Delivering Legendary Social Media Customer Service
Have you ever heard the old saying, “bad news travels fast?”
Even before social media, bad news always circulated with lightning-fast speed, but nowadays, it’s stunning how a company’s dirty laundry – usually in the form of a story of bad customer service – can travel to hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people.
While some people might point to this and say that having people in your marketing department who are trained in the art of spin might be more important than ever, I think that’s missing the point entirely.
When it comes to your brand’s social media presence, what this really means is that you must have a social media strategy, and its primary focus must be in providing extraordinary customer service.
I want to go into what that statement means, and since I don’t want to get too bogged down in technical details of multiple platforms, we’re going to look at how brands might use Twitter as part of an overall social media strategy designed to help their brand provide to their clients and prospects.
You Must Have a Social Media Strategy
Strangely, this seems to elude many people using social media marketing these days. I think it’s because the actual platforms are free. When your means of delivering your message is free, you might assume that you don’t need to devote much, if any, of your brand’s time or money to create a comprehensive marketing strategy.
This can create a fail in a few different ways.
For starters, your marketing push is likely to lack coherence. You may repeat yourself or you may not end up communicating what your customers really want you to.
A social media strategy includes your goal and the incremental steps it’s going to take you to get there. So your Twitter strategy might include a theme for a given period of time (say a week) and the tweets you’ll create and the times you’ll post them to communicate your message. It sounds simple enough, right?
But wait – there’s more! Social media isn’t just about blasting a “buy me” message. If you do, you’ll actually end up hurting your brand’s image.
It’s not that you can’t sell via Twitter. There are many brands using Twitter and other social media platforms to sell quite successfully.
But you need to be seeking first and foremost to provide value, and that’s where you need to be focused on creating a strategy that includes a goal of providing extraordinary customer service.
Your Social Media Strategy Must Be Service Oriented
How do you sell without being seen as salesy on social media? The answer is surprisingly simple, and it all has to do with context. Provide the right information or product to someone you’ve established a relationship with at the time they’re looking for it and you’re seen as a lifeline!
Intrude into someone’s Twitter stream with a sales offer they have absolutely no interest in and, well, guess what their perception will be of you and your brand then?
How to Use Social Media To Provide Legendary Service
Now – you don’t just want to provide the bare minimum of civil communication on Twitter just to avoid being pushy. You want to stand out as a brand that provides a level of traditional or social media customer service that has people looking for opportunities to do business with you.
It all starts with the nuts and bolts of your social media strategy.
- View your company’s social media accounts as ways not just to shout how great you are, but to provide amazing customer service to your customers and prospects.
- Assign a person or team to the task of monitoring your social media accounts for brand mentions and train them how to respond proactively from a service mindset.
- Schedule how frequently you’ll monitor Twitter (and other platforms) for brand mentions and actually do it! You’d be amazed at how many brands simply ignore any customer service inquiries submitted through social channels. On a fast moving platform like Twitter, if you’re going to establish a brand presence, you need to commit the appropriate resources to respond to customer issues quickly.
- Be human, especially when responding to challenges. Don’t delete criticism, but take the time to be thoughtful and compassionate in your reply. People can generally forgive mistakes when you’re willing to accept responsibility and fix them.
How will your brand deliver amazing service with social media? Leave a comment below!
About the author:
Edmund Lee is an author, entrepreneur, social media strategist, and speaker who has studied with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. An entrepreneur with wisdom and vision, he specializes in working with companies to transform their branding and use social media marketing to create extraordinary companies that generate profits.
Edmund is passionate about the reality that in order for a business to truly flourish, it must touch the lives of its four primary influencers (customers, employees, vendors, and investors) in a deep and truly meaningful way.