Maintaining Excellent Customer Service in the Social Media Age

Businesses put a lot of emphasis on social media marketing these days, and for good reason; social media is one of the best and quickest ways to connect with your customers in an instant, personal manner. However, it’s easy for businesses to become so focused on interactions through a computer screen that telephone and even face-to-face methods of customer service start to slip a bit.

So how do you keep up traditional forms of customer service when you’re putting so much focus on what you’re doing online? Here are three major tips that you should consider:

Know your customers. This tip might seem a little simplistic, but it’s extremely important. The ways in which your customers connect with you are linked to the ways they want you to respond to them. For example, a person contacting you through Facebook is probably expecting a quick, brief and personal response. Customers who prefer to talk through the phone or in person, however, are probably looking for a more detailed response that requires a bit more time. When these cases pop up, be sure that you actually take that time. Social media can condition us to want to answer questions as quickly as possible, but face to face or phone interaction requires more care.

Remember that social media affects your overall brand. The way you interact with customers doesn’t just affect how they view you on social media, it affects how they view you over all. Your more traditional forms of advertising can suffer if people get the idea online that your company isn’t receptive to customer feedback. Be sure to handle all social media interactions with care, and that can make your other traditional interactions go smoother!

Don’t sacrifice helpfulness for speed. This rule applies for all forms of customer service, including service conducted over social media. While your customers obviously appreciate quick responses, the number one thing that they’re looking for from you is a response that actually answers their question or solves their problem. On social media networks, don’t respond to a customer if you don’t have a helpful answer just because you want to get back to them quickly. If you’re talking to a customer in person, feel free to point them to another person or place that can help them if you can not. In the end, a quick answer that doesn’t actually solve the customer’s issue doesn’t help, so your priority should always be to help them find where they can get the best information.

The main channels of customer service may have shifted over the past few years, but the general idea will always be the same. Know your customers and give them solid, helpful information, and they’ll continue to come back time and time again!   

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