Social media is not just a part of the marketing or PR department; it is also an extension of your customer service team. People are already out in the social space talking about you , sometimes asking questions, sometimes saying good things and sometimes, saying bad things. You need to be aware of what is going on and use it to the best advantage for both you and your customers.
While Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross said “A.B.C.: Always Be Closing”, I like to think about it more in the terms of A.B.P.: Always Be Proactive.
Start with your blog:
You can use it to take things like your FAQ’s into more detail. If you get a number of calls asking about how to do something, post a how-to with specific details.
When something goes wrong, let people know about it. Take advantage of your voice and let people know you are working on the problem and keep them updated on the process. Hootsuite is a great example of this. If they are having problems or need to do site maintenance, they will announce it on their Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Find ways to use social media to help your customers before they have to ask for it. Answer the questions people ask you directly and respond to their questions and complaints. Be sure you make the effort to help them when they reach out to you on social. Don’t give them a telephone number or send them to your website.
If there is one word that I will use more than any other when I talk about customer service in social media is, listen. Let me say that again… Listen… Listen. Listen. Listen. Got it? There are many ways to find out what people are saying about your business.
Setting up the alerts is as easy as popping in your business name (or whatever keywords you want to be alerted on) in the form and you will receive notification in your inbox when people are talking about you
Twitter allows you to keep tabs on yourself in a few different ways. The fist is the most obvious, the @mention. When someone uses your Twitter username (including the @ symbol) you will get a notification in your “Connect” feed. This means someone is addressing you directly and is expecting a response. I ran an informal survey on my Facebook page a while ago asking what people thought of response times. What I got from that is, most people expect a response from a brand they contacted on Facebook or Twitter within an hour.
Another way to listen to Twitter is to search your hashtag. Run a search for #YourBusinessName to see what people are saying. You can also search for your business name with out the # or @ symbols.
There are some great sites out there that will scan the social universe including blogs, Facebook and Twitter, they are the final step to the listening touchdown.
Some of my favorite monitoring sites are:
Finding these direct and not-so-direct mentions of your business name give you a chance to dazzle. People often take to social to just let things out and don’t necessarily expect a response of any kind. You can get in there and tackle those problems before they get escalated.
Every day I see people telling tales of both great and poor service in the social channels and the good news often travels just as fast as the bad. (I for one will always share the stories of great customer service, both mine and what other people have received.)
So please, feel free to share your stories of GREAT customer service that you received on social media. TOUCHDOWN!
Do you use social media for customer service at your company? Have you dealt with customer service from another company through social media before? Please leave your comments below!