The secret is out in living color on the cover of Consumer Reports – how to use social media as the last chance way to get some attention when unhappy with a product or service. This issue shares secrets to great customer service, and social media use is one of them. Consumer Reports states that 84% of consumers who posted complaints to social media used Facebook. The report goes on to suggest that social media can be a highly effective way to resolve customer complaints, even when other approaches fail.
JCPenney is one retailer that was cited as having great customer service via Twitter.
When a customer reached out by phone and learned of the hold times, she quickly went to the company’s Twitter page. She said that their phone wait times were “nuts” and within minutes a representative quickly tweeted a reply. After a bit of back and forth, the issue was resolved.
As the chart indicates, the under 25 demographic shows an indication that they will be the ones who will expect this type of service moving forward, so making sure those wait times are on target will be well worth the effort.
Ann Michaels & Associates, a leader in Customer Experience and Social Media Management, conducted a study on this very topic
How long is too long when it comes to receiving an answer to a product or service question in social media?As the Consumer Reports article shows a consumer expectation, Ann Michaels & Associates set out to look at the disparity between what consumers expect as far as wait time for brands to respond to consumer concerns vs what is actually happening.on social. The study was initiated when it was evident social would serve as a customer service channel – take a look at consumer expectations vs brand response and learn how response time on social shifted over a three year period. Click here to find out the results
media can be your greatest asset and your biggest downfall. Do it right and you
can gain new followers, create loyal customers, and successfully grow your
brand. But a few missteps and you can turn away potential customers.
you get your approach wrong, it can quickly destroy your social reputation.
Once your brand’s reputation is damaged, it is very difficult to rectify. And
with so much online competition just a click away, it’s extremely easy for
consumers to find another brand to fill their needs if you turn them off with
the way you use social media, by your tone, or how you post.
let’s start with why people follow certain brands on social media:
They are interested in a product or service
They are offered incentives
They are interested in promotions
They find the social media profile entertaining
They wish to communicate with a brand
Their friends or family follow the brand
why people unfollow brands on social media:
Too many promotions
Too much tweeting/posting
Inappropriate use of jargon or slang that doesn’t comply with brand identity
Failure to reply to comments /messages
So what social behaviors
are most annoying to consumers? Here’s what to avoid:
1. Poor grammar and
spelling and grammar are the top most annoying things to social media users as
a whole, according to market research. (A close second is the abundance of
memes or political cartoons that have no place on a business social media
account). It is way too easy to use spell check or hire a professional editor
to check your posts before publishing them to make sure everything is correct. Your
business page needs to reflect your brand identity, which should always reflect
professionalism and attention to detail.
2. Begging for likes
you are too focused on getting likes for your page you will lose credibility
with followers. Social media should be used to engage with your target audience
– not to boost your own ego with how many likes you have. Instead of blatantly
asking for likes, shares, and comments, provide content that encourages your audiences
to engage and gets them excited about being included in the conversation.
3. Improper hashtag use
people really love the hashtag – the more they can squeeze into a single post
the better. But when it comes to any business profile on social media, you need
to use hashtags wisely and appropriately. Use a limited number per post – two
or three at most – and make them count. Only use hashtags that are appropriate
to your business, industry, or individual post.
4. Ignoring criticism
matter how great your company is, at some point in time you will receive
negative feedback. It may not be deserved, but you should never ignore it. Always
respond calmly, concisely, and offer to take the issue to a private forum such
as a phone call, email, or direct message. Be polite and non-reactive – you
need to be proactive, even in the face of negativity that is completely
address criticism quickly. The longer you wait to address complaints, the
angrier the customer becomes. 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to
reviews. Read reactions thoroughly, respond quickly, and defuse the situation
before it becomes a major deal.
5. Posting too often
a fine line between maintain an active presence on social media and completely overwhelming
many posts can be aggravating to the point that customers “unfollow” you or
simply result in your posts becoming lost in your followers’ newsfeeds. Be
aware that not every single follower will see every post. You should post to
Facebook once per day – twice at most – during times when you have analyzed
that your posts get the most response. This is critical!
6. Having a bad website
Every interaction a consumer has with
your business counts…whether that is on social media, in a brick and mortar
store, or on your website.
the 64% of you who have a website, remember
that this may be the first impression someone has of your business? If they
have a poor user experience, chances are they will not follow you on social media
or become a loyal customer. The site should look professional and clean,
include a menu so users can easily find the information they are looking for,
and have links to your social media accounts.
social media consumers are looking for deeper connections with the brands they
choose. They take time out of their day to read your posts, watch your videos,
and like and share your content. When done properly, social media marketing can
create loyal brand ambassadors that will increase the growth and success of
work mindfully to make sure you avoid the above mentioned social media
Why is it that negative comments on social media always generate more interest than positive ones? You know what they say, misery loves company! It is imperative for businesses to have a plan in place to respond to complaints in the right way and via the right channel. Social media has become a customer service venue for your customers.
Customers are flocking to the platforms where they know they’ll be heard and, more importantly, where they know they’ll get a response. This is why Twitter has become a prime avenue for customer interaction with companies. According to research most customers consider three things: where the brand is active, where the customer thinks he will get the best response and how important response time is.
So let’s make a game plan for responding to irate customers.
1) Not responding is not an option
Edison Research and Jay Baer, author of “Hug Your Haters”, conducted a study about the responsiveness consumers expect from businesses. During their research, they discovered that customers get a response on social platforms about 50 percent of the time, which means companies are doing themselves — and their customers — a disservice. According to their findings, failing to respond on social media can trigger a 43% decrease in customer advocacy; a reply, however, can give you a 20% bump.
2) Find instances where your company is mentioned
Many companies believe that Twitter has become the primary sounding board, but in actuality 71% of all complaints on social media are actually posted on Facebook. Only 3% of tweets about customer service issues call out the company’s so to find all your mentions, employ a social media listening software, and always set up Google Alerts for your company.
3) Empathy is key
You can’t change what happened to upset your customer, but you can control over what happens next. Adopt the BEET strategy: Be Empathetic Every Time.
Follow this example by Wink Frozen Desserts:
A customer bashed Wink’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free frozen desserts on Facebook so CMO Jordan Pierson replied with a sincere apology and offered a refund. “While we hope that everyone will love and enjoy Wink as much as we do, we realize that not everyone will. If we can help, please send us an email to email@example.com. Thanks for giving Wink a try!” His response put a positive spin on the product with empathy that makes you feel great about the brand.
4) Only reply twice
The rule is to never reply to a customer more than twice in a public forum. Further conversation should take place behind the scenes. First, apologize and show empathy to the first complaint. Second, if the customer complains again, apologize again and offer to discuss the issue in private. Your goal isn’t to satisfy the unhappy customer; it’s to go on record so your whole audience can see you care.
If you answered the headline with a yes – give yourself a major pat on the back. You are out there setting the standard for others to follow (And please, get in touch so we can get you signed on for a guest blog spot). If you answered “no, our social customer care is most definitely not kicking ass” – don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve curated five thought-provoking blogs that will help you get on the path to best-in-class social customer care. Whether you’re working with an outsourced strategic partner or whether you are operating with an in-house customer service solution, these posts are must-read content as you work on improving your customer experience on social media.
5) Watch your characters
Certain social media platforms only allow for a certain number of characters, which could cut off your response and lead to misinterpretation. Make sure you include links for the full response or provide a contact email for customers to voice further concerns.
Is good customer service really valuable? A study from Harvard Business Review asked that question and their findings were fascinating. A response, even with an angry customer, can boost the amount the customer is willing to pay for services. So get your customer service plan in place and start responding today!