Do you remember the movie Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory? Veruca was my favorite, please don’t ask me why… I’m afraid if I were to uncover the reason I would need therapy. Anyway, remember the famous line, “I Want It And I Want It NOW”! The sad truth is that is how we as American’s now view life. We want what we want, and we don’t want to wait. When you have an issue, do you want to sit on the phone all day, or are you more likely to jump on Facebook and fire off a message?
For a long time in business, Social Media and customer service were viewed as two separate departments entirely, but these days the lines are blurred. Customers don’t see a difference and they want to be able to have access to you 24/7. When you really think about it, the task seems daunting.
I know what you’re thinking – “How on earth can I keep up with this 24 hours a day?” So maybe you aren’t Google, or FedEX and you can’t afford to staff 24/7 customer support, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be at the top of your customer service game. In a recent survey I read, 5 out of 6 customers feel that their questions go unanswered on social media. Unanswered questions say to the customer that you really don’t care about their wants and needs. Social media is a place where people gather to have conversations, if their conversation with you is unfulfilled, what type of conversations do you think they will have about you when they’re angry?
Here are some simple things you can do with your social media pages to build allies instead of enemies.
1) Acknowledge them (and do it in a timely fashion) – customers may not expect an immediate and full resolution to whatever their problem is, but they do expect to be heard. Even if you don’t have an answer, take the time to respond and let them know you are working on a solution. Not only will you build a rapport with that customer, you will also encourage loyalty from other customers who see the interaction.
2) Personalize it- When you’re responding to a customer, be sure you acknowledge their issues and don’t just reply with a standard pre-generated answer. If you’re feeling really froggy, sign your post with initials or a name. Customers like to feel like they are communicating with a real person, not like they are just another number on a spreadsheet.
3) Follow Up – I know this seems like a no-brainer, but you really would be surprised. Don’t just tell a customer you will handle and situation and then not follow through. You would be shocked how many other people are reading customer comments on your page. Once the issue is resolved, take the time to post that resolution back in the conversation. Not only will you gain loyalty from the customer you serviced, but you might just influence someone else along the way.
It can be as simple as 30 min a day – 15 in the morning and 15 in the evening, to help your business shine above the best. Why not give it a try….