Those companies, and, sadly, there are many, that are not active out on the social media platforms will find themselves quickly becoming irrelevant. Social media has become a major communication channel with customers. Customers have adopted the platforms as a primary way to reach out to a particular business.
- According to some recently released research, everyone, that is a full 100% of people spoken with expect a reply to a social media inquiry within 48 hours of the initial posting and nearly 70% are expecting your response in less than 24 hours. Also, slightly over 60% actually want you to reply to their posting inside of an hour.
- With these current expectations, your customer service reps need to be properly trained, not only in proper customer service, but in social media protocols as well. Your customer service people must constantly be out at your social media channels answering queries and putting out those fires that can suddenly emerge.
- Your response time is critical to your brands image. Despite your posting of your contact information on all of your marketing collateral, you need to be monitoring your social media all day long. When first adapting to this, just dedicate one or two of your best reps to your social media accounts. Properly training your customer service reps will take time since a large part of their training will be in them developing listening and sales skills. It will be hit or miss at first until you find those employees with the proper mindset to excel at this important position.
- Having your reps develop great listening skills and the ability to turn a negative and angry customer into a happy and raving fan is no easy task and the survival of your business will depend on it one way or another. Make sure they are jumping right into the fray. Engagement is everything on social media. You want customers to feel that they are talking with a friend. Respond immediately to a negative comment or review. Get to the heart of the matter and resolve it as best you can so that the negativity doesn’t turn viral on you. It is far easier to refund a customer’s money than it is to go into full fledged social media damage control.
Combining your customer service with your social media engagement can be an effective long term way to connect and retain customers. Social media is just that – social. If customers are feeling good about you and your brand, it will get around quickly. This will only have a positive effect on both your brand awareness and your bottom line.