How Social Media Improves Customer Service
According to the 2019 Global Digital Report, the number of social media users worldwide has grown to 3.484 billion, up 9% year-over-year. With this number continuing to rise, is it any wonder social media continues to dominate as a top recruiting and advertising platform for businesses? By meeting consumers where they spend a lot of their time online, businesses can greatly improve the quality of their customer service as well. Prompt customer service can, in turn, grow a business’ brand, produce customer loyalty, and increase overall revenue.
Social media platforms are all about interaction and instant communication. By consistently monitoring social media channels either manually or through listening tools, companies can reduce the lag time between a complaint or question, and their response. Some statistics suggest that customers are highly sensitive to the time it takes to receive an answer to a question or a response to a complaint. By providing instant feedback, companies can build a reputation for excellent customer service and a reputation for sympathy. In turn, customers respond through loyalty and by sharing their experience with others. However, social media should be more than just a response mechanism. Being truly proactive also means engaging with customers in a fun way, offering ideas, tips, and general advice, even when unprompted. One way to do this is to create a unique hashtag to encourage community interaction and support.
Ask for feedback
Sometimes the best method to ascertain what you could improve is simply to ask. One way to accomplish this task is to create a social media poll, or simply to raise the question and let customers pose their viewpoints. Through this direct method of communication, a company can establish itself as invested in its customers’ feedback and detail-oriented. Customers will appreciate the opportunity to voice their concerns with a direct line to the business. A specific tactic to employ is to personalize responses and make them custom-tailored to each customer’s background and unique problems or comments. On social media, typically any issues or problems that arise don’t adhere to the “one-size-fits-all” type of solution. Even larger brands such as Wendy’s address specific users and make sure to highlight their concerns on a larger level.
By some estimates, 71% of customers who experience a positive social media customer service experience are more likely to refer the company to others. Companies that regularly interact with consumers through social media channels are not only creating a good company image and support structure but also increasing their bottom line. Since most businesses make their social media profiles public, channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat make it easy to attract potential new consumers or to introduce existing ones to new products and services. Word of mouth has always been an important sales tactic and, with the communication potential of social media, this method has been amplified and evolved in the digital age. Companies can also use social media to offer special offers and promotions and to turn a negative or neutral customer experience into a positive one further fomenting loyalty and positive brand management.
Social media allows businesses and brands to engage with customers directly. By listening to what people on social media are saying about businesses and competitors, we can learn about problems or opportunities of which we might not otherwise have been aware. Today’s savvy businesses understand that a social media account is more than just an opportunity to sell a product or attract clients, but a way to improve customer service, build customer loyalty and strengthen community relations.