According to a study published by eMarketer in October 2010, consumers who are active on social media sites expect certain types of interactions when with dealing with companies and brands online. 77% of respondents expect to be offered incentives such as discounts, coupons or free products and services. 46% expect that they can receive product or service information, solve issues or file complaints. And 39% look for the ability to give their feedback on products and services. Only 21% looked to be marketed to in the form of banner or targeted ads.
You might be thinking that your business isn’t actually online because you don’t have an e-commerce site and you only have your brand up on Facebook and LinkedIn. You may also believe that those statistics do not apply to you because your typical customers aren’t that active in social media. And maybe they aren’t… yet. But remember that as consumers become more used to something, they are going to be expecting those types of interactions from every business that has an online presence. And that can be a great thing because the best customers are the ones who had a great experience with you and want to share with others.
Social media can be a great avenue for customer service- the kind that gives customers the positive experience that sells. Here are some ways that you can enhance your customer service through social media:
-Answer product or service-related questions
-Make special offers to your followers
-Invite customers to give feedback; share feedback from customers
-Give customers a way to contact you besides the phone or email
-Show your human side
-Give public (very public!!) apologies for missteps
-Share tips or valuable information related to your products or services
One of our favorite examples of a company that uses its Facebook page for customer service is mygofer.com.
If you hunt around, you’ll see plenty of other companies, large and small, that are using their social media accounts to provide customer service.