Why Your Business Needs a Social Media Strategy for Customer Service

Social Media Strategy

The number one way to provide outstanding customer service within your business is to know where your customers are, go where your customers are, listen when your customers speak, and communicate with them in the way they want to be communicated with.  

Not exactly revolutionary, to be honest. This is pretty basic content like you'd find in Business 101.

Which is why it's a bit confusing that there are still brands that don't use social media to engage with their customers.

Don't get me wrong – there are a lot of brands using social media. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of brands using social media in the same way they've used radio, television, or print marketing. They're using social media to broadcast a message to their audience, and they're assuming that's the best way to reach their customer.

Using social media in a broadcast only method isn't providing customer service. It's providing the social equivalent of junk mail, and it's a way of speeding up the process of your audience ignoring you – at best. If you stay in a broadcast only mode, honestly, it could even cause your audience to think poorly of you and communicate that to their own connections.

The number one reason your business needs a social media strategy for customer service is this: in a highly competitive marketplace, your customers have a number of other choices. If you don't provide outstanding customer service – including being available to your customers when and where they want to be, your competition will.

Social Media Strategy: 3 Tips for Outstanding Social-Media Based Service

#1: Listen!

Sounds simple, doesn't it? Late this past summer, customer service research company Genesys reported that over half of customer-serving Fortune 500 companies didn't provide a link to their company's social media profiles (Facebook and Twitter most notably) on their online contact pages. 27% didn't provide social media links anywhere on their websites. 

If customers are increasingly on social media, companies should be there also. Proactively listen for mention of your brand. Monitor your company's Facebook page for both praise and criticism – and respond to both honestly, transparently and respectfully. Set up Google alerts for mention of your company. Use a third-party solution such as HootSuite to watch for mention of your company's Twitter handle. Which leads to the next point – 

#2: Respond!

If listening is the first step – letting your customers know you're listening is the next. The best way to do that is to respond in a timely fashion.  A plan for providing great customer service using social media needs to include how you plan on responding to your customers (how often, whose responsibility this is, etc.) 

#3: Find Your Voice

In order to sound authentic to your customers on social media channels, it requires you to find your voice as a company. All of the strategy in the world will fall flat on its face if your audience can't relate to your voice.  Your content on social media – especially your response to customer concerns – needs to be human in order to be effective. 

Is your company using social media to deliver customer service? What has been the biggest challenge? I'd love to hear – leave a comment below!

17 Comments

  1. Great post Edmund, especially the point that 'Using social media in a broadcast only method isn't providing customer service. It's providing the social equivalent of junk mail'. That is SO true (and very annoying). I also agree that finding your voice so you can speak authentically makes a big difference in how well you connect with your ideal- customer-to-be 🙂 Thanks for your insights.

    Dawn Lanier recently posted..10 Moves to Make on Your Facebook Fan Page before Year’s EndMy Profile

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    • You’re welcome Dawn. Great points indeed.

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  2. Excellent 3 tips to serving our customers well on social media. Love the responding tip…only makes sense if they are listening…maybe they just need someone like you Edmund to show them the ropes…or better yet to handle it for them :0)

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    • Hey, you know me Carla, I always welcome that! There’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing a person’s eyes light up or seeing the load lifted from them =)

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  3. We are using social media and learning every day we want to engage with our clients , colleagues ,followers, friends and community
    If we there is a way of improving customer service from this amazing tool then we are all ears : )

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    • Yes, there is definitely a way to utilize this tool to improve your customer service. No doubt about it. If anything, you’ll find that it will play an even larger role moving forward.

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  4. Enjoyed this article – great job!

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  5. Hi Edmund, nice looking page and article. On my browser I had to scroll to see the entire width of the page.

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  6. Never disappointed coming to your site Edmund! Always valuable usable info! Thanks! (I hope I am doing it right!)

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  7. Thanks Edmund! I enjoy this article and the tip on finding your own voice.

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  8. Super information Edmund! Listening is soooo important!!

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  9. Great simple tips as always Edmund. Thanks for the reminders.

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  10. Find your voice…great tip! Not necessarily easy but certainly necessary. I find that my online voice is evolving! Seems we are taught not to be authentic though told to be…if that makes sense.

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  11.  

    I use social media to deliver good and excellent customer service to my clients – and I love it! Interacting with my customers and responding to potential customers are very important for me and thanks to social media for making it possible. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article Edmund.

    Reply

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