Social media can be a valuable tool when it comes to raising brand awareness, establishing a coherent brand image and engaging potential/existing customers, but what role does it play in a customer service role? Some companies have started using Twitter and Facebook as a means of customer support. Some see it as simply a means of highlighting how good their customer service is, but some trailblazers have managed to combine great feedback with great potential for brand promotion and awareness.
Many fast food retailers across the pond have been using their social media presence to talk to customers and engage in banter with competing chains, turning a social media that solely exists to promote their services becoming worthwhile to read, even by people that don’t care about their services.
As for its role in taking consumer feedback, there are unique issues that come with how social media works. Customers tend to make either hyperbolic statements about bad service or tone it down, as they know contacting customer support in a public form like Twitter will attract attention. Since it’s social media, there are also people simply looking to ‘troll’ the support account through anonymous accounts or their own personal account, depending on how offensive or stupid the tolling attempt will be.
On the other hand, receiving feedback via social media can help in some cases. When dealing with customers who are having technical problems (like a malfunctioning computer), it’s possible that other users will be able to help them with their issue if it’s easy to fix rather than dragging support in. Also, good customer support is readily apparent when it happens, since everyone can see it. Customer support no longer has to be a thankless job, and people will become more confident in using it as good examples of customer service appear on social media, with customer service horror stories being less prominent. In other words, it’s a perfect opportunity to improve your brand reputation.
There are other clear advantages to using social media as a customer support channel: You eliminate the ‘funnel’ method of customer service, which is irritating to consumers and may lead to them dropping the complaint because it’s too much hassle to bother with, especially if they don’t like calling people on the phone. When using social media as a support tool, don’t give a boilerplate response like ‘call this number’: this makes it clear that contacting them via social media was a waste of time.
In the end, customer support via social media isn’t just a fad. It’s a new way to engage and support your customer base and potential leads. At the Change Consultancy, we’re excited about taking new technology, methods and workplace philosophy to reinvigorate companies and get them running at maximum efficiency in an age where change is fast and confusing.