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Using Social Customer Service To Handle And Prevent Public Trashing

April 16, 2012 | By | No Comments

Today’s customers don’t wait to be sold on a product or service; they recognize their needs and do their own research before even approaching a sales team. This change in approach has been made possible by social media channels ranging from Twitter to YouTube. Because customers have changed their approach to the sales process, you must change the way you interact with them by employing social customer service techniques.

Beyond doing their own research and making purchasing decisions without your input, the social customer gets involved in far-reaching conversations about your brand — conversations that can have a significant and lasting effect on your public image.

Complaints that were once handled and resolved locally without media fanfare now have the potential to play out on a global stage. If you don’t have a social customer service plan in place to handle or even prevent such situations, the results can be disastrous.

Taking control of the conversation
In order for social customer service to be effective, you need employees in place who are savvy enough to interact with the social customer on a day-to-day basis, recognize potential problems and react accordingly. This means having a social media response plan in place that establishes a clear chain of command along with a process for action.

Of course, before you can react, you must be aware of the problem. That’s where social media monitoring comes in; this process allows you to monitor social media conversations as they happen. So when problems arise, your team can react with the immediacy necessary to curtail the likelihood of an unnecessary and unwanted PR nightmare.

Social media monitoring also allows you to track your social campaigns and assess marketing strategies in ways that would otherwise be impossible.

Benefits include:

  • Free, honest feedback about your products and services.
  • The opportunity to measure customer response to your marketing decisions.
  • Front-row access to current trends that could affect how you do business.

Responding promptly and appropriately
By staying alert and responding to issues as they occur, you can influence negative conversation and turn it around before it gets out of hand. Remember, ignoring the problem is never the appropriate response, nor is censorship. Social customer service should convey to your customers that you are willing to take responsibility for mistakes and do anything you can do remedy negative situations.

By taking disgruntled customers seriously, you build stronger customer relations and develop a sense of brand loyalty that can turn a formerly disgruntled customer into an ambassador for your brand. This, in turn, influences social conversation and elevates your brand in the eyes of current and future customers and brand affiliates — a win-win situation.

Need to improve your social customer service? Social Strategy1 can help you get smarter, faster, and more social.

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