Creative thinking that delivers results

02 Mar

Integrate your social media and customer satisfaction for big wins

Category: Social media
social media, customer satisfaction, customer service, social media marketing

While naysayers regularly criticize the very essence of social media, there are many in the know that understand that when used properly, brands of all sizes and shapes can derive many things through this marketing and communications channel. One component that’s often forgotten is how social can help your business enhance its customer satisfaction.

Link between social and customer satisfaction

More and more customers both on a B2C and B2B basis are using social media as a means to talk about the companies they buy from and do business with. While some of this is positive, a lot of it can be very critical and negative. As we said in a previous blog, brands can’t ignore these criticisms regardless of how absurd or inaccurate the comments may be.

Instead, businesses need to look at these complaints as an opportunity to demonstrate they take care of their customers, and to convey key messages about their brand to this large audience. Social media provides two-way communication between participants, allowing businesses to manage the complaints they’re receiving and provide a more realistic outlook on the situation where required.

That said, there are several things that companies MUST do when dealing with complaints they’ve received through social media:

1.      Acknowledge the client promptly

There is nothing worse than to ignore a tweet or post sent by a disgruntled customer. It’s imperative that you acknowledge the complaint you’ve received, ideally in 2 business hours or less. From there you can work to subdue the situation as opposed to escalating it if the client feels they’ve been snubbed by you.

2.      Don’t take things personally

It’s often easy these days to fly off the handle at a compliant you‘ve received from a customer, particularly when it’s even somewhat ludicrous in nature. You need to force yourself and your staff to react in the complete opposite manner! Acknowledge the customer’s concerns and do what you can do diffuse the situation as tactfully as possible. Remember that this is your primary objective; getting upset will often get in the way of resolving the problem quickly and possibly escalate matters further.

3.      Show empathy: Commit to make things right

There is no quicker way to distinguish an angry customer than to show genuine concern for them and the situation they’re presenting to you. Do the opposite and you’ll come across as arrogant and insensitive and you’ll be behind the eight ball from the get-go. And that’s why canned, ‘by the book’ responses can be the worst approach possible. Listen to your customers and respond accordingly!

4.      Know when to take pubic conversations private

Social media provides a great forum to get key customer service and business messages out to a very large audience while demonstrating your care and concern for your valued clients. But there will come a point where you will need to take this conversation and situation ‘offline’ to a more private place. Whether it’s a private direct message/email function built into the platform or email, the phone or even text messaging, don’t be afraid to take the conversation out of the public domain when you to need to deal with the issue in a more directly.

5.      Escalate the situation where warranted

This likely won’t happen too often but don’t be afraid to escalate a given complaint to your manager or above if the situation warrants it. It’s important to understand that you may not be able to handle all the complaints that come across your desk. Some may require special consideration and the input from a senior employee within the company. This is especially true if you’re dealing with one of your best customers or with a very unique issue. If nothing else, escalating the situation will make the complainants feel important and heard by you.

Make social an integral part of customer care strategy

Done effectively, social media can provide your company with a very intimate and direct link to many of your customers and prospects. Social can also provide a less formal complaint resolution mechanism than traditional procedures, which may enable you to uncover details and information that wouldn’t be possible through these normal channels.

Just be prepared for the harsh and gratuitous complaints with a plan, process and mindset that will enable you to turn these complainants into your biggest fans by wowing them with the customer care you provide! It’s not nearly as difficult as you might think if you approach things the right way.