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How Social Networking Can Improve Customer Service Peggy Carlaw

Social Customer Service How Social Networking Can Improve Customer ServiceWe were for­tu­nate last fall to have Rebecca Pelke, a senior mar­ket­ing stu­dent at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, as our intern.  If you're not using social media as part of your cus­tomer ser­vice strat­egy, you'll def­i­nitely want to read this post which was researched and writ­ten by Rebecca.

Accord­ing to Nielsen, the world spends over 110 bil­lion min­utes on social net­works and blog sites each month and 80% of all active US Inter­net users are reached through social media. Social net­work­ing sites are a great way for your busi­ness to com­mu­ni­cate with cus­tomers to improve cus­tomer service.

More and more orga­ni­za­tions are using social tech­nolo­gies for cus­tomer ser­vice by par­tic­i­pat­ing in con­ver­sa­tions with cus­tomers in order to gather and act on their feed­back. Sites like YouTube, Twit­ter, and Face­book are a way for your cus­tomers to pro­vide feed­back, make sug­ges­tions, or even com­plain about your prod­uct or ser­vice. You can use this feed­back to improve your cus­tomer ser­vice per­for­mance and fur­ther develop rela­tion­ships with your customers.

Cus­tomers are quick to voice their dis­ap­point­ment with your level of cus­tomer ser­vice through social net­work­ing chan­nels, which can really hin­der your busi­ness if ignored. Cus­tomers are more likely to become advo­cates of your brand if they see you have taken steps to rem­edy these complaints.

Here are some key ben­e­fits of engag­ing in social media sites:

  1. Gain repeat busi­ness. Cus­tomers feel spe­cial when you notice them and respond to them. And when cus­tomers feel spe­cial, they’re more likely to become repeat cus­tomers and tell their friends and busi­ness associates.
  2. Tar­get cus­tomers more effec­tively. These tools can be used to research con­sumer wants and needs.
  3. Deter­mine what com­peti­tors are doing. Social media pro­vides a great oppor­tu­nity to see how com­peti­tors are com­mu­ni­cat­ing and par­tic­i­pat­ing with their con­sumers and if it’s suc­cess­ful or not.
  4. Eval­u­ate per­cep­tion. With Twit­ter and sim­i­lar sites, con­sumers can tag your com­pany or even include hash­tags so it is eas­ier for you to eval­u­ate what they are say­ing about you and your com­pany and quickly improve upon it.

Devel­op­ing a social plan for cus­tomer ser­vice should be linked to your busi­ness goals, be focused on your cus­tomers wants and needs, clearly iden­tify the processes that will be affected, and spec­ify the infor­ma­tion and capa­bil­i­ties required.

Social net­work­ing sites make it pos­si­ble for mil­lions of peo­ple to share expe­ri­ences, build rela­tion­ships, and develop new ways of work­ing. With a well thought-out and exe­cuted social media plan, fol­low­ers become cus­tomers, cus­tomers become loyal cus­tomers, and your busi­ness grows like never before!

 

*Info­graphic via Fish­burn Hedges

 

Peggy Car­law is the founder of Impact Learn­ing Sys­tems, a lead­ing train­ing com­pany spe­cial­iz­ing in improv­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions between front-line employ­ees and cus­tomers. Peggy is co-author of sev­eral books pub­lished by McGraw-Hill, includ­ing Man­ag­ing and Moti­vat­ing Con­tact Cen­ter Employ­ees and The Big Book of Cus­tomer Ser­vice Train­ing Games.
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Peggy Carlaw
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