By now, your company most likely has social profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You’re adding content regularly, updating your blog and posting interesting pictures. Why? Well, that’s what the online marketing gurus tell you to do. Yet there’s something that so many companies leave out of the equation, something so integral that it will automatically make or break the online reputation that you have built up for yourself over time. It’s called social customer service.
Your business already understands the importance of having responsive customer service, but it’s often forgotten through the online world. Building a following on social media is made possible through good content, updates and photos, but maintaining this following can be difficult. Unfortunately, customer service on these social media channels has remained a relatively low priority.
The reasons why customer service is low on the totem pole is twofold. First, the goals for being on social media are to increase brand awareness, increase web traffic, generate leads, promote sales and improve the reputation of the company. Having good social customer service isn’t worked into the initial strategy, so it’s often lost in cyberspace.
Second, customer service takes time, and time is money. Many companies are managing their own social media profiles internally, and it takes only seconds to upload a photo, update your status or send a quick tweet in the morning. To actually have to sign-on regularly, provide assistance and answer questions and concerns takes too much time away from other staff responsibilities.
Still, social customer service is not something to be overlooked, and it will ultimately make the distinction between you and your competitors. The foundation of social customer service is that you are available, helpful and responsive. Your customers and followers should know that by sending you a tweet, a direct message or a private message, they can reach someone who will care, listen and engage in interaction. Basically, your customer service team needs to be online with your customers at all times.
Expanding customer service into the online world can be seamless, but it won’t happen overnight. A strategy needs to be devised, especially because the social media world never sleeps. Also, living in an interconnected world, time doesn’t really matter. Remember, it’s 5pm somewhere, right? The bottom line: customer service has always been an integral part of any business’ success. With a growing online presence, your customer service team needs to continue the five-star social customer service that any business would be proud of.