“Please state your 15 digit order number…Sorry, we did not understand your response. Goodbye.” We’ve all been there—trying to navigate through the twists and turns of automated telephone menus, desperately wanting to hear a live person, only to be hung up on after being on hold for 45 minutes. Wouldn’t it be nice to get an instant solution to your burning question? Better yet, wouldn’t you want to extend that same level of care to your customers?
According to Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report, almost half of all consumers are turning to social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter to learn about brands, seek advice, and express (dis)satisfaction about products and services; one third of these individuals prefer to seek assistance over social media versus using the telephone. Attempting to provide great customer service over social media may be daunting to businesses, but the following points can provide insight as to just how critical social customer service really is.
- Social media is the way of the future. I’m sure you’ve heard it before—social media is exploding, forcing businesses to adapt. With more than 30% of the world’s population owning social media accounts, it’s important for companies to be present wherever consumers are. Even if you end up only assisting one customer, that’s one customer who may turn out to be a lifelong one.
- Your page is an access point for information. Many individuals often research products and services before they make purchases. People will likely be deterred from making a purchase if your page is filled with negative comments and unanswered questions.
- Customers always have other alternatives. If you choose not to respond to a customer’s complaint on social media, they’ll likely take their business elsewhere, resulting in a loss of future potential revenue for your company.
- You’re under a microscope. Your actions (or lack thereof) on social media are completely transparent. Current and potential customers will likely see how you choose to handle any situations that come across your page. To make a positive impression on your audience you’ll want to be diligent in responding to their concerns.
- Your reputation is on the line. People are more likely to remember a bad experience than a good one. Word of mouth comes into play here—you do not want your brand to be remembered as one that does not care about their customers.
Being active in social customer service may seem like a large commitment, but your customers will probably thank you when they don’t have to hear that dreaded dial tone anymore!