Customer Service gets Social

In the world today, the relationship between customer service and social media is becoming more  relevant. Networking sites such as Twitter and others allow companies to track what their customers and potential clients are saying about the company. Social networks and blogs are, in effect, a new mainstream medium for word-of-mouth marketing.

Small businesses have the potential to gain valuable market share from their larger competitors on social media-based services, if they are able to respond to questions and concerns quickly and in a way that’s personal, timely and directly helpful. However, if you are a small or growing business, you may not have the additional resources to hire an employee specifically dedicated to monitoring social media outlets. Some ideas to help you make the most of this opportunity include:

1. Identify the social networks you feel will be most valuable to your company. There are the obvious choices, like Twitter and Facebook, but also look through YouTube, Flickr or even on personal blogs. Think about where your clients might give their opinions, good or bad, and check out those sites.

2. Take time each day to make sure potential problems found on social networks are addressed. If they can not be resolved right away, make sure follow up times are set up.

3. You can integrate customer service requests and issues into your sales process or purchase customer relationship management (CRM) software that offers this feature.

In today’s complex social world, understanding that people will talk about your company online whether or not you are monitoring the chatter can be critical to business success. If you ignore this aspect of business you run the risk of developing a bad reputation. Monitoring these avenues and speaking the language of your customer, including listening and responding to conversations on social media networks, can boost your reputation for providing stellar customer service.