Boss Lady

Customer care has gone social: infographic shows how to transition


If you’ve spent the last few years or more building up a business of which you’re proud, it can be difficult to the put the brakes on for a moment to think about the way you work. The excitement of developing a new product, the camaraderie of building a team, and the nerve-fraying risks as you leap from success to success can all be addictive in their own way, but if you focus too much on your company without keeping an eye on broader business and cultural trends, you may find yourself adrift.

How social media is changing customer service

In particular, the world of customer care has changed dramatically over the past decade. People have become accustomed to the use of social media and its importance in the branding of today’s businesses. Today, they increasingly turn to outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to vent their frustration when a product or service doesn’t live up to their expectations. One third of social media users will use these channels to make a complaint, rather than calling you up; nearly half of your customers will then use social media to tell their friends about the outcome.

Even if you’re not up to date with social media customer care, you probably well aware of the propensity for issues to spread across these platforms like wildfire. For this reason, it is important that your business has a customer care protocol that is ready to deal with incoming queries. The good news is, when you get it right – the positive publicity has the potential to reach way beyond the satisfied customer, too.

Always respond to customers but do not engage with ‘trolls’

Customers who use social media to complain are often acting in the heat of the moment. They are also aware of the power of social media to make an impact. Make sure whoever looks after customer care and/or social media in your business is trained to respond quickly, even if it’s just an acknowledgment and an indication of when you might be able to address the complaint.

Keep it friendly – use first names if available – without becoming informal. Humor can easily be misread in these situations! If you find that the person at the other end of the line is using confrontational language or otherwise refusing to engage in the resolution process, it’s likely you’ve caught yourself a troll. Trolls aren’t interested in resolution: they just want to make you react. These ones, it’s best to ignore.

Once you do have a successful outcome, be sure to be public about it. Without flooding your social media audience with boastful claims, it’s good to re-tweet the occasional ‘thank you’ or word of praise, and you can even blog about positive outcomes to tricky stories if it’s appropriate to your business. This is a method of ‘owning your mistakes’, and it is valuable in this age of transparency.

But first thing’s first, and that’s to get your social media strategy in order. You can begin by working through this new infographic from Headway Capital. Social media is the shop window of your business in the 21st century. Make sure you know how to deal with nasty smears!


Customer care has gone social: infographic shows how to transition

About Marilyn Vinchy

Marilyn Vinchy is a freelance writer and HR specialist. She works for several marketing and public relations agencies, supporting their content teams. She writes about leadership, careers and personal development, and has a knack for productivity and time management techniques. You’ll find her on Twitter here, and you can also visit her blog.

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