Thursday, July 5, 2012

Getting Social on Social Media

Social media still manages to be a buzz word. Most of the business world was of the belief that the value of social media in business will soon reach its saturation point. But it continues to surprise businesses both small and big in the way one can approach customers, marketing and customer service. Now grasping the above ideas isn’t that difficult. Also, knowing that you need to be on social media isn’t going to win you any brownie points from your customers. But not being smart and maximizing your ability to give your customers great customer service on social media, can be an opportunity lost.

Studies say that customers who engage with companies via social media spend 20 to 40 percent more money with those companies than customers who don’t engage through social media. This should give companies enough impetus to provide great customer service on social media. The problem many see with social media is that neither is it face to face and nor are you talking to anyone on the phone. It’s a faceless conversation but social media has proven to be a great outlet for customers. People tend to interact more openly and freely online. This stemming from a certain anonymity coupled with a huge audience ready to listen and react. Customers expect companies to be more proactive on social media and this presents companies with a great opportunity to reach out and take action before the customer decides to. Being active by tweeting or replying to queries on your company’s Facebook wall instantly can be a great turn on for customers. It shows that you care and you are there. You can instantly put customers at ease as social media by nature is an informal environment. You can reach out to them faster by openly asking your customer base if they have any problems and then attack each issue head on. It’s not enough to be posting views on your brand and its marketing efforts; you also need to be able to reach out on issues that matter to a customer. And that is something you cannot do as easily from a physical outlet or through you call center.

Social media allows you to socialize with your customer. Chat them up, understand them and react. Being available on social media to address concerns makes you static and boring. It doesn’t help your brand point out any difference between your other customer service channels. Customers expect to be treated a certain way on social media and the foundation lies in the fact, that you got to reach out to them, talk their lingo and solve their problems just as you would do elsewhere. That is when the brownie points will start piling up like never before.