Customer Service is the Future of Social Business

All businesses want to increase engagement, bring in new business, and lock in customer loyalty. There are all sorts of ways to meet these goals using CRM tools, social networking strategies, and customer experience management tools but the future of social business takes its cues from the one thing that’s always worked in the past: outstanding customer service.

Once your brand is pegged for having poor customer service, it can be impossible to bounce back. That’s why it’s vital to focus on its importance every single day and find that sweet spot where social media engagement meets superior customer service.

It’s no longer enough to simply respond to customer inquiries on social channels, employees must be empowered to address the needs and issues of people who reach out for help. A recent whitepaper by Hootsuite explains, “Social media is now the third pillar of customer service, alongside the telephone and email. While these traditional channels remain vital, enterprises must adjust their service capabilities to meet a new set of customer preferences. Thirty percent of social media users would rather receive customer service on social media than contact a company by phone.14 Social media is also displacing email as the primary online behavior; today, Americans spend more time on social media than any other internet activity. By listening to multiple social channels, companies can capture and resolve an increasing number of service inquiries that would otherwise be missed.”

How those service inquiries are addressed is equally as important. When brands were just learning the ropes of customer service via social channels, it was common to refer customers to an email address or phone number for follow-up help. Facebook Messenger as no message length limitations and Twitter now allows direct messages of up to 10,000 characters so these days it only makes sense to handle service inquiries directly at the point of contact.

When providing customer service on social channels, remember the onus of continuous, reliable communication is on you. “Delays can be deadly. The online fiasco formula is simple: a small customer problem + a slow response time=FIASCO.” customer service consultant Micah Solomon, tells Forbes. “So, first: get back to a customer immediately, even if you don’t have all the answers. Rather than leaving them stewing because they think you’re ignoring them. Then: make sure your final, more complete response (once you’ve gathered the information necessary to fully address the customer’s concern) doesn’t fall through the cracks, as all too often happens.”

Have you seen an uptick in customer service requests on your social channels? How has it affected social business strategies for your brand?

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