What do you do when your flight to Brisbane, Australia is cancelled at midnight and the airline insists on rebooking you and your spouse on two separate flights? Or you are watching the last few minutes of “Homeland” and the cable picture starts pixilating for the twentieth time this month?

If you are like millions of consumers around the globe, you jump on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, and complain to friends, family, followers and the world about the lousy service you are experiencing. Depending on the company’s response to your complaints, you either go back on social media and report you are now a satisfied customer, or fume even more about their misguided or lack of response.

Companies nowadays have a better way of reaching out to their customers, all thanks to social media. Such sites are an integral part of the culture, using them for online customer support is moving from cutting-edge concept to business necessity.

Just two years ago, when consumers got a social media response from a brand on an online customer support issue, they were pleasantly surprised. Today, it has come to the point now that if companies don’t respond, they will have a black mark against them.

How much have businesses taken advantage of social media customer care so far? Not very much, actually; according to evolve24, a Maritz Research company based in Fenton, Mo., which specializes in social media analytics, 70% of online customer support service complaints made on Twitter and Facebook go unanswered. This is an often-cited study and many Internet specialists believe the percentage has not changed significantly.

The social landscape is evolving, but one thing remains certain in all this uncertainty. Your ability to serve your customers, in the channels they wish to be served in, is critical to your business success. Using social media for customer support is an essential method of communication and not just for brand exposure.

It Affects Current and Potential Customers

It is critical to keep current customers happy and show potential customers how well you do business. Social media gives your business a channel to achieve this.

Any strategy for the implementation and integration of social media online customer support service must be future-proof, responsive, and enhance the business as a whole. Social media customer support needs to be as organic and flexible as the medium that created it, while simultaneously delivering tangible results for the business through a stronger brand identity, better customer service, and a long-term strategic plan.

It Must Address Existing Customer Support Needs

  • Integrate social media into your existing customer service function. Gone are the days when social media sat on their own at the table; you now have the direct ability to influence all business functions to become a more responsive customer-centric business.
  • Create humanized responses to engender loyalty and build relationships. Many companies are guilty of creating robust and well-planned strategy for social customer service delivery, but fall at the final and most important hurdle; creating a voice your audience can relate to.
  • Monitor social interaction to spot issues and solve problems before they become crises. Social customer service delivery involves dealing with criticism and complaints in public, often in front of an audience of millions. This is where the following come in:
    • Using blogs to communicate with customers.
    • Encourage feedback.
    • Responding to feedback and dealing with negative feedback promptly.
    • Monitoring all feedback.
    • Keeping an eye on the competition to improve online customer support service.
    • Taking note of what customers really want.
    • Using social media to also communicate customer service to your employees.

 

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 9:31:15 PM and is filed under Mixellaneous.

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