As your customer base continues to grow, you’ll receive customer service requests via all the usual channels: telephone, email and social media. While plenty of customers prefer the direct route to customer service, today’s savvy consumer may take to the social media airwaves to complain. It’s the most public and indirect way to get a business’ attention, and it could be detrimental to your company.
The abundance of social networking options available online may seem overwhelming, but most businesses are in good shape if they focus on Facebook and Twitter presences. Because Twitter is mostly focused on written communication, some of the strongest consumer voices air their grievances on the network.
So how do you organize an effective customer service campaign that leverages the public communication power of Twitter? Having your own Twitter account is the first step. If your online store is big enough to employ a staff of customer service representatives, getting these reps set up with their own brand-focused Twitter accounts will help in securing direct, easy-to-manage customer service.
Monitoring Twitter activity closely is a must. Responding in a timely manner helps build brand loyalty and inspire trust in your customer service. While some customers may contact you directly by calling your brand out using the “@” symbol, others may simply use a hash-tag (#) or type your brand name. A daily search for your company’s name should help you stay on top of the buzz.
Next, it’s important to use Twitter only to the furthest extent you can. If the conversation is getting messy or requires more explanation than Twitter’s 140-character allotment, respond to the unhappy customer with a phone number or email address and ensure them a quick response.
You may find yourself wary of apologizing for a mistake or detailing what went wrong publicly—but the damage you can do to your brand by ignoring the query or dancing around the issue is exponentially larger. By publicly fixing an issue, you promote transparency for consumers, in turn generating higher brand loyalty and more return customers.
It’s important to remember that social media isn’t simply a marketing channel. Don’t shy away from the conversation, and your customers will reward you for your honesty.