Social media plays a very important role in how a certain company is perceived online and in general. Websites and forums allow customers to inquire, complain and write reviews about products and services they receive. A company's presence on social media gives it an opportunity to receive feedback, improve customer care and create a positive image. It's crucial that customers' negative comments are considered as official complaints and dealt with accordingly in a timely manner.
Social media is a great tool for companies to use in order to expand and enhance their customer service. By ignoring social media websites, companies lose opportunities to make things right with customers who express their dissatisfaction online. However, some precautions should be taken into consideration because, if a situation is not dealt with correctly, it can backfire and create more negative attention.
First, it's important that companies respond to any customer inquest within a reasonable time. It's unprofessional to keep a customer waiting in person and it's unprofessional to do so online. There should be clear guidelines posted on the company's profile indicating the time limit of responses. If a company responds to the customer's question within the time limit indicated, it leaves the customer feeling more positive about the experience.
Second, responses should be personalized and answered directly. It's best to use the customer's name and avoid using general statements. It's important that the question or complaint is dealt with appropriately and that the customer is left satisfied.
Third, all customers' comments should be acknowledged and it's best to have a person, or a whole team, dedicated to social media responses. This ensures that customers get their answers more efficiently. If a customer's question cannot be answered online, it's acceptable to at least leave a phone number for the customer service department. This way, the customer is not simply ignored but is given another method to reach the company.
And lastly, besides monitoring its own profiles, every company should also monitor other websites and forums to catch any unsatisfied customers and try to resolve their issues. This is an important element of creating a positive social media presence because not all unsatisfied customers contact the company directly. Further, if a customer feels that the concern was dealt with appropriately, positive comments will remain for other customers to see.
As people increasingly use social media websites to express their experiences with service and products, it's important that companies take action and deal with their customers appropriately. If a customer expresses a concern online, it should be treated the same as if it was done by email or by telephone. Companies must realize that social media can be used as an excellent customer care tool and a way to create a positive online presence.
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