How are companies using social media for customer service?

Every avalanche is a result of small disturbance in the surface of mountain range. They are unpredictable and dangerous. In today’s online scenario, the connection between customers and brands have created similar surface which can create an avalanche on brand’s reputation.

Social Media has become number one platform to vent out bad product or service experience. There are many examples where brand’s reputation have been put on stake due to ignorance towards complain in social media. The most famous example can be the “United breaks Guitar” where a singer-song writers guitar was broken during flight at United. When the artist mentioned the damage to the customer service, he was ignored. As a result, he went on to publish a Youtube video about the incident which went instant viral, damaging the reputation of United. The issue was resolves after United responded to complain and reimbursed the artist.

Therefore, social media is becoming increasingly crowded with customer complaints and dissatisfaction. Being present in social media sites and responding to queries and complaints is becoming more important than before. Many brands have already built a resource and process to address the issue of social media customer service.

Below are some of the important ways in which social media can be used to enhance customer service.

Creating online social profiles and being there. The first step is to create your online existence and be present officially. Creating profiles allows your customers to identify you and makes it easier for them to engage. Rather than shouting at the world, your online presence will make it easier for your customers to seek help to you when needed.

Listening conversation about your brand. People are never going to find your presence unless you start engaging with them. The best way to engage is always to listening to conversation related to your brand and start responding. Proactively engaging with prospects and customers can increase your visibility and create better experience for your customers.

Creating Content Related to your Product/Service. Your customers are continuously seeking help and searching for relevant content. You can be that content provider. Creating content like blog posts or video tutorial are essential part of conversation between brands and customers.

Real-time Response. Customer delights has become an important aspect into customer experience. One of the ways in which social media can help create that delight is through real-time response to customer’s online query. Immediate response to the complaints or mentions can create ever lasting impression on customer than through direct marketing strategy.

Communicating Offers and Deals. One way to increase interest among your customers is to offer discounts and deals through your social networking channels. This will help you reach out to larger audience and energize customers to participate. DELL was one of the first brands to exploit these fundamentals and earn millions through investment in their Twitter Channels.

But how do you measure your performance?
Every social media activities gain response from the crowd. Therefore, in order to measure the performance of your social media activities, you need to consider exact metric which you will be tracking continuously as follow:

1. Interactions: Keep track of number of fans and followers and their activity related to your profiles like ReTweets, Comments, and Likes etc. Keep daily track of how many mentions your brand received in all the networking platforms.

2. Responders: Number of people who have interacted with your brands and the rate at which it is increasing.

3. Level Sentiments: In addition to tracking mentions of your brands, you need to drill down to the sentiments of customers. The goal should be to provoke positive sentiments and reduce the number of negative complains and sentiments.

4. Feedback: Customer Feedback is an important part of customer services, through which company can gain important insights. Company can also use feedback count such as number of participants in Survey or Polls, or special programs to measure the effectiveness of the social media customer service.

Social Media has changed the way customers and brands interact with each other. It depends upon the requirement of company to decide if they want to adopt social media as their way to interact with their customers.

Strategy to use social media as customer service can vary accordingly with each company and its the responsibility of company to research into the case and adopt the best way to engage in social media.

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