Using Social Media as a Customer Service Channel
People increasingly turn to social media to engage with organisations. Well conceived, designed and managed Social Media gives you the most powerful tools available to effectively connect with customers on a personal as well as group basis to solve issues and create brand advocates.
Customers turn to Social Media when they have a problem and want to air their grievances. In most cases they have tried to get solutions from the organisations concerned, but, without satisfaction. Marketers can prevent most customer service issues escalating, not only by having easier and better complaint and issue response mechanism but also by proactively using social media to regularly engage and share ideas and information proactively with customers. Using Social media as a customer service channel is about making a genuine connection with something both you and your market (customer) care about.
Great customer service is all about effective, on-going social level engagement.
Use your Social Media Channels to speak to customers and share ideas, new programs, innovations and yes “problems” early. Social media engagement allows organisations to communicate quickly and directly to their target segment(s) (customers and prospects). Don’t wait or rely on formal communication, engage early. Say what has been happening and what you are trying to do about it. Invite suggestions and help. Demonstrate you remember and value them as individuals Engage your customers by presenting them with smile making posts often.
Let them know you actually care! Your audience will recognise the value you create if every post you make is centred around bringing usefulness to them. When customers feel a strong emotional connection with your brand and with other users people in the context of your brand, they will make your brand and brand community on Social networks stronger.
Be human! Brands with identifiable humans will seem more down-to-earth and in tune with customers.
Brand engagement is about making the human connection. Always focus on building strong emotional connection, but back up the emotional with hard facts and you will be in the right place
Make it and keep it “real” Your interaction with customers must be authentic. You cannot, should not try to force or trick customers into sharing. Social networks are not principally designed to drive revenue and traffic. Ensure your content is primarily social in tone social.
Give your community a voice
Identify the leaders within your community and support them. They are some of your most valuable assets. Reach out to them and listen to how they feel about your brand
Help your customers get the most out of your products, so they love them even more! Know how customers think about your products. They like what the product does for them, how it helps them, or how it makes them feel.
Customers who takes the time to engage with your brand should be acknowledged and cared about like they were friends of yours on your personal social networks.
Say “thank you” to customers who are loyal and/or have made extra efforts for you. Businesses often ignore this, or give it a quick “like” and move on. These are the customers who could become advocates and do so much more for the brand. Don’t just focus on the squeaky wheels (complainers).
Invite feedback; invite customers to a Meetup/Hangout, like Google-plus-hangouts; Encourage members of your target group(s) to meet up with one another to help each other. Use the right Social Media to create groups based around shared common interests Encourage and help these groups get the tools they need to become helpful to themselves and therefore to your organisation. These networking groups are an excellent way to develop positive engagement and help your market(s) feel supported by your organisation
Different folks, Different stokes
Social media cannot be used in the same way for different brands. Targeted segments are going to be different from others. Do the research, take the time to clarify what your brand is. It is what your customers think it is. Ask your customers what they think. This is a key factor in using social media in customer service and community engagement strategy.
Do not rely just on simple market research questions. Go for depth as well and come back to some respondents using experienced qualitative researchers.
Let your community know you are actively listening, which means it’s your responsibility to read and respond in a timely way.
How useful were these ideas for you? What was your favourite tip? Tell us if you have any tips of your own
Want more information and a chance to interact with others interested in the subject? Then check out these forthcoming seminars from Ark
Strategic Content Communication Day – $695 plus if you join early
Creating engaging and high impact communications through an integrated brand content strategy
Tuesday, 22 September 2015, Rydges Sydney Central
Content Creation Day – $695 plus if you join early
A practical guide to create online audio, photo and video content
Wednesday, 23 September 2015, Rydges Sydney Central
The Australian Social Media Best Practice Toolkit
Social media beyond posts for proactive community engagement and an improved service delivery
Thursday, 24 September 2015, Rydges Sydney Central