3 Ways to prevent customer service disasters using social media

Friday, November 14, 2014

You may have your customer service extended to social media, but are you using this platform to its full extent? Open Access BPO shows you how you can nip troubles in the bud by using social networks as a customer support platform.

In the old days, customer service was pretty simple and upfront: people go to your store, you serve them well, and when they return with a complaint, you fix it.

Today, traditional ways still live although they are mostly integrated with modern practices or divided into smaller processes handled both by you and by a third-party staff like a call center in the Philippines.

Back then, it’s hard to make customer service proactive. You’d only know that there's a problem if customers tell you. But with today’s digital business landscape, there’s no excuse for dissatisfying your market because you have all the tools available to anticipate and possibly prevent problems from brewing.

Among today's customer care tools, social media is perhaps the most efficient because of the numerous functions it could give, not to mention that it’s virtually free. However, taking your customer engagement online doesn't automatically guarantee the prevention of a brand reputation-destroying fiasco; you also need to know how to play the game right in order to harness the full potential of social networks as business platforms.

1.     Always respond even to negative comments

Social networks like Twitter and Facebook are generally used for responding to queries and customer feedback, whether they're praises or criticisms. You’re missing out on the opportunities to prove yourself as a customer-centric brand if you only reply thank-yous to positive feedback and then bury all the negative opinions.

No matter the tone of comments, as long as they're genuine, they are valuable content that can help you improve your products and services. By ignoring certain feedback that you don’t like, you’re defeating the purpose of going social, which is to foster great levels of engagement and gather actionable insights.

2.     Do more than just talk

Social media is used for than just marketing and sharing content. It’s a communication channel where everyone involved—you and your users—are given a platform to express your thoughts and opinions. It gives you the voice that appeals to your market, and your market likewise gains an avenue to connect with you and fellow consumers.

Social customer service doesn't end with you pushing a message out to an audience; you need to welcome content from your community as well. And while you’re at it, use social engagement functions to their full extent—comment, like, share, favorite, follow, upload, vote—do any activity that makes people feel involved, heard, and valued. Know that customer engagement on the web means more than just publishing a blurb.

3.     Have answers before you even get questions

Perhaps the greatest advantage you could get from social media is that you can make customer service proactive there. It’s like putting your ears on the ground to listen in for an approaching avalanche and dodge a disaster. The way it works varies from site to site and the advanced tools you equipped it with.

On Twitter or any place that uses hashtags, you could easily track conversations about certain topics. Even a simple query on a social network’s search bar could return you a feed of posts discussing your brand, allowing you to spot brewing issues and extend a hand before users could even report about that problem.

To sum it up, you could use stop customer service disasters from developing if you use social media as the finger on your market’s pulse. Communication and engagement online mean more than just exchanging messages between you and your customers. You need deep involvement in your activities and analysis for the feedback your gather.