The importance of social media on your brand image is well-established. Online visibility is important for any business, and branding across platforms provides the ability to shade and nuance your brand message with a variety of content and ways to engage your audience. Not only that, social media open up lines of communication for you and your audience wherein individuals are free to contact your company online with a variety of issues, from questions to complaints.
The Door Swings Both Ways
Not only can you communicate with your target audience in a variety of ways with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others, they can also communicate with you! One unforeseen impact of social media marketing is that these platforms provide additional avenues to contact a company with customer service issues.
Customer service is no longer simply relegated to an internal department — it is also the responsibility of digital marketing and social media managers to respond to customers. Online customer service is quickly becoming an effective method of redress for many users and a way to enhance brand image for e-marketers.
Benefits of Online Customer Service
Though customer service may not have been the initial reason you put your company on social media, company accounts are an important tool for addressing these issues just the same. Individuals often perceive social media accounts for businesses as a 24-hour personal help center where they can quickly ask questions directly to the company entity. This aspect of social media marketing is important and effective for a variety of reasons.
Instant Responses: Many use social media to contact a company with an issue or problem because of its instantaneous format. Take advantage of this aspect of social media by taking care of concerns quickly. Your customers will appreciate it, and the beauty of social platforms is that posting messages and content take very little time.
- Visibility: Oftentimes, a customer will contact a company with an issue that other users have also experienced. Responding to an individual’s issue is also visible to other users, therefore promptly addressing any problems your client may have will also benefit the community at large.
- Engagement: Because social media is inherently visible and open-access, using your platforms for customer service afford your customers the opportunity to interact with you.
- Troubleshooting: Social media is a great way to address widespread troubleshooting issues among your customers. Many companies provide a list of frequently-asked questions on their website, but social media allows for some creative leeway in answering FAQs with pictures, interactive documents, or video content.
- Approachability: One of the great boons of social media is that it allows your brand to operate under a persona. People react positively to your brand when questions and complaints are addressed with conversational, off-the-cuff responses — not stiff directions to an HR form on your company website.
Take a look at this infographic below for more statistics and figures on the prevalence of social media customer service. Several platforms listed below are great examples of providing this online service to customers.
Russel Cooke is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) specialist and writer who recently relocated to Los Angeles, CA. You can follow Russ on Twitter @RusselCooke2