Social media is more than just a marketing tool. Utilizing social platforms can be an excellent instrument in the development of improved customer service protocols. Ultimately, great customer service will lead to an increase in consumer loyalty by showing your customers you care. Being responsive to customers online is a way to build your reputation as a trustworthy business.
According to Wedding Wire, one such company is the bridal gown company, Azazie. Azazie is an ecommerce business that, according to Forbes, “prides itself on creating a culture where employees of all levels and across all departments feel empowered to raise their hands and share their ideas.”
Such input includes exploring the many ways in which the company can capitalize on social media platforms by constantly surveying their social media feeds in order to improve customer service and deliver timely one-on-one responses. Unlike Azazie and companies like it, brands that fall short on customer service are simply not actively listening to and engaging with their consumers.
If you’re looking to revamp your customer experience and deliver the most effective service by using social media monitoring of your current platforms, you may want to follow some of these suggestions.
- Remember that your goal is to build real customer relationships. There are many businesses that approach social media as primarily a channel for marketing and self-promotion, and they are not always responsive when customers comment on their posts or tweet at them.
Be sure to utilize those business Facebook and Twitter accounts you currently hold as a viable opportunity to engage in conversations with your customers so as to build real, trusting, ongoing relationships with them. Use positive and negative feedback as starting points for ongoing discourses that will improve your product and your service.
- Pick the social media platforms that work for your business. Ultimately, if the goal is to build relationships with your consumers, you must go where the consumers are. Not all social media platforms work well for every business. You may want to survey your customers or analyze which social media platforms are the most active, and focus your time and effort and energy on these. The number of social platforms is ever-increasing, so you may want to spend some time thinking about which will be most advantageous to your business.
- Monitor your social media mentions. Once you have determined which platforms on which to focus, be sure to monitor your mentions. There are free tools available for businesses that are designed to help your company achieve this goal. Hootsuite and Tweetreach are among those that can aid your company in conducting true social listening.
- Be responsive and use the right tone. Responding to positive social media mentions are generally not difficult. A timely “thank you” or “we are glad to be of service” are simple responses that let your supporters and admirers know that you value their feedback. Navigating responses from detractors is another story.
Tone in text is often difficult to determine, so you want to maintain a positive, conciliatory message that opens up an ongoing conversation that will, hopefully, lead to conflict resolution and a positive outcome for both parties. Choosing positive language and avoiding words like “not” and “don’t” are things to remember when constructing a well-organized and thoughtful response to your consumers’ concern or complaint.
- Know when to take things offline. Not all issues can be resolved online via of social media. Some social platforms allow only constrained or limited responses, as well. There is nothing wrong with requesting contact information so that an email or phone call can provide a follow up to the consumer’s concern or complaint. It might also be valuable to utilize a specific hashtag so that you can search concerns under that hashtag, making everything organized and more easily navigated.
- Be present and create a consumer community.Customers that have a bad experience with a company are very likely to take their issues to social media. Instead of worrying about how to manage and respond to negativity, you should focus on providing such exemplary customer service that you create a strong, loyal, customer base. Not surprisingly, these customers will advocate on your behalf if someone has something derogatory to say.
This, of course, does not negate your need to be responsive to customer concerns, but it will mean that you are present in the development of a positive consumer community, rather than expending time and energy on detractors.
As Charles Zhong, CEO of Azazie has stated, “If you want to see what customer service looks like, step inside the world of bridal fashion. Consumers are tremendously particular, and you as a company are dealing with a very important occasion: someone’s wedding. In order for your internal team to work effectively, you have to communicate in a way that allows all parties to call out what isn’t working so that it can be fixed.” Customer service, after all, is about the customer.
In what ways are you working to revamp your customer service experience? Share your insights in the comments.