Online Customer Service Matters


By Janette Speyer and Katrina McNeill

Are you acting as your own worst enemy and chasing away customers without even realizing it? A recent study found that of those surveyed, 82% had stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer experience. Maybe you had no idea that your stagnant Facebook page sitting there collecting dust could be upsetting your fans! A recent Mashable survey found that almost 60% of people worldwide stating that they expect brands to respond to social media comments regarding service at least most of the time, it seems businesses have no choice but to follow up or lose customers!

customer service

How to handle complaints

1.     Monitor

The ever-growing list of social media management, social monitoring, and social CRM tools (like Radian6, Hootsuite or Oracle RightNow Social Experience) can help sort through the clutter and get to the things you need to address. If you want any hope of success, you really should be using one.

2.     Be prepared

Don’t just post randomly and then walk away. Have a social media plan that includes your business’ rules for responding to complaints and other negative comments about your company. This way if one person monitoring is busy, another employee can respond with confidence and a customer’s issue doesn’t blow up when they aren’t responded to.

3.     Move truly irate customers off social media

Social platforms are public, and negative social interactions reflect badly on your brand. Consider also that on Twitter, you have to politely address a concern with only 140 characters. Simply encourage those irate customers to continue discussing their issue on a different forum, such as email, phone or a feedback survey (that is actually read).

Keeping fans

It’s not all about responding to complaints. You want to reward your contributors (or fans) by engaging with them. They won’t post again if they don’t feel they are being heard. Ignored fans might even leave your page. Monitoring is essential here as well. On Facebook try holding contests to really engage your audience or on Twitter, use Follow Friday to show your appreciation.

Social media properly utilized

After reading the statistics on the importance of good customer service, we all know now why so many tools exist to help us monitor our social media. Go find the one that suits your budget and time constraints and use social media the way it was meant to be used; to help your brand, not hinder it!

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  1. Larry James
    November 27th, 2012 17:15  / 

    Your point about moving customers who are upset off social media is very well taken. You do not want irrate customers or clients leaving negative remarks about your company on your social media profiles. That is why the ticket system is so popular with customer service. You can politely ask the upset customer to open a support ticket to rectify his issue. As you mentioned email will work also but the support ticket is a little more professional.

  2. WebSuccessTeam
    November 27th, 2012 18:29  / 

    Great point, Larry. A support ticket is an excellent idea. However I do find that a quick response via Facebook on a branded page has really worked wonders for some of our clients. Thanks for posting


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