Using Social Media For Customer Service

Social media has many uses for business marketing however, it can be  a very powerful voice for customer service. Virtually everyone uses social media in one form or another and as such a dissatisfied customer can very quickly and easily give your firm a bad review that can spread like wildfire. On the other hand, a good review can really help your business’s reputation which in turn can lead to new clients. This is why it is important to monitor the social media platforms you are using for your business, it is no good setting up accounts and posting now and again and then not bothering to interact or engage with your followers or even worse, just posting continual sales pitches. Of course you can use it for the occasional sales pitch but followers want more, they want information, discussion and a bit of fun as well. It does require a degree of dedication and if you can’t do this yourself, you should delegate this task to someone who will be diligent, interact with followers in a fair and non-judgmental way and flag up or solve any issues that might arise. As with any customer service, it is important to address problems as soon as they arise. Similarly, thanking those who give praise is also appreciated.  So, if you thought social media was just another marketing tool, think again, use it to promote your good customer service.

With the modern man attached to his smartphone at the thumb, today’s consumers often look to social media as the go-to route for customer service interactions with brands around the world.

Additionally, there’s a greater incentive for brands to satisfy needs and fix problems expressed on social. An irate traveler in an airport only influences other irate travelers. An irate, inconvenienced traveler on social media influences their followers – and potentially many more.

Personally, I now default to seeking support and service first on social media. Often, these interactions begin when I hear two of the most inconvenient words in any language:

“Flight Cancelled.”

These words imply all sorts of misery: long lines, angry travelers, overbooked alternate flights, missed connections and hours on the phone with airline customer service. Except not anymore.

On a recent trip, my wife and I experienced the dreaded cancellation, and all 150 to 200 people from our flight were told to go to the main customer service desk for rebooking. Anxiously waiting in line, I started tweeting at the airline.

There was no Twitter version of a phone tree, no time being put on hold. Within minutes, a person (indicated by a signature like this at the end of their tweets: “^LC”) got back to me. The representative requested I follow their account so we could discuss flight information via Direct Message instead of by publicly tweeting.

Less than 10 minutes after the initial cancellation, I had our rebooking – all via Twitter. We were still 20 to 30 minutes from the front of the line at customer service, and most of the people in front of me were on the phone – on-hold – with the airline.

The best part? We were rebooked on a plane departing within 15 minutes. If we’d waited on traditional customer service options, the flight would have been long-gone.

Traditional service options would have left me a frustrated, stranded traveler. I would have hours to tweet snarky comments about the airline. Instead, it had a satisfied customer – already on Twitter, ready to share my experience. Click here to read on

Further information

When social media doesn’t work

The top 7 social media trends of 2014