As a large corporate business, small business, or community non-profit organization there are many ways you can use the new online networking and monitoring tools. Any SEO or digital marketing professional has been following the trends on integrating online marketing tools into our overall marketing strategy, but what about utilizing these tools into other long range business plans?
As depicted in recent Social Media Examiner piece featuring Frank Eliason , customer service can be greatly enhanced through various social media outlets. The social media outlets allow us to connect with our customers and those that are interested in our services, but we need to use these tools to have conversations with our clients, not just use them as a brand to speak at our potential customers.
In order to use social media effectively as a way to provide customer service we need to actively listen to what people are saying about our business and monitor all of the online networks. There are a multitude of online monitoring tools to help us do this, and we should engage with the clients with a personal, human voice in the same mediums that they are using and talking about us in! After all, as Eliason points out, it’s all about the customer and their experience. And the weight that our customer’s voice carries has experienced significant growth over the years I know when I was looking for my a crib, baby toys, and other furniture for the birth of my son, I was relying on the comments from other consumers and what they were saying about the products or services I was interested in! I searched for reviews on websites, on social media sites, blogs, etc.
Customer service personnel, in addition to marketing professionals should be covering their sites or the calls that come in with complaints as well as online rating. Otherwise use Pro plans on the monitoring sites such as Hootsuite or Google Analytics and designate Customer Service representatives to forward comments to so they can respond immediately! Businesses owe it to their customers to respond quickly to these comments like customer service representatives normally would over the phone-and in return, the customers will have a better service experience and it will generate in positive results and hopefully increased revenue for your business. We now have the power and tools to easily make the conversations personal, introduce ourselves in the networks and respond. For a more intimate feel, engage in private direct messages or forums on Twitter, FB, and other sites if you are more comfortable with that. Or you can introducing “click to chat” links to link and further the customer service experience outside of just the 140 character limits or public wall postings that exist in social media.
You need to take a seat at the table and participate; responding via the networks where your customers are already at. The conversations and ratings are going to be there whether or not you choose to participate, so get engaged!