Social Media trumping telecommunications for customer service

Posted January 2012 in Social Networking, Information

Econsultancy recently blogged about the increasing popularity of social media as a customer service source with younger customers. Particularly in the last 4 years or so, social media has really come to the forefront of mass technology and so it makes perfect sense for businesses to begin to incorporate this convenient and quick method of communication into their customer service base.

So how can you integrate social media into your business, if you haven’t already done so? Well there are several things to consider when doing this.

The first step is to pay close attention to the needs of both your potential and existing customer base. It may be a good idea to send out a quick survey, in the form of an email, to find out whether your customers feel that they could benefit from a social media based customer service section in your company. Many prefer social media because of its speedy response time and so when asking customers about their preference, remember to point out the possible benefits of social media, which they may or may not be aware of.

Whilst social media can be an excellent way to communicate quickly with customers and deal with issues they may be having with the company, it is important to remember that social media can have potential privacy issues. When using sites such as Twitter, it is vital to remember to never disclose any personal information about the customer; in this sense, sites such as Twitter will never quite replace the privacy of a personal email.

Some business owners may shy away from social media customer service, out of a fear of word spreading about a particular issue that a customer might have. However, sites such as Twitter can actually have a very positive impact on the reputation of a business, if customer service is a high priority. For instance, if a customer decides to make a complaint on social media, a helpful, polite and timely response by the customer service representative will ensure that the customer feels acknowledged and valued. This interaction will be available for all of their ‘followers’ to see and so the company’s reputation will not only remain intact, but might very possibly improve.

Whilst technology offers some great ways to stay on top of customer service, nothing will ever replace the good old pen and paper when it comes to keeping track of customer service issues and jotting down new ideas. Keeping a physical record of complaints is just as important as keeping them on file on a computer.

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