Customer Care Through Social Media
We explore how you can harness social media to enhance customer experience
In 2005 when Jeff Jarvis wrote of the ‘Dell Hell’ in his blog, the company retaliated with ‘We do not respond to customer complaints through blogs’. Dell was criticized for their ‘look don’t touch’ policy when it came to blogs. Today, Dell has a Direct to Dell community which features blogs by its officers, forums and even customer support. Dell’s also on Twitter and Facebook, out to solve client issues. Many big brands including Starbucks, HP, Comcast, Ford are using social media for customer service. It’s safe to say that the customer service canvass has been repainted thanks to the social media. Presenting a few tips that will help you jump the bandwagon of social media customer service-
1. Listen-browse around social media sites. Have your eyes and ears open for what people have to say. Before you jump in to defend your brand, listen and understand what the customer’s saying.
2. Act-so, now you know what’s really bugging your customer. This is the time to act. I was surfing the net and came upon a blog where the blogger said that he hated HP. As I scrolled down the comments section, I noticed that one of the HP guys had responded, ‘Sorry that you had a bad experience with us. Can we touch base and discuss this?’ Sometimes, hapless customers dash off complaints and type out all their frustrations onto their blog/Facebook page. Once they get it out they’re generally much calmer and would be willing to speak. Or may be they just wanted to be noticed so that their problem can be solved. So go head and start acting the way that helps solve their issue.
3. No scripting- be yourself on your blog/Facebook/Twitter interactions. Do not, and I repeat, do not use scripted answers. Remember your clients should know that your company cares. They are not looking for an automated response.
4. Don’t ignore-if you’ve got your brand on the social media, then you have to be diligent. Never ignore customers. Sure, you may have someone asking the simplest of questions, but they’re putting those questions to you because they need help. Revert at the earliest.
5. Don’t bluff-this rule applies to customer service through any channel, not just to social media. But bluffing on social media can prove even more costly. Your inability to stand good on your promise could be broadcast to net surfers around the world.
6. Ask-the best thing about social media is it puts you directly in touch with your customers. Use this powerful medium to talk to your customers. Ask them what you can do to make their lives simpler. That’s the easiest way to increasing customer satisfaction and them what they want! Check out Dell’s IdeaStorm page to see what I’m talking about.
7. Customers, your brand builders-Brand building has evolved. It’s not just about advertisements or discounts any more. Today, a brand is all about service and value addition. What more, your company’s not the one building the brand anymore. It’s your customers who’re doing it for you.
8. Encourage your team-while it’s great to have your top management blog and be in touch with customers, it’s even better to have your team interact with customers. Let’s face it, your front-line team is the one in contact with customers in the off-line world. So, let them play to their strengths online too!
Customer service through social media has made its debut and is here to stay. The best bet is to use it to your advantage. Make every client interaction positive, so that when people Google you, they read about happy your brand is built already!