This is part one in a two-part series about your business and social media. You can read part two here.

For many companies, social media is the best way to reach their most wanted demographics, but there’s a lot more than marketing that you could be doing.

Your customer experience can also get a huge boost from your social media accounts, if you use them to enhance your customer service arm. You’ll be shocked by how much a little personal care can do to improve your image in the mind of social media mavens who will go and share your updates with their friends.

Here are four great ways to improve your customer service with social media:

  • Monitor customer feedback and provide proactive solutions. Knowing where your followers are and what they’re up to can help you seemingly create customer service opportunities out of thin air.For example, if someone is complaining about a flight cancellation, the airline could jump on that signal and make arrangements for those stranded passengers to catch the next flight. Retailers or manufacturers can respond similarly with solutions to problems that their social media followers are trying to figure out in that very moment.
  • Make access to customer service faster. One of the sharpest double edges with social media is how quickly customers can register a complaint. On one hand, this gives you a chance to respond and handle their problem almost instantaneously, but on the other hand you’ll have to have a sharp eye on your social media in order to stay on top of these issues. Still, a team can handle this problem with ease, ensuring that your brand is always available to answer both public and private messages.
  • Turn negative feedback into opportunities for change. You can’t always be perfect, but you can use your social media feed to push you a little closer to that goal. When you make a mistake, you need to own it, but you can also take that opportunity to do better.Whether you’re getting consistent negative packaging feedback, complaints about your processing times or the way your salespeople handle themselves, this is a call to act. Your customers will appreciate that their feedback is being heard and you’re taking strides to fix their complaints.
  • Give your customers a chance to rate you for the benefit of others. Certain types of customers love to provide their opinion for the benefit of others, and many social media platforms allow for this option. Star ratings and written reviews can help potential customers decide if your company is a good fit for them and the customers who leave them have the satisfaction of having said their piece, for better or worse.

These are just a few basic ways to use social media to improve your customer service experience. In part two of this two-part blog series, we’ll explore ways to fully engage customers by using your social media to not only make customer service better, but to really give them some ownership of your brand’s success.

After all, an engaged customer is a customer who makes your phone rings and creates a lot more work for you and for your answering service company!