Social media is far from being a method solely for personal connection. Social media has been shown to be the second most used resource for customers to find new businesses (the number one resource are the major search engines). However, they are set to take over the number spot by the year 2015 according to some independent, third party industry watchdog sources.
As a tool for business, social media has a number of uses. One of the best uses for social media is to communicate with your audience in a more intimate way. Social media has more opportunity for this type of communication than any other type of medium. For a business that is already selling products or services, social media is a great way to disseminate customer service.
Good customer service is absolutely essential for maintaining a loyal audience with new customer acquisitions. There are so many product choices on the Internet that people have really stopped choosing based on just one criteria such as price or convenience. For a business to maintain a loyal customer base, it must be the place to which people feel most personally attached. Social media is the perfect forum for creating this type of an environment.
How to Use Social Media for Customer Service
Create a Forum for Your Customers in Your Social Media Profiles
The first way in which a business can use a social media profile for customer service is to create a forum in which customers can communicate with each other. This type of community gives customers the feeling that they are being heard. They can create relationships within your customer base based upon the commonality of the use of your product / service.
Simply creating a community like this can help to alleviate you of the sole responsibility of answering the questions of your customers. Oftentimes, if you create a community within your social media profile, your most loyal customers will serve as your proxies. It also helps to watch over the conversations that go on between your customers and create a FAQ from the most commonly asked questions.
Keep Your Content Dynamic by Answering Direct Questions From Your Audience
You can also use social media to disseminate solutions to problems through articles and notes. In order to continue your relationship with your customer base, you should always be creating dynamic content for your social media profile. What better way to create dynamic content than to directly address the concerns of your audience as they give you the information?
Split Up Your Customer Service Accounts from the Rest of Your Social Media Profile
You should also split up your customer service social media accounts from the rest of your social media profiles. This will help to separate the immediate concerns of customers from the less important messages that you will receive from customers that have been satisfied or who just want to make small talk.
When You Reply, Make Sure That You Are Friendly
When you answer your customers, make sure that you do so with a good attitude. Your customer base will naturally take what you say much more seriously, so make sure that you are always in a good mood before you answer.
The most important aspect of answering a customer reply is to make sure that you pay special attention to the angry customers. How you answer them will absolutely determine how the rest of your customer base responds to you.
Angry customers will always be the first to spread the bad news if you answer their questions or statements in an angry way. No matter how angry they get, you should always come from the perspective of trying to solve their problem. Look at an angry statement about your business as a test to determine how good your customer service is. Do not take anything personally.
The great thing about angry customers is that they will become your most loyal customers if you are able to solve their problems.
Timing Is Everything
When you receive a customer service query on any of your social media profiles, you should try to respond in less than five minutes. With all of the mobile technologies and immediacy of social media profiles these days, your customers will be quite impatient when it comes to waiting for an answer. Make use of every technology that you can to send customer service queries straight to your customer service department. Hold them to a quick turnaround when it comes to an initial response.
Analyse Your Successes and Failures
You should always monitor how your customer service queries play out. Were you able to turn an angry customer into a loyal customer? Make sure to look at your successes and copy them.
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