By Cara Friedman We have blogged time and time again how social media is a great tool for customer service. What we don't stress enough is how you really don't have a choice whether you use this tool or not. Instead of calling your 1-800-number, your customers are headed to your Facebook and Twitter to get answers. Most businesses don't realize how big of a deal their social media actions can make. What you say, or don't say, tells your customers a lot about your company. For those of you who aren't believers yet, try and picture the real life equivalents to your social media actions:
Answering a question or responding to a concern is like giving each customer a direct line to your customer service representative. Instead of calling up, listening to a recording, pressing a series of numbers, and then hopefully speaking to a person, you managed to skip all those steps. You are making each customer feel important and you give them a personal experience. Having a direct line to a representative is the equivalent to getting a speedy response to a question on Facebook.
Saying thank you to posts is like having the CEO shake every customer's hand as they walk out of the store. Social media helps close the gap between a business and their customers. Since social media is so accessible, the CEO of your company really could be responding to posts on their own. When you thank people for interacting on your wall, you are singling them out and making them feel special. It's as if the CEO of your organization was personally thanking every customer (but this way is much more feasible!).
When you ignore a post or comment on your page, it is as if you are hanging up the phone on your customer. If a customer asked you a question in your store, would you walk away? If they called your 1-800-number and asked a question, would the representative hang up on them? NO. The same rules apply in social media. Ignoring a concern, comment, or question is the same as if you were hanging up on them. Don't make your customers feel ignored!
Deleting a post or comment from your Facebook page is like telling the customer "F&*@ you." Not only would your customer be enraged by your blatant disrespect, but they will most likely comment again. It's bad to ignore a concern, but it is even worse to try and make it disappear. Deleting a comment will only make the customer even more upset. Beware of starting a war. There have been pages that have shut their Facebook walls off because of angry fans that had their comments deleted. Don't be rude to your customers. Acknowledge their concerns.
Hopefully you can now put into perspective how your social media actions are perceived in real life. How will your customer service efforts change with social media? Share your thoughts in the comments!