How Social Media Helps You Provide Excellent Customer Service

Social MEowDia Explained

If you really want to make a good impression on your customers you should take their customer service experience to a whole new level. We live in a world of instant gratification. People don’t want to wait on the phone for the next available representative and forget about those robot IVRs that have you pressing this number or that number to get to the right department. Don’t even get me started on the automated systems that ask you to verbally request which department you want and then the darn thing can’t recognize what you’re saying anyways.

The days of calling a call center representative is starting to become a thing of the past. Everyone is relying on social media to reach out to their customers both for marketing purposes and to provide customer service.

And it’s even better for customers because they can contact the companies they need right when they need to.

It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved, right? You wouldn’t think so but this can have a positive and a negative affect and today I’d like to take a look at both instances.

The Positive Side of Customer Service in Social Media

If a customer has a situation going on and you can help them instantly, not only do you earn their trust and their business but they will always recommend you to their friends and family or anyone else in their circles. And guess what? The story of how you helped them will be told every time your name is mentioned. How do I know? Been there, done that.

When I was in the middle of switching to a self-hosted WordPress blog I couldn’t decide on a hosting provider. A friend of mine told me about one and tagged the company during one of our twitter exchanges. Low and behold a representative from that hosting company replied and reassured me that they would be there to help me through it all. I replied with a thank you and added a tag of my own to spread the word and show the world how helpful they were. I signed up with that hosting company, and have been with them ever since.

The Negative Side of Customer Service in Social Media

Just as fast as the praises can come in, so can the rants, slams, and negative comments.

As quickly as a customer will thank you for an awesome product or excellent customer service, others can also say nasty things about your company. And on social media nasty things tend to spread quicker then compliments.

Customers will use social media to ask questions about your products or services. As well they will use it when they have specific issues that require your support.

And how a company handles these situations can make or break a company’s reputation. But even a bad situation can turn into a good one with a positive outcome.

How to Provide The Best Customer Service On Social Media

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to providing the best customer service on social media. Call center Customer Service Reps have been doing this for years. Just follow the same steps as a Representative would do if he or she worked in a call center. Here’s what they would do:

Immediately acknowledge the customer to let them know you’ve read their message.

Apologize for the inconvenience.

Reassure the customer they will receive the help they are looking for.

Ask questions to get an idea of exactly what the customer needs.

Offer a solution to their problem.

Follow up to make sure their issue is completely resolved.

And whatever you do, do not get into a heated exchange with customers. If they are ranting and carrying on, take control of the conversation by reassuring them that you are there to help, and then continue to ask questions so that you can resolve their issue.

Always use a pleasant and professional tone, and if insulted, do not take it personally. Remember you are working at earning every customer’s trust, and your online conversation can and will be read by more than just the customer you are helping at that given moment.

Over to You

Do you use social media to contact companies that you deal with when you have a question? Has it worked out well for you?

corina

Corina Ramos

Corina is a work-from-home mom rolling with the punches while trying to balance a family and an online business. She is dealing with teens, grey hair, and wrinkles all at the same time! She recently launched a new blog known as Not Now Mom's Busy which talks about teen issues, juggling family life with work life, living on a budget, and so much more.

Follow Corina on Twitter at Corina Ramos or Facebook.


Comments

    • DC @ Young Adult Money

      DC @ Young Adult Money 07/11/2013 5:20 a.m. #

      I definitely do not hesitate to mention companies in my tweets when I get bad service or have an issue with their products. Likewise, I am always willing to give them praise via social media as well for a job well done. I love how social media is connecting customers directly to the brands and companies that they use. Overall I think it will create a higher level of quality.

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 07/11/2013 3:31 p.m. #

        I've given kudos on social media but I've never called out a company for bad service although AT&T deserved one last week LOL. :)

        I agree with you DC. More companies are using the "kid glove approach" with their customers because they know one bad customer experience can hurt their bottom line.

        Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Hope you're having a great week!

    • krantcents

      krantcents 07/11/2013 10:55 a.m. #

      I used to call customer service, send an email or write a letter when I had a problem. I no longer have to do that. If I use social media, i get more attention. This may be for good or bad. Customers have moved into the driver's seat!

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 07/11/2013 3:37 p.m. #

        Oh yeah, I've had my moments. And it gets bad because I was in customer service so while I'm explaining my issues I'm monitoring their call LOL.

        You're right about that. These companies have no where to hide LOL. Thanks for stopping by krantcents!

    • Reginald

      Reginald 07/11/2013 12:05 p.m. #

      Nice article!

      Hmm customer service? For me (with 8 years of customer service background), I feel it doesn't matter if you are on phone, email or social networks. You just got to be good in it. You know ... treat the customer right etc.

      When it comes to social media, you got to be careful as a wrong info, could lead to lots of miscommunication and as well as brand issue :)

      Just my 2 cents :p

      Reginald

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 07/11/2013 3:42 p.m. #

        Remember the rule "the customer is always right"? LOL. You're right though...it's all about following the rules of customer service.

        You're right Reg, companies need to be careful with how they word something so there is no miscommunication :)

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

    • Lisa

      Lisa 07/11/2013 6:33 p.m. #

      Hi Corina, I love using Twitter for customer service but am careful not to bash them unless it's a really bad issue. I'd rather DM them first. It's quicker and easier than phone in most cases. I'm on the other end with the retail site and have been thankfully the Social media questions/etc have been positive.
      I try to keep it that way when I'm the customer too.
      LOVE LOVE LOVE the image on this post - Already pinned it!

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 07/15/2013 6:30 p.m. #

        Hi there Lisa!

        Yeah, I won't go off on a tangent. I'll be civil and DM them first...I keep in mind the fact I might have customers in the future. Do unto others, right?

        I'm sure you're great with your customers...you're an awesome social media buddy Lisa :)

        The image is courtesy of Sicorra...I can't remember where she said she found it :)

        Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience!

    • Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Famiilies

      Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Famiilies 07/12/2013 7:30 a.m. #

      Social media is a great way to introduce your business to people all around the world. It is important to build relationships with your customers. I love seeing big brands interacting with its customers.

      • Corina Ramos

        Corina Ramos 07/15/2013 6:39 p.m. #

        You're right about that Christy! Social media has taken customer service to a whole new level.

        What I love most about it is how each company will try to outdo one another to win our loyalty...we the consumer cash in on that :)

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Have a great week :)

Comments are closed.