Social Media Marketing March 20th, 2013
In our world of social media, it seems like customer complaints are announced over a nationwide or even worldwide loudspeaker. Fortunately, happy customers can also share their positive reviews with the same effect. For good or for bad people will talk, and what they think of your business can be written all over their friends’ newsfeeds.
Interestingly, while almost every company now uses Facebook for marketing, relatively few are using it for customer service. You can use Facebook to create an image for your company that shows you care about your customers. Here are five ways customer service through Facebook can help you both retain and gain customers.
Know what people are saying about your company on Facebook. You can set up alerts for certain words such as “customer service,” “complaint,” “frustrated,” or “question.” This will help you respond to negative comments or customer service issues more quickly.
You can also create a tab on your main Facebook page which invites customers to tell you what they think, offer suggestions or ask questions. This will keep your main page from being clogged up with these types of comments and give you direct feedback for your market research.
You may be a large business with a call center or a small business where you wear the hats of both owner and customer service representative. Either way, Facebook can help lessen the burden of your customer service needs.
You can create a Facebook support community such as the page created by Dell. This allows your customers to ask the community for support. They are in essence helping themselves, but your company gets some of the credit. Don’t be afraid to let customers talk to one another. You might have customers who are well-versed in your product which can help other customers to use the products more capably. Remember to recognize the contributions of these helpful customers.
Other companies such as AT&T have created a customer service app for Facebook. This can help your customers reach information that they need in a timely manner without having to call your company directly.
Customers talking to one another can work to your advantage as they can begin to feel like a part of your brand’s community. They will promote your product and you will crowdsource your marketing. There will, of course, be some negative discussion as well. You will need to monitor what customers are saying so you can respond quickly to negative feedback. Thank them for their input and show that the company desires to meet the needs of its customers.
Remember that customer service isn’t always about complaints. People will also post positive reviews and comments. Acknowledge these as well to encourage more positive feedback and enthusiasm for your brand.
Facebook is accessible customer service. There is no “estimated wait time” on the phone and no apology for “experiencing high call volume.” Your customers don’t have to sit on the phone listening to elevator music as they get more and more frustrated with their complaint or issue. Instead, they can browse pictures of one friend’s new baby and comment on another friend’s new relationship status while you work to find an answer to their question or solution to their problem. They will be in much better spirits when they interact with your company’s Facebook customer service representative.
While there are some paid services which you can use for marketing and analysis, a Facebook page itself is free. You can create one for each department of your company, all free of charge, and save some money in your customer support budget.
A recent study by Forrester Research showed that three out of four consumers expect a reply to a negative comment on a company Facebook page. Whether it’s your intention or not, customers will most likely use your Facebook page for customer service. Don’t lose customers by letting those comments fill up your page unnoticed. With a little organization, customer service on Facebook can improve your overall business.