The rationale many businesses give for resisting the social media movement is that word of mouth and other traditional forms of marketing have been working for them. The excuse we hear is “we do not need social media to drum up new business.” However, many companies are missing a critical point: social media is not a one trick pony. Yes, these tools offer methods that allow you to gain new customers, but they also provide platforms to support and communicate with loyal customers to ensure that they remain that way.
A Service Perspective
Consider this scenario: a member of our team recently left her sunglasses on the table when she left a local restaurant. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize this until the next morning and the restaurant did not re-open until 4pm. Seeing this, the first thing she did was send a private Facebook message to the restaurant’s business page. She then called the restaurant during its business hours only to be told that her sunglasses were nowhere to be found. Though disappointed, she accepted the fact that they had either been misplaced or stolen. The next day, our team member received a response from the company on Facebook stating that they did indeed have her sunglasses and they would be holding them for her.
While we aren’t saying that this restaurant handled this situation perfectly, they provided an excellent example of why companies should be using social media to provide customer service and support. Our team member is now much more likely to return to this restaurant.
Let’s take a look at the prime advice regarding using social media for customer service.
Provide Company Information:
Business owners must remember that everyone has a different approach to searching for company information. You may have all of your information posted on your website, but that doesn’t excuse you from including it on your social media pages. Some customers may perform their search exclusively on social media rather than visiting your website. A best practice is to provide as much information the social site will allow, from your website and your phone number, to your hours and specialties and more, if possible.
Communication is a Two Way Street:
Yes, you should establish a social media presence to give your customers a way to reach out to you, but you should also use this as an avenue to communicate with them. This goes beyond simply providing your general company information, though we have discussed the importance of this step in its own right. Develop a regular posting schedule to share company and industry news, special offers, new products and services, and any other information that may be new information to your customers.
Check Comments and Messages Frequently:
Having this method of communication is a great resource, but only when you respond. Answer your clients’ questions, comments, and concerns. Set aside 15 minutes every day to check and respond to all of your social comments and messages. Think of it like email. View these messages as opportunities to build a relationship with weary customers.
Utilize Social Media In a Crisis:
Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances can lead to crisis situations. Whether your website is down due to a virus or you need to close your office for personal reasons, turn to social media to notify your customers and keep them informed. We’ve seen many businesses succeeding with this strategy in response to the extreme weather this past winter and fall.
If you’ve been resisting social media for marketing, it’s time to revisit this strategy with a customer service approach. What’s holding you back? Contact us for a free consultation if you’re not sure where to start or you’d like help developing a winning social media customer service strategy.