Using Social Media To Improve Your Customer Service

Customer support is a huge topic in the world of social media today.  Research from JD Power finds that an estimated 67% of consumers now tap networks like Twitter and Facebook for customer service. It’s surprising that so many brands are ignoring social media complaints and service trail guide test image 1

Social media gives consumers a voice.  Social media has allowed consumers to have a platform to publicly share their experience, or even get a hold of SOMEONE at the company.  For example, I’ve had many a time where we’ve had issues with rental car companies or airline tickets and I’ve tweeted to the company itself and gotten much faster responses than had I stayed on hold on my phone.  Twitter has been my most effective platform for getting customer service support, and is also a more public place to share digital word of mouth.  Facebook has been a great place to share good (and sometimes bad) experiences with my inner circle.  I’ve never utilized LinkedIn or Instagram for customer service, but I know that people are using these platforms.

Complaints are not always bad.  Bad reviews, complaints, and other negative feedback on social media is not necessarily a bad thing.  First, most consumers know that there are people who have had bad days and took it out on a brand on social media.  If all of the reviews and comments are positive except for one or two really bad ones, you know that those are the exception, not the norm.  Complaints are also great opportunities for brands to respond and rectify the situation – AND it’s in a public way, making the brand look humble and caring!  Brands that are diplomatic can actually earn major brownie points with the public eye by responding well to negativity online!

Reviews can boost your presence a ton!  Brands that are strategic about inviting their patients or customers to review them trump the world of online reviews.  I know a home services company who has 80+ 5-Star reviews on Google and they look waaaaaaay better than any other competitor because of it.  You know what they do?  They do one simple thing:  they thank their customers for giving a review – any review, whether good or bad.  No matter what someone shares, they acknowledge the review and the time it took to do that for the company, and always thank the customer for doing this simple act.  It’s a novel though, right?  Please and thank you!

Social media has been an outlet for the public to share word of mouth, and grab brands’ attentions.  They feel like they are interacting with a real person when they interact with a brand via social media, which makes them feel validated and respected.  Brands that get this concept will succeed on social media.  The brands that don’t “get it” will simply continue to contribute to the statistic above, and WILL pay for it, one way or another!