Customer service has evolved over the years. Looking back at the start of the first call centers in the 1960’s, companies have been searching for ways to better communicate with their customers. Now, in an age where things are expected instantly, social media has allowed brands to improve customer service even further.
We hear all too often how companies are making blunders on social media, but rarely (if ever) do we hear when brands are doing a great job. The reality is companies see social media as an opportunity to reach out to their customers. Brands like Birchbox embrace social media and take advantage of their ability to communicate to their customers fast and effectively while maintaining profitable retention. Above everything else, we must emphasize the importance of the word “effectively.”
Branding Customer Service through Social Media
What do we mean when we say effectively? It can be argued that it’s on a case-by-case basis, but every brand has a tone which is an extension of how they market and brand themselves. When a brand has a chance to help a customer personally, they can use that opportunity to send a personal brand message. Going back to Birchbox, they respond to the majority customer feedback quickly, whether it’s positive or not, making them engaging and approachable, which is an ideal approach for their target audience.
Helping a customer via social media can be one of the most efficient ways to assess a customer’s issue. Let’s look at it this way: if a customer has a problem with a product or service and takes it up with the company’s social media page, they’re expecting a very fast and helpful response. Depending on their issue, the customer can also get help from the social media page itself. Since social media pages are filled with useful information, they might even stumble upon a promotion they like.
Companies are better equipped to handle more customer issues with the help of social media, making the process faster and easier for everyone involved. Now the majority of issues can be resolved with something as simple as a link to a page that has all the answers they’ll need. This not only makes customer service more direct and organized, but more efficient as well.
Depending on the social media strategy, using effective customer service through social media can actually turn a negative into a positive. Instead of simply fixing or addressing a problem your company may or may not have caused, you can give your customer an experience that they will appreciate, earning future loyalty.
Not All Channels are Created Equal
One very important thing to consider when conducting customer service through social media is that customers now also have a choice on which platform they want to engage with. Someone using Twitter will expect a concise, fast response. On the other hand, a customer using Facebook will be more inclined to provide more detail and come to you with a potentially more complicated issue. Brands can leverage this and be proactive when establishing their social media strategies, making them more efficient and ready to tackle any problems.
From a marketing perspective, it’s also important to understand that we’re in the age of the consumer. Social media is especially effective for customer service in this respect because it allows a company to speak with a customer 1-on-1. This has proven to work more effectively than a generic advertisement because they’re more personal and break through the clutter of messages people see every day.
The Future of Customer Service
Customer service will always conform to the customer’s needs. In an age where people are relying on social media more and more for their news and other information, it’s certainly not farfetched to assume that social media will only become more prevalent in customer service. With the way people use Amazon and other popular eCommerce sites to research online before purchasing, it would also be safe to assume that the same shopping behavior can carry over, possibly checking a company’s social media page before going out to shop.
If your social media accounts aren’t as engaging as they should be, call Active Web Group. We are a full service digital marketing agency that provide social media strategy and account management for businesses of all sizes and industries. We also offer responsive web design, SEO services, email marketing, PPC