The Customer is King?

Jan 15, 2016

The customer is king? We recently read this article from our friends at Upwork.com and wanted to add some thoughts of our own.

How do we let our customers and clients in 2016 know we care? How do we show it and how do we prove it? As a business owner we all know that retaining a customer is key to business growth.  While all businesses are different it is safe to say that social media plays a significant role in proving that you care for your client.  Remember your online presence serves your business in many ways: marketing, sales, customer service, PR, and business development.  

Today we'll focus on assessing your social customer service.  More so now you'll see people turning to Twitter and Facebook accounts for updates and to ask questions.  But wait! Aren't Twitter and Facebook managers more marketers that customer service providers? That's where your planning comes in.  With just a bit of industry research you should be able to determine the level of service you should be providing online, and which channels to be utilizing.  You can also train your customers to look to your social media.  You train them by letting them know.  Social media is an efficient way to broadcast news and show that you're on top of things.  

When the public knows they're in good hands they tend to stay in those hands longer.  Let's take a look at a couple scenarios:

  • Responding to customer feedback on any channel publicly is important.  You can turn a negative situation into a repeat customer if you play your cards right.  By not responding or only responding privately, you're allowing the general public to make assumptions (most likely not in your favor). Don't make us play the guessing game.
  • Be responsive to checkins, mentions, and interactions with people through your social media.  Don't leave your fans hanging after they've talked about you and with you.  There is nothing more annoying online then when you take the time to mention a company or brand and no one bothers to respond to you.  Social media is about being social.

Social customers have options. Social customers are getting more and more sophisticated online.  Whether you like it or not people can and will talk about your business online, via social media, review sites, their own blog, and so on. You must be listening and you must respond.  I've seen where misunderstandings turned into very unhappy and vocalized reviews online. The bad review should never be the end of it.  Someone with customer service tact should address the customer.   Something to note: apologize (without actually taking blame), never publicly blame the customer, always remain calm/cool/collected, always suggest a phone call to resolve the matter.  That way the general public sees that you made an effort. 

As a rule of thumb, more people will take the time to write a bad review than a good review.  It's just the way of the world.  

As a business it's hard to look at social media as a 'giving' channel - you'd rather focus on the 'getting' part.  Getting of sales, LIKES, engagement and so on.  Develop a plan that encompasses more than one goal (getting new clients). Have tactics to meet sales, customer retention, marketing, and PR goals.  This is called a #socialbusinessplan.  When your #socialbusinessplan is working you'll see diverse opportunities and will experience a profitable online presence. 

I hope you enjoyed the read and have picked up something to add to your own customer service process.

Have a great weekend!
Margaret Brown
Founder, ANROMA - SocializeLA.com

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