Social media has become increasingly popular as a platform where businesses interact with their customers. Whenever people have a complaint or compliment about your business or brand, they are likely to leave a comment on networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. It is therefore very important for every business to have a social media plan which will safeguard its reputation and fortify customer relationships.
Here are some tips for improving your ecommerce customer service using social media.
1. Use search tools
To improve your customer service using social media, you should first be aware of what people are saying. You can keep track of comments about your brand or business using tools such as Google Alerts, TweetBeep, TwentyFeet and NutshellMail. Add keywords related to your business, brand or industry to these tracking tools and check results regularly. Knowing what your target market is saying will give you ideas for improving your products and services.
2. Respond immediately
One of the main reasons customers use social media is because it is a fast channel of communication. This means that comments about your business or brand can spread very fast, especially if they are negative. You will therefore need to respond right away, preferably within an hour. Failing to do so will not only annoy your customers or prospects, but might also result in loss of sales. To give your response a personal touch, be sure to address the customer by their name.
3. Take responsibility
Whenever someone posts a complaint about your business or brand on Twitter, Facebook or Google+, be quick to take responsibility. Respond publicly with a comment such as, ‘Fred, we are very sorry for the inconvenience caused by maintenance of our web servers. We assure you that service will be back to normal within 12 hours.’ However, don’t just make promises for the sake of it. Failing to keep your word will only result in more negative publicity for your business.
4. Follow up
It is very important to follow up with the customer until the matter is completely dealt with. If necessary, you could shift communication from social media to more traditional channels like email or telephone. This will allow you to resolve the issue with the customer one-on-one away from the public. When satisfied, the same customer might just leave a comment about your great customer service.
5. Hire a professional
Professionalism and consistency is necessary for success customer service using social media. However, engaging with customers can be a very time-consuming exercise. It would therefore be advisable to hire a qualified social media customer service manager. This will ensure that comments are addressed as fast as possible, thus enhancing customer satisfaction.
Even the best ecommerce sites experience problems once in a while, thus resulting in unhappy customers. Comments shared by people on social media sites can make or break your business. It is therefore very important to engage customers and prospects in a helpful way on these social media channels. This will not only improve your reputation, but could also enhance your company’s bottom line.