My first conflict around social media came when a prospect reviewed my firm’s employee Facebook posts, posts that included updates on our production managers youngest child’s potty training accomplishments. The retort I got when recommending the prospects firm engage in social media was, “it is for the nonsense about personal matters, not business!” Well, he is right, it is personal…However, it is also for business matters and as an aside, ten years later, he has a full-time social media director!
It was enough to tweet a bit, post new products to Facebook, and then call it a day. However, the real discovery, businesses noticed that customers were talking to them via these platforms, and a two-way conversation is engendered.
A few years back, customers called or maybe emailed to get help. Now, we are accustomed to interacting via social media platforms. Customers now expect to see a support presence via social
Social media is great for outbound marketing, but it is, even more, valuable for customer support.
However, if your social accounts are promoting new offerings, do you want to fill it with support interactions too? Probably so. I think. Many brands create separate accounts, especially with Twitter, to handle complaints. However, I like to see a brand engage in the open, on the main account and show the actual color of the relationship! One report I read recently states 30 percent of all businesses have added support accounts. Separate or mainstream…this begs the question. What are you doing? Are you engaged in the conversation that is occurring? Clearly this is an established trend that engages and satisfies customers.
Twitter is easy and instant. The benefits are clear: quick-response time builds happy customers. Happy customers even engage more people to become customers, to talk about your brand, to buy!
There’s no reason you cannot do the same via Facebook. Pay attention to which social network the majority of your customers use and follow them. They get to choose where and when and what the conversation is. You need to follow them. They have no obligation to follow you!
With social support, try to shoot for a period that's scary fast. Maybe minutes instead of the, “we will respond within 24 hours.” Social media sets an expectation of immediacy. You can not treat Twitter as a weekly to-do item. It’s live, and you have to be too. Assign a person to be engaged while they are answering phones or email. The same CSR can do all three!
Image provided by Joe The Goat Farmer.