Social media is transforming the face of customer service. These days, if somebody has a problem with a brand, they’ll be on Facebook or Twitter before they’re even out of your shop. And everyone will know about it (and how you handle it). In fact, a study by Genesys found that 80% of the social media messages that companies get are about customer service, not marketing.
If you don’t respond well, or aren’t even on social media, the problem could escalate and you could have a PR crisis on your hands. So what does ‘best practice’ for social customer service look like?
It’s not just about minimising the negative: social media is amplifying positive word of mouth. NM Incite found that 71% of people who turn to social media for customer service and have a positive experience say they are likely to recommend the brand.
Sometimes, only a phone call will do. But the biggest mistake businesses make is forgetting the basics: not answering their phones. You don’t need to hire a full-time receptionist, a phone system like Avaya IP Office can:
Your website should be just as helpful as you are on the phone. Bad online customer service will alienate customers and waste your time solving problems that you should have fixed before the customer even ran into them.
Here's a few tips -
Reading a bad review or complaint can hurt. But since so many people use review sites to decide who to buy from, you can’t ignore them. All the usual rules apply: acknowledge their dissatisfaction, tell them how you will deal with it or explain why it happened and then put forward a solution.
You don’t have to trawl through all of them every day: you could use Google Alerts to notify you as soon as someone mentions you online. It’s also worth searching for your company online. If any review sites with negative comments pop up on the first page, you might want to focus on those first.
Don’t be tempted to pose as a customer when replying to somebody, though. The users of forums are pretty good at sussing out a fake post, and the damage to your reputation if you get found out isn’t worth the risk.
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