How To Use Social Media For Customer Service

By on April 28, 2011

Social media has become a way for businesses to connect with their clients, in ways that were never really possible, until now. As it progresses and evolves, more and more companies are realizing that – if nothing else – social media can provide them with a direct line to their client base, as an invaluable tool for good business practices.

Because social media is a revolving door of opinions, ideas and conversation, valuable insight can be gained for businesses looking to improve their services, stimulate repeat business and grow their client-based community. Here’s how.

#1: Real Time Results

Social platforms like Twitter and Facebook are a progression of the old school call-center. But instead of having to wait for half an hour to get some help, you can get it within seconds. Of course today, there are only a few businesses that are truly performing this function flawlessly.

It requires not only a social media manager, but a specific platform manager, for example – a Twitter manager – that will monitor conversations and answer in lightning fast speeds. The bigger the company, the more platform managers they’ll need, hence the call-center comparison.

How can someone deal with a problem in 140 characters? Well, these businesses have figured that out too. They use their blogs or websites to post solutions to common problems, and then tweet the link, addressing the customer by name, so that they get an instant result. Even something as small as an ‘@’ message stating that someone will be in email or telephonic contact with them shortly, has led to speedy customer service.

#2: Uncovering The Truth

When you manage a bustling Facebook site, you are able to communicate with your clients on a daily basis. This means that you’ll be able to ask for feedback on specific products, or on general customer service. You’ll be surprised what will actually come out when a company asks for constructive feedback. But there’s nothing more valuable than finding out these hidden truths, and correcting them.

You can use a Facebook poll app to discover new things, or publish a quick survey for your clients to fill in when they have a spare moment. Spend some time collecting this feedback, and address it properly. When you do, your community will become even more responsive, as they visually see the changes you’ve made to improve your business.

#3: Customer Profiling

Building a community on Facebook, Twitter and your blog is a great way to begin a database of customer profiles. Get to know your customers, and record information about their likes, dislikes and preferences. That way you can go one step further when a complaint does arise, and will be able to address the person like you know them. Making customers feel acknowledged is one of social media’s most powerful gifts.

They will like you more because of it, and your business will stick out in their minds the next time they want to buy a product that you stock. Its personalization at its best, but it does require quite a bit of work on your part.

Implement versions of these great ways to use social media for customer service, and build a strong community of loyal customers that love your business.

How do you use social media for customer service? We want to know!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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