Smartphones and tablets keep people connected wherever they go, helping them to stay in touch with their social media sites. This rising number of connected users who spend increasing amounts of time on social media has opened new customer service opportunities for businesses. To start with, those businesses need to recognize that the usefulness of Facebook extends beyond marketing.
Although advertising on Facebook and using the site to provide news and updates undoubtedly continue to benefit companies, customer service has also grown in importance. Now, rather than measuring the success of social media presence only by the number of “Likes” received, the degree of customer engagement has become an important metric. This article highlights some ways you can harness the power of Facebook to your maximum advantage.
Facebook gives companies a huge audience that can see everything customers have to say. When people notice that your business consistently responds to comments, complaints and other messages, they recognize you as a responsive firm that cares for its customers. Here´s how you can achieve that:
People can commonly use Facebook to ask questions about your business policies, products or services. When you see these comments, either you or someone on your team should provide complete answers and explanations. When you provide a detailed response to inquiries, all subsequent visitors to your Facebook page will have access to the same information, so your effort will provide long-term benefits.
Online consumers tend to use Facebook as a platform for expressing dissatisfaction. Moreover, according to a study conducted by Forrester Research, three-quarters of them expect to see a reply when they leave a negative comment. When you do not respond to negative complaints, you make people feel ignored, leading them to rebuke your company in ways that could permanently damage the reputation of your brand.
The potential for Facebook to offer either advantages or disadvantages should underscore its importance to your business. You must promptly and professionally deal with complaints and solve problems. For example, you should always thank people for bringing matters to your attention. You should also apologize for all inconvenient situations and offer solutions. For simple problems, communicate openly on Facebook. Handle complicated issues that require research, investigation, and negotiation through other channels, so you can have more flexibility and avoid overloading your social media account. Your customer service can set you apart from competitors, so make sure you let it shine.
Sometimes people will use Facebook to praise your company. Do not ignore those either – thank everyone who leaves positive remarks to show that you value and appreciate their opinion.
Regardless of whether people say positive or negative things on your Facebook page, go beyond a one-time dialogue. In other words, leave the door open for customers by engaging them in further activities. For example, continue conversations by exceeding a simple expression of appreciation and ask them questions to see what other products or services they would like to see. You can also offer them a gift, such as a special discount. What you can also do is follow up with people whom you have previously served to make sure they have received the resolution they deserve.
To improve your customer service, consider creating a loyalty program for your fans and followers. You can also offer exclusive deals and giveaways to show your human side. With such gestures that are shown in public conversations, your company can not only build quality relationships with individuals, but it can also publicly demonstrate its people-oriented approach.
Always pay attention to the way you communicate and how you make your customers feel. You must always have a friendly, compassionate tone and a respectful attitude. It is also important to adjust your tone to match that of your clients. For those who use informal speech, respond in like manner. Consider using emoticons, but don’t overdo it. Similarly, you should accommodate those who want to stay on formal terms. Avoid arrogance and condescension at all costs, so that you create a friendly, approachable reputation for your brand.
Never make customers wait. A study reveals that almost half of people who communicate with a business via social media expect a response within an hour. If you take longer than sixty minutes to respond, your audience will interpret your sluggishness as a sign of poor customer service. To create a great image for the world to see, make sure you quickly respond to customer comments.
Depending on the size of your business, you might need the help of staff members to filter through all the messages posted on your Facebook page. If you have other people monitor your page and handle responses, make sure you train them in proper procedures. If, on the other hand, you try handling everything yourself, try setting up notifications so you always know when someone needs your attention. Remember, monitoring your brand goes beyond the popularity of your page. Get some tools that will help gauge the overall sentiment directed toward your brand.
To gain the most from Facebook, remember that you must provide excellent customer service via every form of interaction, including in-person encounters in your stores, phone calls in your call centers, and email correspondence. If they receive poor customer service, people may blow off some steam by sharing their experience with their Facebook friends. All it takes is one viral post to seriously damage your company’s reputation.
To prevent that, resolve to give your customers your full attention in every situation. When they have a problem or concern, show them empathy. Always exceed expectations. When you have a successful experience with a customer or shopper, ask them to “Friend” you on Facebook. You never know who will give you free, rave reviews.
Facebook gives you an opportunity to make public impact while satisfying individuals. The way people perceive your brand depends on the way you interact with them. Whether people praise you or reproach you, you have the chance to put your best foot forward, showing the world that your company desires more than a fast sale.
Among other social media, Facebook ranks highly as a powerful customer service tool. When properly used, it offers a platform where your customers can advocate for your brand. Take charge of your Facebook presence, and show the world that you have an open door for everyone. When you take the time to show people you care, you leverage the power of Facebook to your advantage.
Natalie Smith, a freelance writer from Seattle, enjoys covering topics related to marketing, customer service, and social media. For more information, You reach her @Natalie Smith
Before various social media networks played such an important part in our lives, customers who had complaints or compliments for a particular company had to write them a letter or make a phone call to the company in question. These days, all it takes for customers to pay a compliment or lodge a complaint, is internet access and a social media account, along with a few moments of their time to interact with the company online. Twitter has been a strong front runner for changing the customer service landscape and we think this is a trend that is not slowing down anytime soon.
Gone are the days where customers had to make a call and be placed on hold, sometimes for hours on end, when all they wanted to do was make general inquiries or lodge complaints about poor service. Social media has enabled them to chat online in real time with company representatives instead of being placed on hold. By having a social media account, queries, compliments or complaints can be dealt with in real time instead of having customers wait days or even weeks for a response in some cases. This means that the customer now saves a lot of time because of the fact that it takes just a few minutes to type up their query on the company’s social media marketing pages.
Because social media engagement is virtually an instant process, it means that customers usually receive responses to their queries online within minutes to perhaps an hour or two at most. This is because more and more companies are realizing just how competitive it is out there, so in order to keep growing their client base, they need to ensure that existing clients are kept happy while also using various forms of social media marketing to introduce new clients into their business network. These improved levels of customer service usually mean that existing clients will advertise on their behalf as well, which in turn will result in more business for them.
When it comes to social media engagement, it is very important for companies to realize that when customers interact on their social media pages, their responses, compliments or complaints are able to be viewed by everyone who frequents these pages. That is why these companies need to maintain a professional social media marketing image at all times and this means that no matter how small or insignificant a complaint may seem on the social media page, it is important for it to be dealt with as professionally as possible. Although social media is used by many businesses today, it should also not be the only way for clients to contact a company, as not everyone has access to these networks.
Many businesses today have realized that social media can be a powerful tool that has the ability to either build or break your company brand within a very short time. That is why it is important to ensure that it is utilized correctly by people who have extensive social media marketing experience.