Social Media | 8.13.14
Your brand’s online reputation isn’t just made up of the reviews or ratings you receive on popular review sites. It’s about the relationships you build with your customers over time. This includes the interactions you have with both happy and unhappy customers through social media.
Social media allows both customers and businesses to have a shared voice and interact on a public stage. It’s essential to not only maintain that balance, but to make it work well for both parties involved. While it’s always easy to respond to a happy customer on social media, that is not the case with concerned or unhappy customers. Businesses must focus handling and addressing these types of situations or risk more questions and complaints.
In this article, we’ll go over ways to provide the best customer service so you can continue to build great customer relationships that inspire loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations.
When you ask a customer to “like” you on Facebook or “follow” you on Twitter, you’re really asking them to join a conversation with you. Conversation is a two-way street. It’s important that you’re closely monitoring what your customers are talking about, especially if they’ve addressed something to you. The most important thing that customers want is a quick response! According to an Edison study, 42% of consumers expect a response on social media within one hour and 32% think it should be within 30 minutes. You can set up your social media accounts or reputation-monitoring dashboard to get real-time notifications anytime a customer mentions you online.
Address Their Needs
The most loyal of customers do not make purchases to own a product, but to fulfill an emotional need from using a product or service of ours. Work on identifying and targeting individual needs. This will help you communicate better to your customers and get issues resolved more quickly and effectively. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and communicate publicly by commenting on social media. This not only addresses the individual customer, but allows others to see that you’re making an effort. This encourages customers to further build a relationship with you.
Go the Extra Mile
The best part of social media is that allows you to discover issues and address them right away. Although it’s important to respond quickly, remember to be attentive and supportive. Take the time to listen to the customer’s words, tone of voice, and how he or she may feel. Don’t just respond quickly, but be thoughtful as well. You can even offer to connect with them through another medium like phone or email. Also, avoid using generic responses like, “So sorry to hear that,” and “Please call us so we can address this issue.” These types of responses will not make customers feel important. Instead, ask yourself what you can do to go above and beyond for this customer.
A key ingredient to fostering a better customer relationship on social media is reliability. Businesses can provide reliability by offering an active social media environment that fosters new and existing customer relationships. It’s not helpful to you or your customers if your Facebook page’s last post was published on 2013. When customers search for your business’s social media pages, do they see activity, outreach, and appreciation?
Provide On-Going Support
The best relationships maintain ongoing interactions. By regularly monitoring your social media accounts, you have the opportunity to elevate your business over the competition by routinely “checking in” with customers. Is your customer happy with your response two weeks ago? How is he or she doing right now? What else can you provide your customer to keep the relationship going? The customer experience is created in those everyday moments of consistently and thoughtfully listening and responding to customers.
If your goal is to build stellar customer relationships for your brand, consider this:
When someone is complaining or complimenting, they just want to be heard. Take notice when customers are reaching to you.
It’s essential to not only identify the needs of your customers, but also deliver an experience that that’s one-of-a-kind and goes above and beyond.
Even after the relationship has formed or the issue is resolved, it’s still important to follow-up to maintain the customer relationship and help grow brand loyalty.