customer service 2.0
→Thanks to social media, today’s consumers are able to directly interact online with most of the brands they use. As a result, the landscape of consumerism has drastically changed. The way most people define a great brand experience, however, has not: customer service.
And since people love to share their positive—and horrid—thoughts about various services/products on platforms that are visible to the public, businesses are paying special attention—and even creating new divisions dedicated to—the concept of “Social Customer Service.” (←Click me; I’m a video.)
Pictured in the below chart are the top ten global brands with the best customer service on Facebook from socialbreakers.com:
If after looking at this list you’re thinking that your business isn’t big enough to place a large amount of focus on social customer service, think again. No matter how big or small your company is, putting the customers first—wherever possible—could make or break you. Especially when you’re doing so in front of a constant live audience.
Here are four key ways in which your business can benefit from implementing an effective social customer service program:
Manage brand reputation: A bad customer service experience is probably the #1 reason why companies get “trash talked” by consumers. The bottom line is that people do not forget—or forgive—poor service. If you see a negative post about your brand online, nip it in the bud. Your response will not only be appreciated by the person you’re addressing, but everyone else will witness your strong customer service too.
Customer endorsements of your product/service: While many people focus on the negative implications of bad reviews/comments, it’s important to keep in mind that customers sharing positive online experiences have the potential to drive business and build credibility for your brand. Share/leverage these posts! (Oh, and saying, er typing a simple “thank you” for a nice review can go a long way as well.)
People that receive social customer service are more likely to pull the trigger on purchases: Ever ditch the idea of buying something online because you had questions that you didn’t feel like working (i.e., calling/emailing the company) to find the answers to? Turns out people are more likely to purchase your product/service if they are able to interact with your brand from a location where they’re already hanging out (i.e., Facebook/Twitter).
Communicate with potential customers: In addition to responding to customer praise, complaints and questions, social customer service is a great way to spread the word about your company’s latest sales/promos, provide advice for purchasing decisions, share interesting facts about your product/service, etc.,
Interested in how specific brands are using social media as a customer service platform? If so, check out this Mashable article. Oh, and please leave a comment with brands you’ve noticed doing a great job with this task—global, national or local.