Using Social Media as a Channel to Provide Customer Service – Improving the Customer Experience

Using Social Media as a Channel to Provide Customer Service – Improving the Customer Experience

Before social media, a disgruntled customer might tell a few people about their bad experience.  Now, they can tell millions.  So it is important to respond immediately and appropriately. We have been talking a lot about improving the customer experience and how different customers want to do business with us in different ways.  This means that we have to have as many ways to handle customer issues as our customers want.

As lots of customers use social for many purposes, many of those customers would be happy to use social media channels to resolve issues.  That is why companies are beginning to set up specific channels using Facebook and Twitter, among others.  It is critical that if you decide that this is something that makes sense for your company that the service people or the “Community Manager” that are responding to customer issues can resolve issues quickly, fairly and without the use of additional channels such as calling a customer service number or email. Nothing would be more frustrating than teasing customers with a way to resolve issues using the new channels of social media but not being able to really solve their issue through that channel.

Keep in mind that your communication with customers over these channels will for the most part be public so it requires a whole new level of tact and awareness.  In some cases, you can have the community manager take the conversation offline for resolutions but this has drawbacks too. So recognize that by using social media to resolve customer complaints is going to push you to have a better outcome with customers.  This may require a reevaluation of your policies (such as your return policy) and the limits of what you are willing to do for a customer in order to produce the desired outcome for your customers.

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