Oh, my. The times, how they are a’changin’.
Remember when you had to write a letter or pick up a phone to complain to a company about a product that was defective, or a service that didn’t… serve? Nope, me either. Customer service on social media is now the norm.
One of the greatest things about social media is that it has given us, the little guys, a voice. In the past, if you had a problem with a product, your ability to get some satisfaction wasn’t immense. And then, even if your complaint was satisfied, who cares? You’d tell 2 people.
Social media has changed all of that, because customer service is now very, very public. Epic fails are held up on Facebook, Twitter a blogs, as are, and rightly so, shining examples of excellent customer service. Both failure and success are amplified in the social media echo chamber.
If you have a Facebook page or a twitter account, and you are ignoring your customers on there, you are making a big mistake. Customer service on social media costs less, and has a huge impact. It can mean the difference between selling to a customer once, and creating a life-long ambassador.
Why? If you solve a customer’s problem, and they are happy, they will talk you up all over the Facebooks and the Twitters. Their friends and followers will see, and that has a spin-off effect. We like to make purchases based on the recommendations of people we trust, and this is one way that happens.
But there’s an additional, hidden benefit as well. When you respond to problems publicly on social media, that interaction stays on your FB page or in your Twitter feed. Other people, strangers, will see that interaction, and they will judge you on how you handle it. If you ignore/don’t respond, they note that. If you respond and the situation is clearly resolved, they will also note that.
Nothing drives me crazier when I am looking for help and receive nothing but stony silence.
Which brings us to my last point: how fast should you respond?
People are impatient. Yes, a response within an hour would be ideal. I’m always impressed when I get an immediate response. But I am happy with a response within 24 hours (unless it’s a weekend, then I can give more leeway). I had a recent experience where I had a problem with something and it took the company 10 weeks to respond. 10 weeks! I am no longer doing business with them.
And now here’s today’s infographic: Customer Service on Social Media
Infographic courtesy of Go-Globe