• Social media, a critical tool in effective customer service

    Social media, a critical tool in effective customer service - Dubai, UAE

    A latest study from The Northridge Group says 26 per cent of customers choose social media for customer service when they are unable to reach a representative through another channel. The number is rapidly growing and points to the fact that ignoring social media could actually jeopardize an origination’s image.

    “Earlier, companies were able to hide most of their customer complaints and frustrations and could limit any real damage to their brands. These days, customers are openly discussing and, in a way controlling, your brand image and conversation around customer service. Social media has given an equal control to customers now,” Najam Ahmed, Digital & Inbound Marketing Consultant of Dubai-based SEO International, a Google Partner and Hubspot Inbound certified company, told Manafez Dubai.

    Manafiz - cover page 2Failure to resolve customer complaints could result in negative remarks or reviews – which can be highly damaging for any business. But it is not only about resolving the complaints. Customer expectations, in fact have gone far beyond complaint resolution or simple information about company’s products or services.

    Among respondents to The Social Habit who have ever attempted to contact a brand, product, or company through social media for customer support, 32% expect a response within 30 minutes. According to Jay Baer from a digital marketing advisory Convince & Convert, 42% expect a response within 60 minutes.

    There is, hence, little point in participating in social media if you fail to meet customer expectations well in time.

    “Whether you’re listening or not; consumers are talking about you, your brands, your products, and your industry using social media. You must know the needs of the customer and in case of complaints be quick enough to resolve and gain their trust. A positive feedback goes a long way in winning more customers and cre­ating a lasting impression,” says Na­jam.

    Article - scannedUsing social media to improve customer service is an area organizations that needs to be prioritized for an organizations irrespective of its size and nature of business, the experts advice.

    Sharing some tips on effectively using social media toward a better customer service, Najam says visibility on popular social media networks is just the beginning.

    “You need to keep your customers engaged, post updates, answer frequently asked questions and connect with them in real time. You should be attentive and supportive and follow up to ensure the satisfactory redressed of their complaint or query.”

    Monitor the web using Google Alerts, TweetDeek and other social media monitoring tools to find out what they’re saying about your brand, company, products will give you a clearer picture of the expectations of your clients.

    And it is not just the complaints. Acknowledging happy customers who give a positive feedback is equally important, asserts Najam.

    To ensure timely redressal of complaints, you need to prepare your sales staff, call center and other employees about the common questions your clients could ask about your brand or product. Create content answering those questions and post them on your blog and spread them on your social media networks. Once you identify the wants and needs of your clients and prospects, you are better equipped to deliver a superior customer service.

    “Customers must be prioritized and an honest approach to issues concerning them is a must. It doesn’t take too much for the clients to understand if you are trying to avoid their complaints or ignoring them. It can be a big blunders.” he adds.

    Tips to use social media to keep your customers happy:

    • Share information about your products brand
    • Seek feedback on products and services
    • Engage the customers: Do not shy from personal interaction, information and updates about your team would strengthen your connection with the customers
    • Respond to complaints at the earliest, ideally less than 40 minutes!
    • Resolve the complaint and seek feedback on experience
    • Be honest and transparent in resolving issues
    • Acknowledge customers who give you a positive feedback

    Author Bio:

    Najam Ahmed | Digital & Inbound Marketing Consultant
    Google Partner | Hubspot Inbound Certified
    SEO International – a divisional of Al Wafaa Group

    This article was published in Manafez Dubai – July 2015 Edition