Posts tagged with "customer service"

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Are you being served on social media?

New statistics state that a third of us Brits will complain about bad service or our dissatisfaction with a brand via social media. I have to admit that I too have done this (the company I was complaining about shall remain nameless).

Increasingly, businesses have to use social media as a direct customer enquiry line: an enquiry line which is instant and more visible than any phone call or email.

Consumers have to simply take to Twitter or Facebook to vent their frustrations, avoiding the traditional ‘press one for support’ and ‘please hold’ of customer helplines. Using social media puts complaints firmly in the public domain.  

Therefore it’s imperative to get customer service on social media right. Not only can the whole world see a customer complaint or query, they can also see any mistakes in handling the enquiry and can even chip in with their own opinion. BT Sport was inundated with tweets about customers being unable to log in on mobiles and tablets to watch the debut match from the new sports channel. Such was the attention on social media, the complaints even caught the eye of the media. By Sunday morning, news pieces, such as this article from the Sunday Mirror, were commenting on the technical glitch and the football fans’ anger.   

Social media is quick and likewise, so should be the response to any complaint on it. Showing speedy, effective customer service online makes the complainant happy but also serves as a fantastic advert to the professionalism of a business. It also allows brands to take control, halt any escalation of conversations and put things right quickly.

Alongside providing great customer service, there’s another incentive to effectively use social media. Seventy per cent of consumers who have had a complaint dealt with on social media go on to purchase from the brand again, as research announced by Business Reporter shows.

So what’s the easiest way of handling complaints on social media?

Many brands have opted for specific accounts for handling customer enquiries. Sainsbury’s has @sainsburys for recipes, competitions and customer support and @SainsburysPR for company news and releases. Using this practice keeps the excellent news that a brand wants to shout to the world away from customers querying home delivery times or the availability of their favourite ready meal.

If this all sounds rather gloomy, then fear not, social media customer enquiries can be positive. Many consumers will tweet brands to ask about products they love or to simply say how much they enjoyed their experience.

I regularly tweet restaurants and bars if I’ve had a good time there, and it’s really satisfying when I receive a tweet back in thanks, or even in jest (thanks Betty’s in York, Teacup in Manchester and Patisserie Valerie!). Getting live positive feedback from customers is great for staff morale and is fabulous free marketing for a brand.

Social media also offers an insight into the mind of customers, an insight which can be used to plan strategies, competitions, new products and more.

The Drum recently offered some more top tips for using social media as a customer enquiry channel.

One thing everyone agrees on: no brand should ignore social media and the power it has to persuade new or repeat custom. A bad experience or even worse, no experience via social media, could lose a customer for life.

To talk about what your business could gain from social media, why not give Refresh PR a call?

Tagged with: customer service, Facebook, PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Public Relations North West, Social Media, Twitter