Customer care through social media


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Many huge brands today are using Twitter and Facebook to solve client issues. Major brands such as Starbucks, HP, Comcast, and Ford now use social media for customer service. This article outlines best practices for customer care through social media.

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Customer care through social media

  2. 2. Executive SummaryIn 2005 when Jeff Jarvis wrote of the ‘Dell Hell’ in his blog, the company retaliated with ‘We donot respond to customer complaints through blogs’. Dell was criticized for their ‘look-don’t-touch’ policy when it came to blogs. Today, Dell has a “Direct to Dell” community that featuresblogs by its officers, forums, and a customer support site. Dell is also using Twitter andFacebook to solve client issues. Major brands such as Starbucks, HP, Comcast, and Ford nowuse social media for customer service. This whitepaper outlines best practices for customercare through social media.Customer Care through Social MediaCustomer service through social media is becoming mandatory. Yourcustomers will be talking about you…whether you are present or not. Interacting with yourIt serves their needs, as well as, your reputation, if you are present clients on social mediafor the conversation. The best solution is to work actively in socialmedia and use it to your advantage. Below are suggestions for lends you a uniqueentering the social media arena. perspective. You gradually learn that your customers LISTEN and LEARN: Browse around social media sites. If you are not just your target are new to this world, learn the protocols and etiquette of audience, but real people these sites before you start talking. Before you jump in to with real needs. And this support your brand, listen and understand what the customer is saying. understanding automatically helps you LEARN MORE: Remember that this is free marketing research. serve your customers Are there certain topics that dominate discussions of your better. industry? What is being written about your firm? While one remark may not be representative of the majority of your customers’ views, every comment out there may contain the hint of a way to make your product better, or perhaps identify some uses you never thought of. LISTEN. ASK. LISTEN: The best thing about social media is it puts you directly in touch with your customers. Use this powerful medium to listen to your customers. Ask them what you can do to make their lives simpler. That is the easiest way to increase customer satisfaction and retention…determine what they need! Check out Dell’s IdeaStorm page as an example. ACT: If there is a problem, or an unmet need, open a dialogue with the user. Ask questions to fully understand the issue, and propose a resolution.
  3. 3. Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported hotels are tracking on-line blogs to catch that firstcomplaint about a lousy room or lumpy mattress in hopes of quickly fixing it before thatcomplaint spreads. Sometimes, hapless customers dash off complaints and type out all theirfrustrations onto their blog/Facebook page. Once they get it out they are generally muchcalmer and more willing to speak. Or, maybe they just wanted to be noticed so their problemcan be solved. It is up to you whether or not you take this opportunity to solve the problem orlet the complaint burn itself across the Internet. DON’T IGNORE: If you decide to place your brand out in social media-- be diligent. Never ignore customers. Concerns that seem simple, petty, or trivial; are not. If it didnt matter to the customer, they wouldnt have logged-on to type. Remember, the customer is paying your bills. Any failure to respond effectively will be broadcast widely. FOLLOW-UP: Immediately follow-up (and tell the customer you will be doing so) so they know you care about service. Many people in businesses now prefer to be “followed-up” via e-mail, and not on the phone. Always leave room at the end for any OTHER comments they may have. “How would you improve the product?” “Could we have found a better way to resolve your concerns?” NO SCRIPTING: Be yourself on your blog/Facebook/Twitter interactions. Do not use scripted answers. When someone reaches out to you on a social networking site, they are not looking for an automated response. Be the real person they want to talk to. Nothing annoys customers more than a canned sentence response…and yes, everyone knows if one is used. DON’T BLUFF: This rule applies to customer service through any channel, not just to social media. But bluffing on social media can prove even more costly. Your inability to stand good on your promise will be broadcast to net surfers around the world. ENCOURAGE YOUR TEAM: It is great to have your top managers blog, and be in touch with customers, but it is even better to have your team interact with customers. Let’s face it—the front-line team is the one in contact with customers in the off-line world. So, let them play to their strengths online too. (remember, though: these interactions need to keep your corporate approach and position in mind with every interaction: See white paper : Social Media Networks and Automation Software; Social Media & AMP)Interacting with your clients on social media lends you a unique perspective. You graduallylearn that your customers are not just your target audience, but real people with real needs.And this understanding automatically helps you serve your customers better.
  4. 4. For the past 14 years, MindMatrix has been aligning sales and marketingfunctions for over 20,000 sales and marketing professionals across 200companies, from diverse verticals through its innovative sales andmarketing software and solutions.Unique to the industry, MindMatrix offers N ext Generation MarketingAutomation software on a single unified platform for Sales and Marketing.Our solutions bring about a seamless integration of the 2 functions helpingour clients derive the maximum benefit from their investment in marketingand sales automation.Contact me today to know more about how MindMatrix solutions can helpyou align your marketing and sales processes for improved results.