We 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:
- 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.
- Target customers more effectively. These tools can be used to research consumer wants and needs.
- 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.
- 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