Social media is more than a way to promote your brand - it's a connection to your leads that develops personal relationships. So what separates the good from the great in social media marketing?
The gap lies in transitioning classic customer service into an online platform. While rapid problem solving and open communication are the staples of good business, many companies struggle to incorporate this into their social media. Building successful social media customer service is essential to bringing your company into the future.
Let's take a look at the four facets of social media customer service:
Developing a Personal Experience With the Brand
The heart of marketing is connection, and that attitude should inform your social media customer service. Your brand needs to feel approachable, with a distinctive personality that can build customer relationships. Social creates the feeling of one on one connection between companies and consumers, and allows you to get to know your lead's habits and interests.
43% of consumers said that getting an individual response to their social media request was the most important part of visiting a company's page. Whether it's replying to a tweet or commenting on a Facebook post, directly responding to consumers creates a personal connection. Simply by treating your leads like real individuals, you stand out from your competitors by highlighting the human element of business.
Social media is one of the most accessible means of marketing - it's almost impossible to find someone without a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account. For every platform your leads use, your company should match; making it effortless for consumers to find your brand.
Social communication also creates the expectation of immediacy, giving your company the opportunity to deliver instant customer service - an opportunity many brands seem to be missing. In fact, only 36% of customers report that their concerns voiced over social media were addressed quickly - that gives you an opportunity to deliver customer service faster, clearer, and better than your competitor.
Your customers know where to find you, and how to connect. They can bypass traditional websites and directories, and simply present their problem directly to your company. By using social media to follow up the moment you receive a notification, you cement the ideal that not only does your company care about your customers as individuals, you value their time and make service your first priority.
The only thing more damaging than a negative review is one that goes unaddressed. While problems will always arise, social media allows you to ensure that these problems are solved in the public eye. For the customer, you're making it clear that their concerns are heard and valued. By making the discussion public, you're playing in their field - helping them feel more comfortable and in control. For your company, addressing problems on social media lets people know that when a problem arises, it is addressed immediately. Interacting with leads on social media gives you the opportunity to demonstrate the strength of your customer service - and if more customers see problems being addressed quickly and effectively, your company establishes a foundation of trust and efficiency.
You've got social media working for you - you've established relationships, addressed problems quickly, and made sure it's all on display. So what sets you a step apart? The final stage of exemplary customer service lies in providing simple delight. Surprising customers with gifts and personal thank-you's keeps them coming back, and prompts them to recommend your company to friends and neighbors. It's the extra mile that shows customers you value their loyalty.
If your social media customer service is something people want to post about, you've done your job right. Take Morton's Steakhouse for example- a customer jokingly tweeted about asking Morton's to meet him at the airport with a steak. Two hours later, he was greeted by a Morton's server with a full meal. The customer shared his story on social media where it later went viral, leaving customer and company feeling satisfied.
Delight can be as big as surprising a loyal customer with an airport delivery, or as simple as a heartfelt thank you tweet for choosing your company. What matters is that the service is genuine, and shows you care.
Social media has changed the way you promote your company, and it can seem daunting at first. The reality is, good customer service hasn't changed - you still excel with quick and transparent business. All that's changed is the medium - using social media to develop personal relationships, address concerns faster than ever, and keep it all in the public eye. At the heart of it all, simply reminding your customers that you care will always set you apart.