It’s no secret that social media is playing a bigger role than ever when it comes to customer service. Customers expect responses fast when they tweet to a brand. A study by Lithium (social software provider), found that 72% of consumers who tweet a complaint, expect a response within one hour! Twitter understands the role it plays in enabling Customer Service and recently removed the 140 character limit for direct messages. Now brands can direct message responses to customers without worrying about how many words they are using.
I recently attended a Content Marketing World (aka @CMIContent) Twitter chat. They cover great marketing topics that I find relevant. If you’re curious about something, it’s a great way to gain insights (and no one needs to know you’re there!).
Last week’s chat was about social media and customer service, with @jaybaer. I thought I’d recap some of the content that was shared because it was so good.
The first question to get us rolling was: How has social media changed the game for customer service? Here are some of the responses:
@mikemyers614: (social media) means the lights are always on and the “phone” must always be answered. We’re all 24/7 now.
@dmboutin: brands are accessible where people are already spending their time, instead of a 800 # in the fine print
@sgoldberger12: Social Media Has Amplified It. Those Who Engage Expect Quick Answers. Customer Service Is Ever More Important.
@ardath421 (social media) means that customer service needs to be served up wherever the customer wants it
@LeadPath (social media) allows us to respond at real time to customer concerns and feedback. It lets us engage with our customers
On the topic of how B2B is different from B2C in social media:
@LeadPath: With both B2B and B2C you need to remember you’re talking to customers.
@mewzikgirl: the advancement and immediacy of response/resolution in B2C has changed expectations, and B2B has to grow and adapt
The key thing to remember is that you are still talking to people, in both B2B and B2C.
On whether you should answer all questions posed to your company in social media:
@dmboutin: Yes. Look at cost of customer acquisition & retention then tell me addressing all concerns isn’t worth it
@Magnani_Dot_Com: The user doesn’t see all the messages being answered, they simply see theirs going unanswered.
@LUCYrk78: It’s 100% realistic. You make the time and team to ensure customers are listened to. It’s today’s expectation.
@netvantage: Realistic, no, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
@CTrappe “Thanks for your tweet” is not that great of a #custserv response.
@flinds: An effort should be made to address all complaints on (social media), even if just to tell them to email. Being noticed goes a long way.
There were many suggestions on dealing with negative comments online.
@mikemyers614: Removing or editing is a dangerous thing. Chances are if one person says it, 10 more are experiencing it. Deal with it. Fast.
@Jaybaer : Respond to every hater, both the Offstage Haters (phone, email) and the Onstage Haters (social, review sites, forums).
Jay has a book about to be published on this very topic that I can’t wait to read. It’s called “Hug your Haters: How to Embrace your Complaints and Keep Your Customers.”
He adds: But my best tip is the rule of Two. Never respond more than twice online. Take it offline.
I wrote a post a while back on dealing with trolls. That might help too. You can read it here.
And on handling positive comments, the common answer thread was to turn those commenters into brand advocates by acknowledging them, retweeting them, doing something nice for them, asking them if you can use them as a recommendation. What others say about your business is so important. 90% of customers are influenced by reviews!
My daughter works for a minor league baseball team and sometimes is assigned to tweet during the games. She seriously texted me this just this afternoon, and I swear I did nothing to prompt it!
I’m so proud.