One of the greatest problems with the traditional customer support lies in the fact that it’s generic, repetitive and genuinely turns people away from the idea of actually filing a complaint, provided that it’s a minor thing. Just the thought of those generic questions and that annoying song that these companies play while they wait are simply too much for some people to handle.
On the other hand, a truly quality customer service, the one with outstanding representatives and a great problem-solving methodology would cost an arm and a leg. This also goes for outsourcing, seeing as how the services of a great customer support agency won’t come cheap. So, all of this being said, what is a small business to do? One of the things they could try is enabling their social media presence to take up a part of this function.
1. Responding to customer comments
First of all, you need to understand the fact that not every comment about your business is a complaint. Sometimes people just want to ask a question or mention an issue that they’ve noticed. The latter is sometimes quite constructive and it comes completely free of charge, seeing as how all that a person making a suggestion really wants is to get a better product/service in the future.
The greatest advantage of social media comment response lies in the fact that your audience doesn’t really expect them. Imagine having thousands and tens of thousands of followers, the number of comments would be proportional to this, which is something that your audience is not only aware of but can also confirm visually. After all, they can see the comments left by other people. Still, a comment from a member of your staff is a nice gesture. On the other hand, not responding in a traditional customer service model would be outright insulting.
2. Making one-on-one connections
Another thing that you can do via your social media presence is to make one-on-one connections with your audience. The way this works is also fairly simple. First of all, it’s fairly easy to say thanks to a person who is a loyal brand fan for a longer period of time or to publicly welcome a newcomer. With the help of IM/DM service that all social networks have, you also get to communicate with your audience in real time, which is a great advantage. With the help of chatbots, your audience can even get an instant response, as well as be notified of how long they’re likely to wait, on average.
3. Social media marketing
The problem with the issue of customer service is the one of trust. Do they trust you enough and believe that you can actually solve their problem? If not, they won’t even bother contacting you, which doesn’t mean that they won’t slander your brand and products all over the internet. In order to avoid this, you need to present your company as a brand that cares about their customers and has a team of technicians ready and willing to leap at any pressing matter that any of your clients can encounter. The best way to go about this is with the help of an experienced social media marketing agency. In this way, you’ll develop a game-plan that will help you address this issue accordingly.
4. Addressing the issue publicly
One more thing that social media does for you is to allow you to gather data. This means that if a large number of your customers are raising the same question over and over again, you might need to address this issue publicly. Sure, a one-on-one approach will always be superior, however, this can also have a preemptive value. How? Well, people who are asking the issue directly need to be answered directly, nonetheless, those who come to your page after you’ve already addressed this issue publicly will just be able to apply the fix, without having to ask a question.
Naturally, this also gives you an opportunity to solve some problems with your products and services. As the old saying goes, if you’re 100 percent satisfied with your product, you’ve launched too late. Think about it, problems are bound to occur, which is why your audience wants to see how you perform under pressure. With the help of social networks, this is something you can do with ease.
5. The community
The next thing social media can help you with is to develop a community which is a massive customer support boost. Why? Well, have you ever been to a customer support forum? If you did, you must have noticed that it’s as likely that the problem will be solved by another user as it is that this answer will come from a moderator or a developer. In other words, by simply keeping your community alive, you can create a scenario where someone else is tacking your customer support for you, completely free of charge. This alone is a massive boost that can help you out immensely.
At the end of the day, you need to understand that the problem with telemarketing and landline-based customer service lies in a deeply rooted psychological problem. Namely, millennials and teens prefer texting to talking over the phone. By making your customer support based on the model of social media communication, you will completely transfer it into an environment that they’re fully familiar with. In this way, you’ll make them comfortable and ready to open up. After all, isn’t this what you’ve wanted from the very start?
Guest Post by Ian Pearson