This is a guest post by Alex Ivanovs
Social media is not an exception to the rule when it comes to customer interaction, and indeed satisfaction.
There has been no shortage of companies that have made mistakes on social media, and customers don’t hesitate to make their voice heard when it comes to distinct discrimination, or poorly made decisions based on self-interest or clear lack of facts.
Yet, social media done right can be an invaluable asset towards making your customers happy and satisfied. A nice gesture towards someone can go a long way, and so can a tweet, or a Facebook update.
Let’s take a look at how social media can be used to promote customer satisfaction.
Turn Your Social Media Account into a Customer Service Channel
Email support won’t die off that easily, simply because it’s unlikely that any brand can efficiently help a customer with fixing their speedboat engine using 140 character tweets alone. But, customers are nonetheless asking questions, and are eager to hear answers as quickly as possible.
Many popular brands, the likes of Nike and Buffer, have allocated independent positions for employees to work as social media support managers, those in the position are able to assist customers directly on social media with near real-time response ratio.
This example from Nike Support is a great example of answering a customer question directly, whilst following up with an empathetic message that checks if the answer fixed the problem. The level of support shown here will not go unnoticed by anyone who values great customer service.
While it’s not mandatory to create a separate account for providing answers to customer questions, you should make it absolutely clear on your website or your description sections on your social media accounts, that you’re happy to answer questions and provide solutions.
Many digitally-aware consumers don’t hesitate to use social media when they encounter a problem with a product they love, and it is to your advantage to provide public customer support that promotes brand awareness and credibility.
SocialBakers did a wonderful study that showcases the leading brands in the world, using Twitter as a means of providing customer support.
Stay Aware of What’s Happening with Brand Mentions
Social media is a vast pool of information that grows in staggering amounts every hour, even keeping up with your own brand mentions can sometimes become a difficult task. This is where it’s helpful to consider adopting a social media monitoring platform into your existing marketing workflow.
Some of the leading products in this market are Mention and Hootsuite, both providing a data-driven approach to social media monitoring not only for your own company, but also competition and beyond that.
Having access to a real-time stream of brand mentions across a wide variety of social networks is the best way to stay up to date with what people are saying about your brand, and keep an eye on whether they are satisfied with their purchase. On top of that, it’s a great way to find out why and how customers are using your product.
“… Or say, for instance, that a competitor’s product lacks a feature that your product has, and a customer is complaining about not having it on social media. A well-crafted response could bring you a new customer. — Nicole Klemp”
But, it’s not just about your products alone. You have competition, and one of the ways you can rise above it is to monitor the interactions that customers are having with their product. If things aren’t going so well, you can always use that opportunity to explain why your product is better, and how your product can solve the given problem at hand.
Offer Incentives to Those Who Follow You on Social Media
…And even those who don’t, because invectives and special offers will attract free likes and shares that will attract further audience to your brand.
Free stuff sells, especially when it’s something that would enrich the lives of those who follow you.
If you’re in the concert ticketing business, why not offer your social media fans a package of 2 free tickets to the latest Lady Gaga concert, or whoever else is lined up to play?
Not only does Lady Gaga have millions of fans, people have friends and family members who they know would love to go, and these types of campaigns can generate immense social exposure for your brand.
The above example is just one of the many, in which brands on Facebook have used Wishpond to run successful giveaway campaigns. This one in particular had 5,800 entries.
Another example is to promote short-period discounts on some of your best selling discounts. Explain that the offer is for social fans only, and make the name of the coupon/discount a code with ‘SOCIAL’ attached to it — this will show your fans that you care about their presence on your social media network, and they’ll naturally feel appreciated.
What are the takeaways?
Out of these three tactics, what are the main takeaways to take home and implement in your social media strategy right away?
- Customers love swift responses to their support queries, especially if they’re asking questions using social media. Retain a professional, but down to earth, approach to handling any customer related issues.
- Don’t be afraid to explore what your competition is doing, and how they are using social media to promote a better service. If you see an opportunity, don’t hesitate to snatch it, because someone else might do it for you.
- Promote special offers to your social media community as a way of expressing thanks for their continued support. Run giveaways, give out discount codes, and remember to encourage their feedback.
- Remind your social media fans that you’re here to help, make it absolutely clear that you are ready to answer questions and work with feedback in any shape or form.
What are your preferred methods of engagement when it comes to customer satisfaction on social media?
Alex Ivanovs is a freelance contractor with expertise in inbound marketing. He has worked with Huffington Post, TheNextWeb, and other leading brands in web tech. Find more of his work at Colorlib, and connect with him on LinkedIn.