be in touch soon."
Take time to revisit your strategy and ensure that while fixing a problem you are still leveraging social media for your social customer care efforts.
All the points discussed in this article will not only help you build a stronger online presence and reputation but also creates a positive customer experience and complement your customer care/service efforts.
Debbie Roy is a Toronto based Social Media Strategist and Trainer. She works with local and International clients ranging from entrepreneurs to small & medium sized businesses and organizations. She believes in giving back to her audience and has contributed to various publications such as the Huffington Post, AlphaGamma and Evan Carmichael. In her spare time, you'll find her traveling with her partner and spending time at the park with their dog. www.debbieroy.com