Meghan Faye Wolff is the senior copywriter and marketing specialist for Instabill Corporation. Instabill offers online payment processing solutions for offshore and high risk merchants around the world. Meghan blogs about leading e-commerce and payment industry news.
As a business owner, you don’t have to limit your customer service department to answering phone calls and emails. There are many ways to enhance your company’s customer service, including using social media.
Whether you like it or not, people are talking about your business online — so embrace it by following the five best ways to use social media as a customer service tool.
1. Monitor what people are saying about you and respond to their problems (or praises!) in a quick fashion. In Twitter, search your company’s name to see what positive and negative feedback your company is receiving. Check your mentions for tweets and direct messages frequently. Whether a customer expresses disappointment, has a question, or shows gratitude, always respond to your customers as soon as possible. Also, make sure you respond to customers when they post on your Facebook fan page wall. They’re reaching out to you, and you shouldn’t ignore them. Facebook is much more visible to the masses than Twitter, so if a customer’s problem goes unresolved, others will notice. Not responding to your customers on social media sites may dissuade people from doing business with you.
2. Grant employees within your customer service department access to your company’s Twitter account. With more employees covering customer service on social media sites, you’ll be able to reach more people in a shorter amount of time. To prevent duplicate responses, schedule timeframes for customer service specialists to be responsible for covering each site. Have your employees sign their tweets with their initials, so they know who is talking with them.
3. Initiate and engage in conversations with your customers. If you see that someone has recently liked you on Facebook or followed you on Twitter, check out their page to see if they mentioned purchasing goods or services from your company. If they have, ask them if they were happy with what they bought. For those who were unhappy, find a solution that will make them happy and a returning customer.
4. Connect on LinkedIn for a more professional customer service experience. While Facebook and Twitter are more social, LinkedIn is more of a network of professionals. Connecting with existing and potential customers on LinkedIn will establish a more professional relationship — which may be ideal if you’re a B2B company. Although business owners can create a page for their company on LinkedIn, members of the community have to create their own individual profile, helping employees and customers really getting to know one another.
5. Let your customers know they can reach you anytime via social media. While your customer service phone line may go to an answering machine after office hours, social media never sleeps. Publish posts on a regular basis letting your customers know that they can always contact you with questions and concerns through social media.
When you receive a complaint through social media, how long does it take you to respond? How do you handle your customer relationships on social media websites? What advice do you have for businesses that have recently jumped on the social media bandwagon?