Once upon a time it was brands calling the shots. We had the higher power and controlled the output of company information but in 2012 it’s a new day. The internet has disturbed the balance of power and has given consumers a very public voice to air their gripes and get your attention. We sing to our customer’s merry tune which means that businesses have got to start hitting the right notes with social media and using it as much more than just a marketing mechanism but a customer service outlet.
Social media has eliminated the middle man, now we just have many men (and women) who will hear directly from consumer’s mouths how they rate your company, how you dealt with or didn’t deal with an issue and any other libellous comments that can be tossed in.
The audience is global and the repercussions of an ‘I hate’ hashtag followed by your company name could cause severe damage to your brand reputation and jeopardise bringing in new customers. It happens to famous people all of the time, how often do we read about a celebrity vs. fan/ critic spate online? But we’re not celebrities and bad publicity is just that unless you find a way to resolve it and restore the power.
There are actually several benefits to dealing with customer complaints online and in the open. By now you’re probably shaking your head and backing away from Facebook but let us try to convince you first.
Brand Visibility and Availability
Companies and brands parade themselves on social networks because there has to be a level of transparency between you and your customers to build that sought-after interaction. You want to appear ‘social’ and at the same time appeal to a wider audience and be down with Generation Y.
Engagement is key to customer service as is being contactable. The more available you are, the more efficiently you handle complaints, and the further you go to resolve their issue leaves less chance of you losing that customer and hundreds of others who may see the status update.
Now turn this around. Marketers love using the phrase, ‘brand visibility’ but the impact of you visibly resolving complaints and devoting time to deal with individual customers has several positive effects. It can change how your brand is viewed and increase your value within the market.
Faster Response Time
Secondly, your responses should reduce inbound queries and off the back of that drive vital feedback your way. If you find that you repeatedly receive similar enquiries or criticism, take it as an opportunity to develop something around it and show yourself as a brand who respond to their customers.
According to social media monitoring company, Brandwatch, almost half of all 18-34-year-olds expect a response within 12 hours on social media – can you keep up with this? Most small companies probably can’t but before taking the jump to social customer service, develop a strategy around it. How large is your online following? Do you need a separate team to man Twitter? How are you going to deal with complaints in the public sphere? Can you afford to do it in-house or would outsourcing prove more valuable?
Customer service is just one area where brands can really take advantage of being online, given the large number of social media monitoring tools now available, delivering great customer service should be a doddle.
For more details of how transcosmos customer support and social media support services could increase the quality of service you deliver and up customer satisfaction, feel free browse through transcosmos services.