4 minutes reading time (830 words)

Are you using social media for customer service?


We’re now all familiar with the benefits of social media for promoting our small businesses. It can:

  • generate brand awareness,
  • showcase your expertise and knowledge,
  • generate leads,
  • boost sales and
  • boost your website’s search rankings.

I always encourage all new website owners to embrace at least one social media channel to help to promote their new website if nothing else. If you still need convincing have a read of Social media ... do you need to bother?.  

One of the common arguments I hear for not doing so is that small business owners are worried about negative comments and feedback about their products and services being posted on their public profiles and feeds. These negative comments are going to happen from time to time, possibly on your own profile and if you’re a small business providing local services some of these may well turn up on local Facebook groups.

So how does this tie in with customer service?

We tend to think of social media as a means of promoting our small business by finding new markets and encouraging those potential customers to engage and start to use our products and services.

But your existing customers are also using social media. You may have great relationships with your customers, but with the best of intentions sometimes things can go wrong. The odd one of these less than delighted customers may well air their grievance on social media.

We’ve all seen those rants posted to local Facebook groups. Someone has had a bad experience and they feel the need to share. And everyone else just loves to add their own comments and all of this is just spreading your name far and wide, possibly not in the best light. This may or may not be justified, but either way, you may well be unaware of the negative exposure of you and your business.  

Use social media to engage with existing customers … the happy and the not so happy

{tweetme }Use #socialmedia to engage with existing customers ... the happy and the not so happy {/tweetme}

Think of a different scenario.

You have a Facebook page and you have a customer or client who feels you have let them down. Ideally, they will have tried all the usual routes and contacted you first and given you the opportunity to put things right … and perhaps you have done your best. However, we’ve all had those tricky customers who are never going to be happy and these are also quite likely to be the ones who take to social media to name and shame.

Much as I would never advocate going straight down the public shaming route on social media we all know that it happens. At least if it’s on your own Facebook page or you’ve been @mentioned on Twitter you will be aware of it and can take the appropriate action to put things right.

It gives you a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that you’re not only keen to put things right but also how you can put things right. You can immediately and publicly engage with the dissatisfied customer and show all those other followers how seriously you take the situation. It allows you to demonstrate your willingness to address the situation, put things right and apologise. Showcase your customer service.

As an aside, one thing you should never do is to just delete the offending comment. Always respond, it really will give you an opportunity to come back and show how good your customer service really is.

Customer service isn’t just about correcting the mistakes

It’s also about going the extra mile for your customers and making sure that nothing is overlooked. Social media presents a very easy way to get that information out there be it:

  • showing your existing customers how to make the most of one your products they already have,
  • drawing your customers’ attention to something they are entitled to which they may not be aware of,
  • highlighting your beneficial terms of business, delivery arrangements etc. or,
  • just keeping in contact with those customers who you don’t speak to routinely.

Not to mention that if you’re rolling out a new product or service you may want to draw attention to the fact that there are perks to be had for existing customers. Maybe a free upgrade or some preferential rate? This not only alerts your existing customers, it also shows those potential customers that there really is a reason to use you as you are prepared to invest in retaining your customers. You will look after them.

If you’ve already given it a go please comment below and let us know your experiences of social media for customer service and otherwise … the good, the bad and the ugly. If you’re still unsure about taking the plunge, why not get in touch on 01494 537612 for a chat whether you’re one of our existing customers or not we’re always happy to have a chat and offer a bit of advice.

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Wednesday, 10 August 2022

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