The electric telephone came about in 1876 and until recently, it was a business's primary means of long distance communication with its customers. That was before Facebook, Twitter, and smart phones that put constant Internet access into the public's hands (literally).
Providing excellent customer service has never been easy, but it used to be somewhat simpler. Once a matter of answering telephones and reviewing complaint forms, customer service has evolved into something that must be continually monitored on countless fronts. The Internet has changed everything--and when we say everything, we mean everything.
Customers Want Results Now
Customers have always wanted results immediately, but things were different before social media. If we had to go through a process that required using the post office and making phone calls, then most customers understood that there would be a delay in solving their problem. Ever since social media came along and offered instant interaction between two people, customers have come to expect immediate results.
Customers Have Options
These days, every company is on Facebook. A consumer does not have to look very far to find a company that can offer a viable alternative to your company. We remind clients to take care of every customer service issue as quickly as possible or else they risk losing their customer to the competition thanks to social networking.
Customers Have A Voice
Reputation management is now a huge part of customer service, which was not the case before social media came around. In the days before social media, a disgruntled customer would have to take the time to write a complaint letter, send it to the local newspaper and hope it gets published. With social media, a disgruntled customer can ruin your company's reputation in a matter of seconds for millions of people all over the world.
Companies Can Show Instant Results
Social media does not skew everything in favor of the customer. When a customer complains about a customer service issue on social media, the company has a chance to show just how caring it can be. We advise clients to address social media complaints immediately. Show the world that you are going to take care of the problem, and then discuss the resolution privately with the client.
Companies Can Take Care Of Multiple Customers At Once
Before social media came along, customer service associates had to take care of one customer per phone call. Massive product recalls were the only real way to handle larger issues, and those recalls can bring bad press in a hurry. With social media, the company can post a customer service issue and invite customers who are affected to make contact with the company to solve the issue.
Companies Can Announce Policy Changes Immediately
Whether customers like it or not, things change in the world of customer service. In the past, delivering mass messages to clients about customer service issues was expensive. Companies had to take out advertisements in magazines and newspapers and hope that everyone saw them. Today, all a company has to do is post the message to social media and it is spread around the world in seconds.
Social media is a great marketing tool for companies to use, in their own backyards or around the world. But social media has also permanently changed the face of customer service, and they are changes that companies will have to adjust to if they want to make their customers happy.