Within the last few years, we’ve watched social media change the way we deal with customers. Such channels like Twitter and Facebook have allowed companies to interact with their audience on a more intimate level, bringing both companies and their clients into a closer relationship in which conversations take place publicly.
A social opportunity presents itself
For the moment, social media is an almost absolute window into the world. Here we can talk, listen, and watch what our potential audience is doing. More importantly, we find out what it is that they want from us.
Social media provides not just an avenue for our customer to reach us it also give us a window in which we can see our customers likes, dislikes and associations/networks.
Many customers have turned to social media for customer service – asking questions on “walls” ; leaving comments (the good and the bad) on twitter tweets and even sharing their contact information openly.
Conversations becoming confrontations
The best way to handle a customer complaint on a public venue is to acknowledge it. People want to be valued and they want to be heard.
Social platforms provide a channel for that if they are managed properly and the purpose is kept in the forefront.
It’s not the place to blast policy or use the tool to explain “your side of the story”.
First acknowledge their concern. This is for actual legitimate concerns not just for people who troll pages hoping to spam.
Then, do not delete. Remember, people are watching your interactions on your platforms. If you delete a comment you dislike, then it speaks volumes that you don’t value what someone says if it’s negative, a concern or not in line with what you want to chat about.
High tech – high touch
Be human and now offer them opportunities to take the conversation offline. When you do this, everyone ‘lurking’ and observing the conversation sees that you care and value your connections and clients.
Offering to connect with them offline, also keeps their private information private and takes any potential negative comments or stories off of your social platform.
While the social customer is a powerful source of information and transformation, it is up to us to engage with our social world. We can’t wait for those around us to start up a conversation. We have to be prepared to engage the customer. This means that the information that you gather from your client isn’t just a file in your desk, it’s a resource that lets you become more intimate with your client.