By Stefanie Amini, Marketing Director, WalkMe
In the past, a product's widespread success was almost exclusively determined by the marketing efforts of the company behind it. With the advent of social media, this top–down formula has been turned on its head. Nowadays, more than anything, customer reviews and satisfaction drive a product's success.
For this reason, it has never been more critical for companies to develop an overall social media strategy and invest in their customer support teams. Businesses today should be investing time and manpower in engaging their customers via social media.
With that in mind, here are 5 ways for customer support departments to utilize social media tools to maximize customer satisfaction and promote positive visibility in the social media:
1. Be Active: It's not enough just to have a company Twitter account, Facebook page, YouTube channel, etc. with someone randomly assigned to post new messages occasionally. Companies should have an employee (or multiple employees) dedicated exclusively to keeping all social media channels active and relevant at all times.
2. Be Social: Social media avenues should not be utilized just to broadcast advertising messages. Doing so essentially misses the entire point of those media being social. When your customers comment, complain, make suggestions, and give either good or bad reviews, your company should be right there with a quick and suitable response.
3. Focus on the Customer: Social media support staff should make the customer the focus as opposed to the product. Your ultimate goal should be to provide customers with the best possible overall experience with your product and company.
4. Utilize On-site Social Tools: Not all social customer engagement tools are exclusively for off-site deployment. For instance, WalkMe's customizable tooltip software empowers users by guiding them step-by-step through your website. Moreover, commenting systems like DISQUS or Facebook's social plug-in can enable customers to easily comment and exchange reviews and thoughts directly on your website.
5. Use Discretion: Don't engage every customer. Some people use social media just to vent about products or try to score freebies. Identify customers who, when given assistance, will use the same social media to commend your service efforts, thus truly making them worthwhile. Also, it's good to sometimes respond that "you will be contacted directly to resolve this matter immediately." The immediate response provides instant satisfaction.
Social media tools give companies the opportunity to turn lemons (negative feedback) into lemonade (positive reviews). Rather than panic, capitalize on the opportunity to immediately address customer concerns and improve their experiences. Social media may indeed be all about giving power to the people. Nonetheless, customer service reps have plenty of power of their own to harness social media for the benefit of their companies and provide a sense of transparency, honesty, and integrity.
Stefanie Amini is the Marketing Director and Specialist in Customer Success at WalkMe, the world's first interactive online guidance system. She is chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe
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