Is social media on your list when it comes to customer service? Let’s talk about why social media belongs in your customer service strategy.
Did you know that after one negative experience, over 50% of customers will never do business with that company again? And over 90% of Americans use customer service as a deciding factor for whether or not to do business with a company in general, according to American Express research.
Customer service is an important part of your business’s success — especially in the wedding industry where word-of-mouth is crucial for your business’s success.
BREAKING THE CUSTOMER SERVICE STIGMA
Let’s face it, customer service can get a bad rap at times. Just the mere mention of the term can bring images of angry customers or having to deal with endless, redundant requests. Ultimately, it can seem like nothing more than a necessary evil that takes up time and costs you money.
The reality is that customer service can add to your bottom line, increase your sales — and lead to additional streams of income because of new business opportunities.
How? We’re going to get into the specifics below, but the primary way is by adding social media to your customer service strategy.
You may be on social media and you may use that to respond to requests, but customer service on social media is about a purposeful approach — and that’s what we’ll cover in this post. By the end of this, you’ll have a different perspective on customer service and some tools to help you enjoy the process!
CUSTOMER SERVICE BY THE NUMBERS
Before we jump into the topic, it’s necessary to get a better understanding of what consumers/clients think when it comes to customer service and where they expect to see results.
When Customer Service is Bad —
Unfortunately, when customer service is bad it hurts your bottom line — and often causes the kind of word-of-mouth advertisement you wouldn’t want.
- $62 Billion is lost annually by U.S. companies due to bad customer service. (American Express)
- More than half of American consumers have canceled a planned purchase because of bad service. (American Express)
- If a customer has a bad experience, they will tell 15 people on average, which is even higher than the 11 people they would share a good experience with, which means negative can have a bigger impact.
When Customer Service is Good —
The good news is that good customer service can have an even better impact on your bottom line with customers usually willing to spend more money for better service — and winning their loyalty.
- 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service. (Hubspot)
- 64% of people find customer experience more important than price. (Garter)
- 73% of customers fall in love and remain loyal to that brand because of friendly customer service. (RightNow)
- A 5% increase in customer retention increases your profits anywhere from 25% – 95%. (Bain & Company)
WHY SOCIAL MEDIA BELONGS IN YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE STRATEGY
When most people think of customer service, they think of providing a quality product or service and responding quickly to phone calls and email inquiries from customers.
While those are foundational elements, it’s important to understand the role social media plays in the purchase journey for today’s customers. In fact, a lot of the customer service for today’s consumer comes even before they make their purchase. They are on social media looking at a brand’s content and recommendations, etc.
Reasons why social media belongs in your customer service strategy —
1. Your customers are already on social media and want to engage with your company there.
One in three internet users heads to social media when they want to learn more about a brand or product, according to Small Business Trends. And nearly 70% of consumers have engaged with a brand’s social media for their customer service needs.
Think of this as yet another outlet to provide great customer service by providing helpful information related to your product or service. That means informative posts and videos in addition to directly answering your customer’s questions.
2. Social media platforms have tools to help you automate customer service, where possible.
One concern small business owners have is being overwhelmed when it comes to using social media to respond to customer service inquiries. The good news is there are opportunities to automate responses with preloaded F.A.Q.s and utilize their chat and messenger features. This means that you can reduce redundant messaging while providing immediate solutions for some customers. This means you don’t have to answer 50 messages about your hours or pricing, you can get simple details out of the way and even direct people to that content on your site.
Facebook reports that 64% of consumers across all age groups indicate they would rather message a business than call or email.
If you’re concerned about missing messages or opening the floodgates, there are helpful features that allow you to mark messages as urgent and flag others as needed. With helpful tools like these, there’s no reason to be afraid.
Another side benefit is that eventually, your customers will help you respond to others asking a question about your service or even looking for a service like yours. That’s one of the most underrated — and highly valuable reasons to provide purposeful customer service on social media. Your delighted former customers become brand advocates naturally.
3. What people say about your company and service on social media matters.
Whether you’re engaging on social media or not, people are likely talking about your product or service already. Other potential customers see those unanswered questions or comments, and that impacts their decision whether or not to purchase from you.
Comments or questions should never go unanswered on your social media accounts. That’s the first step. And a good rule of thumb is to always be the last person to comment, even if that is simply a thank you or well wish.
The next step is to be active with social listening. Social listening is where you are actively looking for what people are saying about you, your service and even your industry. There are easy-to-use services that can help you keep track of comments and trends. This will enable you to jump in and answer questions, add a well-wish — and essentially be part of the conversation.
Social Listening Tools
Here are just a few companies that offer social listening tools both paid and free—
In addition to these, you can also use Google Alerts as a free resource to monitor any mentions of your business online as well.
Another reason why what people say about your business is important is that on social media, a good customer service experience goes beyond word-of-mouth to those 11 people in their immediate circle — it has the potential to reach thousands of people who are looking for your type of service or your specific company. Providing good customer service on social media means that the praise — and the proof is also on that platform as well.
4. Social media will help you learn to provide even better products and services as well as find new business opportunities.
Customer service is an opportunity to learn about how your customers are interacting with your products and services. Social media allows you also to see behind the curtain at what your customers are saying to their friends and family about your service — or what their needs are related to your type of service.
A Quick Note About Negative Feedback —
Negative feedback can feel very personal, especially when you’re an entrepreneur. Change your perspective by viewing this as an opportunity to correct something, to learn, and to grow. Every interaction is going to make you better if that’s how you approach it.
It’s often that fear of negative feedback that keeps people from using social media for purposeful customer service. But you’re missing out on all the great stuff including meaningful conversations with people who are using your product. It’s during authentic engagement like that when you find new business opportunities and additional ways to serve your current client base with upsell offers and more.
Lean into the process and be willing to learn along the way. Feedback isn’t about your worth as a person or as an entrepreneur — it’s about learning how your ideal customer engages with your product and improving that experience.
PRO TIPS FOR USING SOCIAL MEDIA IN YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE STRATEGY
- Be active and consistent on social media.
- Respond quickly to questions.
- Never leave an unanswered question or comment on your page. (Even if you simply like the post.)
- Consider using a social listening tool to help you monitor where your company is being mentioned online.
- Create a Standard Operating Procedure that works as a manual for you and your team. Understand how you will respond, who you respond to, and why that is the case. This helps eliminate being pulled one way or the other in a tense situation.
- Develop a list of predetermined responses to your most common questions, so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time — you can just customize.
- Be personal and helpful.
NEED MORE HELP WITH YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE?
Be sure to check out our other helpful resources on getting your social media presence in tip-top shape including —
Do you have tips from your experience using social media as part of your customer service strategy?
What has been the most surprising part of the process for you?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Written by Corrie McGee