written by Mark McLaughlin | March 7th, 2013
Customer Service can make or break a company. The success of Zappos or Amazon is very much driven by great service. So why does it so often seem an afterthought for others? One thing’s for sure, Social Media is a #gamechanger by spotlighting customer service #fails. This post shares some tips to help improve your performance.
“Customer Service is why I keep going back again and again without checking out the other guy.” – Scott McDonald
Learning to Listen!
Best practices are to have a trained person manning your social media channels for customer service related inquiries. You need them to be trained to respond correctly. Otherwise you might be turning off current and future paying customers.
Some Expert advice from panelists at New York’s Social Media Week 2013:
- Have a separate customer service account.
- Aim for single-contact resolution.
- Be smart when handling a crisis. You can get in front of it by sending status updates to fans and followers.
- Train your staff on using your analog and Social Media channels. You can’t assume they know how to do it with the company voice.
Customer Service Do’s
“#custserv involves qualifying your customers to find out what they need/want then provide it.“ - Scott McDonald
- Positive language is critical for customer service success. Make your first 8 words positive.
- Customers like Options and Choices. … Lead them with a choice menu.
- Ask questions to build rapport. Ask good, prepared questions, don’t enter the ‘I’m telling you’ trap. No easy return from that.
- Take the Conversation Offline. You can publicly acknowledge the complaint or question online and ask the person to call or contact your business directly. This lessens the risk of a public rant festival, and removes the potential of private customer information being shared online.
- When dealing with customers, ask for the behaviour you want, not tell them what we don’t want – (Source)
Customer Service Training
Has Social media reached the front line of Customer Service? In most cases, not so much! Russel Lolacher @RussLoL shared a Global American Express report stating:
“2/3′s of surveyed consumers are willing to spend more with a company they believe provides excellent customer service.
… if customers are willing to pay more for excellent customer service, should not businesses be willing to invest more to achieve it?” … (Source)
Can social savy customers drive a narrative Pro or Con for your business? Increasingly, this is the case. Is that an opportunity for your company to focus on Customer Service and Social Media training? … Absolutely!
What would it take to grow Customer Service as company culture & ‘Put the Customer First’?