The Five Modes of Social Media, part 4: Customer Interaction

18 Aug 2010 | written by AJ Wilcox for the Small Business Tips, Social Networking section(s)

The Five Modes of Social Media, part 4: Customer Interaction
techrepublic.com

Social media is awesome and can do so much for your business, but with so many modes of use that it can provide, how do you prioritize and where do you start? Great questions – let’s start out with listing all 5 modes:

  1. Branding/PR
  2. Sales channel
  3. Promotions
  4. Customer interaction
  5. Reputation management

This is the fourth of a 5-part series where I’m going to cover all 5 in detail. Today we’ll dive into your customer interaction through social media platforms and how to maximize its use for your business.

Customer Interaction

It doesn’t matter what niche your business services: Your customers are becoming more socially active. We live in a world where we can talk when no one is listening, and we still feel like we’re being heard.

When one of your customers is on Twitter and you’re on their mind, they may say something about you. When one of your customers is on Facebook and they realize they have a question to pose to your organization, they may pose it over Facebook. No matter where your customer is found, they have the opportunity to talk to you. Being available, quick to respond, and transparent earns you huge points in the social media world, because so few companies are doing it effectively.

If a customer gets a whiff of “automated response,” they’ll feel ignored, and that totally defeats the purpose of social media…because there’s nothing social about a robot. Be real and impress your customers, and you’ll also create the by-product called loyalty.

Perfect Response

Let’s say one of your customers sends out a tweet saying, “My day sucks. Went to pick up my order from COMPANY X and still hasn’t arrived. Drove there on lunch and wasted my time.” How would you react? How about responding immediately with something to the effect of, “Sorry for the inconvenience! Delivery had a truck issue, but should be in at 2:00. We’re including a $5 certificate for the inconvenience.”

As customers, we want to be heard, noticed, and recognized. A fast, transparent response about what is going on behind the scenes is always appreciated. Now the customer is likely to forget their inconvenience and say great things about your reactive customer service.

Your customers will likely use your social media usage like a phone call – it’s yet another way to get a hold of you. Treat their inquiries like you would a contact form, then use the inquiries to interact.

Don’t think that going out of your way or going the extra mile will go unnoticed. The majority of your messages will be public, so potentially thousands of current or potential customers will see your impressive customer service.

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