Social media has become a game changer in the way companies interact with and respond to their customers. One of the biggest changes is that Consumer 2.0 now drives the conversation on social media. Successful companies are those who embrace that change and use it to drive conversations with current and potential customers.
Follow these 7 principles for interacting with customers in order to create conversations that are dynamic and drive positive customer experiences. Also, be aware that some of the aspects that seem negative about social media can actually be worked to your company’s advantage.
- Be human: Personalize the experience for your customers by ending tweets or messages with the first name of the person responding and use approachable, engaging language that is free of marketing jargon.
- Respond quickly: Use the speed of social marketing to your advantage. 17% of 16- to 34-year-old respondents in a survey said that a faster response time improves their overall experience. As a general rule, try to respond within twenty-four hours on Facebook and two hours on Twitter.
- Don’t censor negative comments: Negative comments can actually be a great resource to identify product defects or figure out where to improve processes. When responding to these comments, correct any of the customer’s misunderstandings and apologize for any of your company’s mistakes.
- Follow up on questions and complaints: Provide above-and-beyond customer service by following up on any questions or complaints. It engages the customer on an ongoing basis and shows that you care about their concerns.
- Aim for single-contact resolution: Try to respond and fix the customer’s issues through social media, rather than moving it to a phone or email conversation. This provides a better customer experience overall in the communication format that customer prefers. If the issue can’t be resolved in 140 characters, direct message them details for contacting your company by email or phone.
- Be proactive when there are company-wide issues: If websites go down or there are product recalls, reach out to your community with status updates before the complaints come rolling in. Let followers know what the problem is and that you’re actively trying to fix it.
- Create a social media policy for your company: Designate official spokespersons within your company who respond to comments and questions. Train these spokespersons in appropriate web etiquette, response times, and procedures.
Some might call social customer engagement more of an art form than a business practice, but these strategies can help give anyone’s approach some structure. Do you have additional tips to share? Leave them in the comments!
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