If you use social media well, it can boost sales, promote your brand, and build long-lasting relationships with your customers.
If it isn’t done well, the opposite could be true: sales will lag, few will be aware of your brand, and you will have little if any customer loyalty.
Here are some tips to improve customer relations using social media platforms:
Some social media teams give vague and generic responses to customers, probably because they don’t know much about the product themselves. This can leave a bad taste in the mouth of a customer who wanted a more specific answer.
Create training programs or information sessions to help the understand the length and breadth of the product/service. Then show social consumers that you know what you’re talking about. Use videos and links to reports or surveys to back up your responses.
Seek the immediate help of the product team if a complex problem arises. Let the potential or current customer know what you are doing if you do need to go elsewhere to resolve an issue or answer a question.
Make interactions more personal and more meaningful.
Use names and images of customer service representatives when possible, like you would during a live chat. After all, this is a social platform and most people in these arenas want to be cared for on a one-on-one basis.
Remember, your teams’ responses must add value to your online visitors and solve their problems. If possible, get a 24/7 social response team. What will impress your customer the most – solving their problem quickly or after a day or two?
Make the customer support team a bigger part of your organization.
Have them experience and use the product/service for themselves. The more they use the product, the better they will be able to explain it and the more likely they are to be excited about sharing it with the world – instead of selling it.
Providing customer service on social media is a powerful business tool, which can help you generate powerful word-of-mouth testimonials.
Use social media to change a negative review to a positive one.
Teach your customer support team to address each and every customer’s point of view with patience and empathy, even if they don’t necessarily agree with it.
When customers leave a negative review or a nasty comment, don’t see it as a threat. See it as an opportunity to show your customers how seriously you take their opinions and thoughts.
For example, they could start with an apology, even if it’s not your company’s fault. Ask them how you can make up for it and then look for a chance to really impress the customer. If possible, don’t take the issue offline – try to solve it openly while overdelivering.
Just recognize that others are seeing your response – and might want the same deal. Have fun with this, offering exchanges like “I’ll give you the same deal I gave Joe on one condition. You jump up and down three times and yell “Katie (customer service agent) and Doonboggles (company name) are my new best friends!”
There are many other things you could do to improve customer relations through social media platforms like throwing a spotlight on current loyal customers. This is an easy and effective activity for customer support teams. But we’ll talk about that in our next blog post.
Thanks CustomerThink.com for contributing to this article.