Offering Customer Service through Social Media

Tuesday 16th, August 2016

social media photoThere was once a man in London who was lost in the magical world of books and lo and behold, found himself locked inside the Waterstones Trafalgar Square Bookstore! We don’t know if he tried to call anyone for help, or if he tried to break out of there, but we do know that he tweeted! He waited around for a couple of hours and then tweeted that he had been locked in for “2 hours now!” and would somebody “Please let me out!”

The tweet went viral – more than 12,000 likes and 16,000 retweets! And less than 2 hours later, someone from Waterstones tweeted that they had freed their captive!

The power of Social Media harnessed to deliver great customer service!

You can pick any article you like on the subject “why a business needs a Social Media presence” – and it will definitely put down “customer service” as one of the most important advantages.

In fact Jayson DeMers says “Customer service is evolving to match the rapid growth and development of new communication media, and today’s most popular social media platforms are the perfect opportunity to capitalize on that trend.”

Sure Social Media is great for businesses –

  • It gives an opportunity for brands to appear ‘real’ among its customers.
  • Businesses can gather a certain kind of data about its customers – data that they can’t get from anywhere else.
  • It helps businesses target their audiences better while marketing
  • Businesses can reach a wider audience and helps them find new customers.
  • They can generate leads
  • News about your products and services can reach your audiences quicker through Social Media
  • Awareness of a brand on social media platforms can increase website traffic.

From a customer’s perspective, Social Media is great too!

  • They get to know about the products and services that a business offers, quickly.
  • They can see what other people think about a certain brand or business
  • They even get to know what the people who matter to them, think about a certain product or a brand.
  • And it is a great place to complain or vent when they face a problem or find something they don’t like.

Vent, yes. Complain, yes. But expect it to be a place of great customer service?

No way!

While the world has gone digital, with everyone using digital channels to communicate, shop, etc. customer service is not very big on Social Media (although customer service is one of the great benefits businesses think they derive from it).

Because an irate customer wants solutions. Quickly. He would rather pick up the phone and yell at someone rather than leave his complaint on social media and wait for someone to see his complaints and respond to it! Studies say that most people expect a reply within an hour of leaving any complaint on Social Media platforms.

A recent report by eMarketer states that a study found that consumers don’t turn to Social Media for Customer service for a variety of reasons – but the biggest reason for this, is that it takes too long for a business to respond to an issue. An angry customer wants answers right away. He does not want to wait for a long time for someone to wake up to his comment on some Social Media platform that a business might track maybe once a day, or if they are more into it, twice.

A consumer who has an issue, would vent on Social Media. Oh he would just love to do that when he is seriously bugged. But when he is looking for answers, he would rather call.

Which means that businesses on Social Media platforms need to either monitor their pages more frequently, address issues instantly, or they need to add a “call” button that an irate consumer can use and be assuaged. Hopefully.

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