It is hectic trying to run a business. Whether it is a small company of only 10 people or a medium sized business that has 110 people. There are often many different hats that are being worn by many people. One hat that almost every employee wears is the crown of customer service. You may be a someone whose title is to be the customer service representative. Yet, in reality, everybody in your company is in the customer service department.

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This is especially true for the social media manager. many business owners use social media as a single channel. That channel is marketing. You push your product and services out through your different channels. You Social Media Manager’s job is to help raise awareness of your products. Show off how cool and exciting your product is. or how help a potential customer understand how your service can improve their bottom line.

This is one of the purposes of Social Media. The other side of social media is in a way even more important. This side of social media often gets ignored. or even not even considered. A common phrase uttered by small business owners when asked about their social media strategy is, it is we don’t have a marketing budget set yet.

How about in you customer service budget? Yes, Social media is truly a good medium for telling people who are absolutely excited about your products and services. It could be said that it is even more important to use social media and the different social networks as a customer service channel.

A lot of companies like to state that they have awesome customer service. for example, You can’t throw a stone on the internet without coming across some type of customer service complaint about Comcast. Yet they believe they have good customer service. Yet there is story after story about someone trying to leave Comcast because of poor customer service and receiving even worse customer service, and this is when you should be pouring on the customer service.

Jay Baer with a little help from Edison Research shows that the truth of  the matter is Many companies have the wrong idea of what their customer service rates.

Only 8% of customers think that businesses deliver exemplary service. While looking at those same companies, 80% think they have exemplary customer service. This includes a number of times a person has to call to get their issue resolved. 91% want a response when making a phone. While 67% of those complaining are satisfied with a phone call. IF they do not get a response from the company the advocacy rate drops 51%.

This isn’t even covering the problems people have on Social media. Where complainers expect a more rapid response than the average 44 hour response time for email. If the person with the problem doesn’t hear back on social media in as little as 4 hours they often excellent the problem and you have lost that customer.

Using Social Service

Social Service, in a nutshell, is using social networks as a customer service channel. That same channel that many businesses don’t have money to invest in.

60% of business claim that they are not capable of handling customer complaints online. And they wonder why their customers leave. Yet if you can increase your customer retention by 5% you have a nice little boost of 25 as much as 85% the profits column. So that one unhappy person, it may not be wise to just let him go.  It can help if you try to fix the problem.

82% of customers say they will never do business with a company they have had a bad customer service experience with. I am one of those people. As anyone in the Goodwin household if we go through the drive through of the local Arby’s. The answer is no and that is because the drive through service for the longest time was horrible. They never could get the order right. I would do a glance over to see if they had the sandwiches and get home and there be only one curly fry and other mistakes like that. The wrong sandwich haphazardly slapped together. So, I refuse to use the drive in. If we are in a hurry I will go across town to Carls Jr  or Sonic but I will never use the drive through for anything more than a refreshing beverage. I am sure you are the same way.

The different networks and how they are used

Facebook Customer care

When it comes to Customer Service Facebook appears to be where people will come to get some resolution. With Facebook messenger, people will often turn to your page for minor problems. and can be fixed in a relatively short amount of time.

Many times the customer care is in the form of question answering. Like are you open today or can I make an appointment. I have seen people ask if you have something in stock. This is the easy customer service stuff that will help you out if you answer it quickly. Facebook lets your customers know how fast you are in customer service response rates. You want to keep the green rating if you can.

If you are doing the customer service yourself this is where having the Facebook pages app comes in handy. when you get a new message you will see a notification on your phone. You can then start the customer service process. You can quickly find out what the issue is and start finding a solution to the problem. You can then continue the conversation on your desktop where typing is a bit easier.

You are also able to send them a prefilled out form. This little trick is awesome for customer retention. If you send them a prefilled out form with all their information already in all the required spaces you providing over the top customer service. You are showing them that you value their time. you have actually listened to the issue. you can send then the PDF to them to sign and send in the mail. The little steps are the import and in Customer care department goes the extra mile.

Twitter Customer Service

Many people will never use twitter till they have something to complain about. weird for such a great relationship building tool. Yet this is the sad truth. So get ready to field a bunch of negativity. the quicker the better. There are a few tools you can use.

Hootsuite allows for you to have a column set for a particular search so you can search for people who have a question about your industry, or keep a look out for your name. You can then be able to address these questions and even poach a few customers from your competitors because they are not providing good customer service. This is noticeable when you are the first to provide the answer to a person problem. it is also the first step to a relationship with this customer.

Using Twitter as a customer service tool is needed. Your customers are on it. If you need help with twitter you can ask me or anyone else who you know is on twitter for help. Us twitter folks are always glad to help a new person out.

Mention is another great tool to see if someone is talking about you. This web app will give you notice of anytime someone is using your name. you can then address this person and provide customer care to then if they are having a problem with a product or service you provide.

When it comes to using Twitter you don’t really have to worry about the 140 character limit. When you are looking to fix the problem you can ask them if you can take the problem to a private message. this allows for you to get personal information and you are also limited to 10,000 characters.

Now if the person doesn’t want to go private that is actually ok you will be shown everyone your knowledge and the limited character amount helps you become a better communicator.

Google Plus Customer service in Review

Google Plus is still useful. Mostly in the realm of reviews. These reviews appear when a potential customer is performing a local search. People are able to see any and all reviews that have been giving along with a star rating.

Now when a bad review comes about this is the time your customer service skills can shine. This tip can also help you out in Angie’s list Yelp and any other review site online. You want to help address the person problem. This shows other people that you practice customer care.

If your care is trying to try to sue a person into a 5-star review then it only comes across as you being a jerk and there being a reason why you only got that 1-star review. If you apply good customer service you will often find out that this person just had maybe a bad day or something was perceived as wrong. The key here is to validate the issue and that the offense that causes the low rating was not a normal event. Show your customer that you do care and this shows everyone else who sees this interaction that you pride yourself in customer service.

The Unsatisfied

There are those that you will come across. online as well as in your business that I call the UnSatified. These sad souls have an ax to grind and they have chosen you. Some just want their existence to be validated. So you get them showing up from time to time. They buy something then complain. They then leave happy after you have taken the time to validate them.

Then you have to the Troll. Nothing is satisfactory to them. This is because they want nothing but to see if they can wreck what you have. These guys are easy to spot if you try to help them and they refuse the aid. All they are doing to attacking again and again. Then you have a troll but it is easy to fix the problem. You disengage with that person. You can block if the desire hits you. Before you do ban the meanie for all eternity. You do want to try. Offer help three times. Offer any and all services you can to help fix the problem if you are unable to fix the endless torrents of complaints and degradations then block them ban them or just ignore them. It shows your other customers that you are trying. It also shows them that the troll is just that a troll looking to make as many people as unhappy as possible.

There is an edge you can have over any company. You are able to build a customers advocacy group that is better than any Superbowl ad. The money is often spent on the squeaky wheel instead of applying it to win over more customers and raving fans.

The heart of winning the customer service field is making your customer relevant. Help them feel like they actually matter. Thier problems are important.If you make that customer feel like their problem is your problem and you show them that you are fighting hard to correct the problem. You will be well on your way to changing the hearts and minds of the people who were at one time not happy.

The key word in Customer service is Service. if you serve your customer you will have customers who are happy to talk about you.

I am here!

Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
I am here!

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Why Social Media is Customer Service
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