Social media – love or hate it? Today is one of the days when I think I hate it. I miss the days of talking to people on the phone, connecting at vendor events or even just meeting up with people for a cup of coffee. I know, why don’t I still do that, right? Well, I try but have you found since social media has become all of the rage – people don’t look up from their phones.
The articles put out by business magazines talking about providing good customer service via social media don’t help. Okay, I get that there are a lot of people who build relationships for their business via social media. I get that you reach people who maybe you might not have met in the past. Does can it really replace the phone and face to face communication?
So where do you start? Here are some guidelines to follow:
1. The customer’s needs are a priority. According to the experts, social media enables you to gauge what your audiences are saying about you and your brands. But do I really have time to spend hours on social media, looking for what people are saying? Is there an easy way to do that? I sometimes feel like I have lost communication with my customers. Loyal customers are making a purchase because they need your product to fulfill a purpose, whether it may be a function or an emotional need from using the product or service. Communicating regularly with customers can help provide greater opportunities for engagement. I get fulfilling their needs but sometimes it would be so much easier in a 5 minute conversation instead of days of messaging back and forth.
2. Connect with your customers. Take time to engage with customers to hear their needs and ask questions. Concentrate on what they are really saying. Don’t just answer quickly — give attention to the words, tone of voice, and most importantly, how he/she may feel. Provide an opportunity to connect in another medium such as email or phone to bring the connection to a more personal level. I like this one!!! The question is will they respond to another medium??
3. Be helpful. Even if there’s no immediate profit in it, continuing to support your loyal customers further builds that relationship. Make customers feel important and appreciated. Treat them as individuals. Always be courteous and grateful. This is the part that I LOVE even if it doesn’t mean that I get a sale. I am a “helper”, a resource person and I LOVE just doing for others. In the BIG picture, it all comes back to us.
4. Be reliable. This is one of the keys to any good relationship, and good customer service is no exception. Look for ways to make doing business with you easy. Always do what you say you are going to do. That is what my “personal shopping experience” is all about – meeting people where they are to solve their immediate problem.
5. Take the extra step. We call it “pink glove service”. I am always looking for ways to elevate myself above the competition and go the extra mile to ensure an ongoing commitment.
So what does it all come down to….
- Always give your customers your time, within reason.
- Look for every opportunity to connect with and thank your customer
- Find ways to give back in ways that your competitors do not.
I am still looking for a system that works for me… I want to go back to “old school” where you pick up the phone, send snail mail – the things that most people don’t do anymore. I mean who doesn’t love happy mail or just a friendly message on their voice mail.
Share your thought…
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
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