social mediaMany companies are turning to Social Media to up-sell, promote and sell their products and services. This method has proven to be cost effective and with the current monitoring tools you can obtain detailed reports on the number of views that each post receives and of course the interactions.

Extending the limit of social media, several companies now offer customer service and support through various social media channels such as twitter and facebook. While it seems like a winning idea, customer service cannot be offered entirely through Social Medias; but the truth behind the issue is that Social Media have influenced the way customer service is handled.

But why? Now-a-days, if a customer is unable to get an ‘acceptable’ solution for their issues they are likely to take their concern virtual. For example in 2010 after a bad experience with a telephone service provider, a frustrated customer tweeted “@companyname, I wish I never met you!” This post was retweeted over five hundred times and favored by two hundred and twenty-three twitter users. This tweet created and promoted a bad imagery of the company and subsequently the business replied to the twitter with a resolution.

Social Media has altered customer service because it essentially gives each consumer a ‘voice’. A single negative or positive comment about your business can go viral and significant increase or decrease traffic flow. Social Media platforms also provide the opportunity for customers to interact with the companies they do business with and vice versa. Generic information such as ‘how to’ videos are now popular so customers are more likely to look up a YouTube video on “How to forward my telephone lines” than calling the service provider and asking a Customer Service Representative.

The concept behind Social Media is to create a user experience that is so simple and uncomplicated that everyone wants to do business with you. Social Media should not be considered a replacement for Customer Service however it can lessen the average number of calls your business receives per day.

Here are a few tips to make the best out of your Social Media:

Monitor!

Frequent and consistent monitoring of your Social Media Pages is the first step towards a successful campaign. It is the foundation of your each platform so knowing what is being said about your company and who is saying will make your marketing efforts better targeted.

For instance if you notice that 60% of your Facebook fans are located in Carefree, Arizona you might want to figure out what the demographics of that area is like and also research why most of your followers are in this area: if you are not a local business.

Monitor some more!

What makes Social Media a bit more difficult to maintain is the response time: how long it takes for a company to respond to a question asked by a customer. Facebook and Twitter followers expect real time support, and on average are willing to wait ten- fifteen minutes for a reply.

Picking up on a negative comment quickly can also stop it from going viral and damaging the company’s image.

Define clear objectives

Research each Social Media platform that your company decides to use and outline the ‘game plan’ to engage activity. For example, at Answering Service Care we focus on three main Social Medias: Facebook, Twitter and the most Recent YouTube.

For us, Facebook is where we post pictures of various events that our company hosted and of our answering service team. Because this is the foundation of that platform it is best suited for our employees (even though this does not eliminate non-employees who would like to follow our Facebook page). It shows the human aspect of our business: people laughing and having fun.

The Answering Service Care Twitter page however is more professional and refined. Our team uses Twitter to promote and distribute our blog articles. We seldom post pictures to that platform and because of the character limit per tweet our post are shot and to the point.

Recently we began updating the content on our YouTube page.

Be consistent

Try to post something to your Social Media Pages at lease once a day to encourage interaction even if it is just ‘Good Morning J’. Also use hashtags to segment your post and group them with similar posts. This comes in useful if it is a popular hashtag, your post will show up with others when the term is clicked thus increasing the likelihood of it being seen and shared or liked.

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